Saturday, July 08, 2017

Cape Coral Mayoral Candidate Survey

Survey Summary
JOE COVIELLO ~ NO
RANA ERBRICK ~ YES
KEVIN KOCH ~ NO
MICHAEL HOLLOW ~ YES
APRIL FREEMAN ~ DID NOT RESPOND
DERRICK DONNELL ~ DID NOT RESPOND
DANIEL SHEPPARD III ~ LATE ENTRY

Question one:  Will you vote "No" on the transmittal to the state of the future land-use map amendment for the golf course property that would change it from Parks and Recreation to Single-family Residential that would allow for the DR Horton development called The Palm's?
NO VOTE - City Mayor or Council Member votes AGAINST transmitting a Land Use change to the State of Florida.
(This is Save Our Recreation's position) 
YES VOTE - City Mayor or Council Member votes FOR transmitting a Land Use change to the State of Florida allowing for D. R. Horton to proceed with the development of up to 770 homes on former golf club property
Joe Coviello
Question one:  Will you vote "No" on the transmittal to the state of the future land-use map amendment for the golf course property that would change it from Parks and Recreation to Single-family Residential that would allow for the DR Horton development called The Palm's?
No, I do not want the future land use to be changed and sent off to the state. 
Question two:  If you do not support the transmittal to the state of the future land-use change, what are your thoughts on what should happen with the golf course property?
Our recent evaluation of our Strategic Parks & Recreation Plan tells us as a city we currently do not have enough land for recreational use.  This property needs to be acquired by the city from the current owners Florida Gulf Venture. The current value of this property is somewhere between 10 and 12 million. We need to either trade other city owned properties, purchase the land or a combination of the two in getting this property back under city control.  The property can then be developed through a public private partnership with many amenities that are favorable for the city.  Potential uses could be hotel resort, banquet hall, golf course or short pitch and put course, tennis courts, restaurants, shopping, park land and other revenue producing amenities to help sustain the development going forward.  My preference is steady sustainable residential growth throughout the city. 
Rana Erbrick
Question one:  Will you vote "No" on the transmittal to the state of the future land-use map amendment for the golf course property that would change it from Parks and Recreation to Single-family Residential that would allow for the DR Horton development called The Palm's?
Should I still be on Council when this comes to a vote I will be in favor of the request made by the applicant to transmit to the land use change to the state.
Kevin Koch
Question one:  Will you vote "No" on the transmittal to the state of the future land-use map amendment for the golf course property that would change it from Parks and Recreation to Single-family Residential that would allow for the DR Horton development called The Palm's?
I will vote "no" on the amendment to change the future land use from parks & recreation to single family homes.
Question two:  If you do not support the transmittal to the state of the future land-use change, what are your thoughts on what should happen with the golf course property?
I believe that in order for this nightmare to finally be resolved, there needs to be compromise on both sides. Having DR Horton build 400 homes on one of the last green spaces left in south Cape Coral is not the answer. Leaving the property as it is, abandoned and neglected, is also not the answer. We need to come up with a solution to this problem. If neither side will budge, nothing will ever get done and we will still be talking about this issue 10 years from now. DR Horton clearly wants this property because it is prime real estate. They are not interested in a land swap and have made that very clear. My intention is to negotiate with DR Horton with the goal being to change about 25-35% of the area to single family homes while keeping the remaining 65-75% parks and recreation. The future property tax revenue will go towards construction of an actual park in the remaining green space, thus preserving it for future generations to come. I truly believe that without some form of compromise, this situation will not be resolved.
Michael Hollow
Question one:  Will you vote "No" on the transmittal to the state of the future land-use map amendment for the golf course property that would change it from Parks and Recreation to Single-family Residential that would allow for the DR Horton development called The Palm's?
Question two:  If you do not support the transmittal to the state of the future land-use change, what are your thoughts on what should happen with the golf course property?
The issue of the old golf course has been one of much debate and frustration for people, for years.  You asked me two questions, if I may, I’m going to answer both within one answer/opinion.  

The old golf course has been vacated since 2006, there have been several attempts to improve the land via a sale.  These range from the school board, to mixed use housing to the pending purchase by D.R. Horton.  As we saw, the city staff recommended the approval of the D.R. Horton plan and well over the 500 homes that was originally requested.  Currently, the area of the old golf course is zoned R1B (single family residential), with a future land use of PK (parks and recreation).  

There is the possibility of pending law suits from all parties, including the residents, against the City of Cape Coral.  The hard one for me to get past is at what point does the government not have the right to impose against private land sales.  Let’s look at the purchase and sales contract between these two parties (full disclosure I have not seen the P&S, only making my basis from the information obtained at council meetings).  The seller (Florida Gulf Venture) and the purchaser (D.R. Horton) submitted terms that were mutually agreeable amongst themselves.  Within that contract there was a contingency to the sale that required the City of Cape Coral to approve the site plans.  Otherwise the contract, as written, would allow either or both parties to walk away.  

The one question that always must be asked, what is the highest and best use for that land?

In a perfect world, we could come up with a resolution and negotiate with D.R. Horton to modify their plans and development.  In this plan, we collaborate on a true P3 (Private, Public, Partnership), we allow a reduced amount of homes to be built and have them build the city a park on the grounds, about 60-70% of the land (not including water).  In exchange, we give them land, either in the NE or NW allow them to build a community there and build a smaller city park.  

There is a point when government cannot and should not infringe on the private land rights of owners.  But nor should the city allow the area to become overpopulated with the amount of homes that are requested to be built.  

From a financial standpoint, the city would benefit more from allowing a complex to be built, and then area wouldn’t be blighted and desolate.  The current land owner is only required four times a year to mow/maintain the property.  

Furthermore, if we look back to when the discussion came up regarding the 7 Islands, the neighboring landowners wanted a park to be developed.  The city owns that land and determined the highest and best use for the land would be to develop it with commercial and residential.  Why is this transaction any different?  Why are we not considering the highest and best use of the land for this one?

I agree with not allowing up to the 700 homes as indicated at the hearing, but I do not agree with the city denying the project altogether.  We need to bring all sides together, sit down and have an open discussion as to what we want as viable outcomes.