Sunday, October 08, 2017

Golf Course property positions. District 5 David Stokes and James Scneider

David Stokes
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?
Both the Tetra Tech assessment summary and the response from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection reference very high levels of arsenic at the old golf course property. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection report states “In addition, the GTCL for arsenic is the maximum contaminant level (MCL). Arsenic concentrations in exceedance of the MCL require action to protect human health and the environment. Therefore, the arsenic plume at CCGC requires delineation and implementation of a protective control to restrict the use of contaminated groundwater. The arsenic GCTL is based on total metals.”
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection goes on to state “The tables and figures indicate composite sampling was conducted. The accepted method for collecting composite samples is the Incremental Sampling Methodology (ISM). ISM requires compositing of 30 samples, within the decision unit and at the same depth interval, to make one representative soil sample. By rule, this must be performed 2 more times resulting in three composite sample results to use in the 95% Upper Confidence Limit (95 UCL) calculation. If ISM will be used for future sampling, please refer to Incremental Sampling Methodology guidance published by the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) for a detailed description of the method and its requirements.”
From the FDEP report they require “All technical documents, including site assessments, submitted to the FDEP for review and evaluation must be signed by a professional geologist or qualified professional engineer, licensed to practice in the State of Florida”.

The FDEP concluded “Based on our review of the Assessment Summary, sufficient evidence has not been provided to demonstrate contaminant concentrations were not the result of historical operations at the CCGC. Consequently, the Site Summary Conclusions cannot be supported”
In July 2016, soil and groundwater sampling was conducted as part of a Limited Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) according to the Tetra Tech report. The data indicated the presence of elevated arsenic in the soil, groundwater and on-site surface water and sediment. The data also indicated sporadic elevated detections of dieldrin in the soil and groundwater.
I would Vote No on the transmittal due to potential public health reasons. The testing performed has shown high levels of arsenic in the soil and water. If this soil is disturbed it could potentially distribute the arsenic and dieldrin contained in the soil and water potentially jeopardizing the health of the citizens in that area. In my opinion protecting the health and safety of our residents is the first job of government. I would also be concerned that future lawsuits could be filed against Cape Coral if Cape Coral Council votes for the transmittal, the DR Horton project goes forward and residents become ill from the chemicals in the future.
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?
From the information contained in both reports on chemical contamination, we need to make sure our residents are safe from these chemicals. It would seem this would give another chance to look at making this area or at least a portion of this area a park, greenspace or other recreation facility if it could be safely done. Lee County could take a second look at using 20/20 funds possibly to purchase these lands as not much of the 20/20 money has gone to Cape Coral. Cape Coral could also apply for Federal and State Grants to buy part or all of this land.

James Schneider
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?
Fortunately, unlike other candidates, my vote is documented as a firm NO, from the June Planning and Zoning Commission hearing.  As a P & Z Commissioner, I was present for all of the testimony, had a complete copy of the city planner's recommendation, letters from the public and D.R. Horton's support and was the first to announce from the dais that I cannot ever support this amendment to our LUDRs. I can't imagine any reason which will ever sway my decision.  In fact, this specific concern is part of the reason I chose to run for District 5.
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?
For the legal and appropriate actions to get to where I hope this land can be revitalized, I need to research further.  BUT, in my hopes and desire, we should be creating park space, to combat the deficit. It is an ideal location.  I loved the suggestions of a "Central Park" made by many community members.  Ultimately we could have a beautiful and peaceful space, perhaps a walking/exercise/bicycle trail, picnic areas, floral gardens for community garden clubs to maintain/compete for awards, and to earn some money for the local business and the city; I would encourage an amphitheater which could draw national talent, with an open air space similar to Wolf Trap in Virginia or Hollywood Bowl in California, on a smaller scale. Removing only the invasive trees and inappropriate growth, and keeping it GREEN space.