Monday, April 16, 2018

Cape Coral Wildlife Trust

Dear Mayor and Council Members:

 I am writing on behalf of the Cape Coral Wildlife Trust (CCWT). We are an organization formed to acquire conservation properties in our City in order to ensure that the wildlife on those properties are protected in perpetuity.  Given our mission, we are particularly concerned about the proposal to change the eagle ordinance. We understand that a distance of 660 ft. has been deemed appropriate, but we do not agree with this. After reading the compelling information below, we are confident that you will see  that the ordinance should remain as it is. (1100 ft.)

First, I would like you to keep this quote from the Proposed Ordinance 32-18 in mind. "The purpose of this chapter is to protect and preserve the bald eagle by protecting, enhancing and preserving the nest of the eagle and its immediate environs. With reasonable compensation incentives and proper management, the population of the bald eagle in Cape Coral can be maintained."

1. Protect:  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Bald Eagle Management Guidlines; The Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act. A portion of this regulation states that their are penalties for any disturbance which will interfere with the life and longevity of the bird. Disturb means to agitate or bother a bald eagle to the degree that with normal breeding, feeding or sheltering behavior are negatively impacted. This definition also covers impacts resulting from human-induced alterations during a previously used nest site when eagles are not present. Examples of disruptions would be the noise created by heavy equipment, electric saws, hammering, etc.

2.  Preserve/Immediate Environs:   In order to truly preserve an animal, you must ensure that its existing state is maintained. When you reduce the area around the nest, you are also reducing habitat for the animals that eagles feed on such as rabbits, rats, possums, etc. You are not maintaining the existing site. This will cause more competition among eagles, which could eventually reduce the number of eagles.

3. Maintaining/Enhancing:  If this ordinance truly "enhanced" the eagle population, the Cape would see an increase in the number of eagles from year to year. If habitat loss and other disturbances occur, it is unlikely this would occur. The ordinance speaks of "maintaining" the population. Any ordinance should go beyond merely "maintaining" the existing population. It should insist on conditions that result in an increase in the population.

Finally, there is something counterintuitive about any ordinance that may result in the reduction of eagle numbers at worst and possible maintenance at best while Cape Coral's human population is increasing.  In a few decades, when our city reaches "build out," will ordinance 32-18 effectively eliminate this National symbol from the City of Cape Coral?

We trust you will give careful consideration to this issue. We appreciate the support of the Mayor and Council members of many of our past and present environmental concerns and feel confident that you will all vote to maintain the current eagle ordinance.

Sincerely yours,

Lori Haus-Bulcock
Cape Coral Wildlife Trust, Inc.
631-335-6070
CCWT website:  www.capecoralwildlifetrust.org

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Cape Coral Historical Society Meeting - February 12, 2018 - 2:30 PM


All are welcome! Where: Cultural Park Theatre, 528 Cultural Park Blvd., Cape Coral, Florida 33990 When: All Meetings begin at 2:30pm More information phone 239-772-7037 - www.capecoralhistoricalmus 



Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Council greens lights golf course negotiations ~ Cape Coral Daily Breeze


http://www.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com/page/content.detail/id/665979/Council-greens-lights-golf-course-negotiations.html?nav=5011

Great News Again!

Great news again!  At the City Council meeting tonight the Council voted 6-1 with Councilmember Cosden not present to approve resolutions directing the City Manager to begin the process of negotiating the purchase of the golf course from the current owners.  After many years of kicking this can down the road, the Council tonight has formally begun the process to get the City to buy the property.  The next step will be to bring back a purchase contract for approval, assuming the City Manager can agree to acceptable terms for a purchase. 

The Council also voted to pursue a joint meeting with the Lee County Board of Supervisors to look at options for partnering with Lee County on getting funding from the county for the golf course.  The use of 20/20 funds are one option that is expected to be discussed. 

We believe there will be some process to gather input on what should happen with the golf course after the purchase is completed. I know many of you have ideas and we hope you share them and are also open to listening to the ideas others will share as well.  This is a large parcel that needs to be something that is beneficial to the community at large that can be a gem for generations to enjoy in the future.

Thank you to all who showed up tonight, last week or have been supporting us over the past few years.  Your support has been amazing.

We want to stress that this is not a done deal yet and negotiations will need to be concluded with the owner on price and terms.  There can always be unexpected bumps in the road and we need to stay vigilant and ensure this stays on track.  But, as we said last week as well, this is the best news we’ve had on the golf course in many, many years. 

Cape Coral votes to continue golf course negotiations NBC 2


http://www.nbc-2.com/story/37432923/cape-coral-voting-on-the-future-of-golf-club-land

Cape Coral City Council votes to pursue purchase of old golf course FOX 4


https://www.fox4now.com/news/local-news/cape-coral-city-council-votes-to-pursue-purchase-of-old-golf-course

Friday, February 02, 2018

CALL TO ACTION!!! Important Council Meeting

Another VERY important meeting to attend.  Possibly the MOST important of the last 13 years.

This Monday, February 5 at 4:30 the city council has the golf course on the agenda for a decision on whether to move forward with the purchase.  Resolution 48-12.  As you know, this past Monday at their non-voting meeting there was a consensus expressed by the six in attendance for a purchase.  This Monday that question should come to a formal VOTE.  

Let's continue to show our support!  We hope to see you there. 

Mary and Barth

Cape Coral Breeze article


http://www.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com/page/content.detail/id/665938/Golf-course-purchase-vote-expected-Monday.html?nav=5011

News Press Opinion ~ Tom Hayden

https://www.news-press.com/story/opinion/2018/01/30/cape-coral-right-path-purchase-former-golf-course-ryan-companies/1078446001/

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Important Call To Action

We need all supporters to come to the City Council meeting tomorrow, Monday, January 29 at 4:30 pm.   The council will be discussing their thoughts on the future of the golf course and will hopefully provide some direction to the city manager and how to move forward.  One of the options being discussed will be to purchase the property!  Another one however will be to develop homes on it again.  So we urge you to attend and show by your presence support for purchasing the property. Wear your green shirts if you have them.

Also, below is a summary of the meeting of Save Our Recreation held on Wednesday, January 25. This summary was provided to each of the city council members and the mayor.

Dear Mayor Coviello and Councilmembers:

On Wednesday January 24th at the Cape Coral Library Save Our Recreation held a meeting to discuss the old golf course.  We reviewed the options presented in City Manager Szerlag’s December 29, 2017 memo to the Mayor and Council.  We also reviewed the development themes presented in the Parks Department December 28, 2017 memo to the City Manager.  We talked about the importance of the city, county or some combination buying this property to preserve it as a Parks and Recreation based property that can be enjoyed by citizens for years to come.  There was gratitude expressed by all that the DR Horton proposal did not proceed and that we are at a point where the Council will now have a full and open discussion on all options for this unique property. 

We also discussed the importance of developing it such that the property will be something to be enjoyed by the community at large and be an asset for the City as a whole understanding that this may require multiple uses of different sections of the property.  We listened to many questions and comments.  There is significant support for using 20/20 funds for at least a portion of the property. At the end we asked three questions to see how much consensus could be reached with the group.  The first questions was:

Can we all agree to support a purchase by the city using any of the methods suggested?
There was unanimous support for the city purchasing it

Can we support multiple uses going forward so that the city can develop the property such that it meets multiple community needs (more than just a park for the neighbors)?
There was overwhelming, but not unanimous support for this.  There were some who support keeping it a wildlife/conservation park in its entirety, otherwise there were no concerns raised with the development themes raised in the Parks Department memo.

Can we be flexible as to future uses consistent with Parks and Recreation and agree to participate in the future on development details and not get hung up on those details now
There was unanimous support for this.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything further on this, please contact either one of us.

Mary Neilson, Treasurer - Save Our Recreation
Barth Wolf, President - Save Our Recreation

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Old Golf Course

Old Golf Course

I am extremely energized to write to the people of SW Florida to save the  Cape Coral Golf Course. The other night I heard the coyote pup barking and singing. And I live a  six blocks from the course. It literally lit up my life. To hear a wild animal on the course surrounded by thousand of houses was fantastic. Every person that loves the wildlife   needs to get on the band wagon and support the Lee Counties 20/20 land buying program in buying the course or the county procuring it There are three ways the county could purchase it. Through 20/20 funds, Lee County Parks and Rec could buy it or the county could procure it  like they did get Edison Farms.Then we could preserve the course for all the wild animals that live there If the county handed over the  golf course to 20/20 to maintain it.Saving the city  thousands in taxes  over the years to maintain it.

Why to we need to preserve it it for the wildlife?  Our children and there children will benefit from seeing the wildlife as well  the tourists and the residence. Wildlife viewing  is a two billion plus industry in the world. Thousands of people that visit the Cape every year would flock to the park to see the wildlife . There are five endangered or threatened species on the golf course. The American  Kestrel, the Miami butterfly, the tri colored heron,. gopher tortoise and burrowing owls live there.Other animals living on the land are the fox,bobcat, otter, great horned owls , eagles,squirrels , rabbits, ducks( to include Muscovy) and butterflies. The bird count two years ago produced about fifty species of birds and fifteen kinds of butterflies If there is going to be any commercial development  the city must work to save all of this wildlife. Be advised the bobcat, fox,and coyotes will need at least 160 acres to be preserved and not driven off.

How we we derive revenue on the course? Any bike riders, joggers, birders and fishermen could pay an annual fee for using the biking , hiking trails,ponds and general use of the park. A modest fee for one day visitors could be charged Use dispensers to collect the money like Ding Darling. Fees could be charged for camping and pavilion use for picnics, etc.

A proposal   of ten  million from the county and  two million from the city  to buy the property. Then there could be a cooperative partnership between the two which would be a win win between both entities.Then Cape Coral could control some of the park. What a great way to build a senior center and boys and girls club . There could be indoor tennis courts, handball , pickle ball, pool hall card room, basketball court ,meeting rooms and maybe a thousand seat theater to rival other theaters in the area.A five star restaurant,pool, putting green and a snack bar could be some other things the city could spearhead.

We could introduce deer , quail, hogs and other wild animals to make a Florida wildlife zoo . tAnother revenue item for this land.

If you support the 20/20 program or the county to buy the old golf course or just to buy it as a park please contact through email or phone these council people: Jennifer Nelson, jnelson@capecoral.net and D.Stokes, dstokes@capecoral.net You may call them at 239-574-0436 , No new taxes if the county buys it!

Carl Veaux, I speak for all the wild animals.
3705 SE 3 rd Place
Cape Coral, FL 33904

239-549-7265