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Council has new plan for progress

By Staff | Oct 4, 2008

The Cape Coral Council for Progress is embarking on a new quest to provide a more orderly plan for the city’s development.

Council members passed a motion Friday to give general direction as to the type of growth needed for different sections of the city.

Joe Mazurkiewicz, executive director of the council, said population, commerce, culture, and education are the core components of growth that are needed in all of the city’s regions — Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Southeast.

“They’ve got to exist in all four quadrants,” Mazurkiewicz said. “We drive that from a bottom up foundation in the quadrants.”

The plan is to develop overall goals and policies for each quadrant of the city over the next year, then get together with city staff to enact specific rules and procedures to implement them.

Council members also heard from speakers on the past, present and future of business in Cape Coral. While the past has presented the city’s business community with inherent challenges, and growth currently stalling, the speakers said the long-term outlook of the city is a positive one.

Cape businessman Elmer Tabor spoke of the city’s founders, the Rosen brothers, and their awkward development of the area.

“They sold Cape Coral faster than they could keep up with the planning and infrastructure,” Tabor said.

That led to a city full of pre-platted lots that made it difficult to insert space for businesses.

In spite of that and the current economic malaise, some see a rosy future for the Cape.

“Despite the current economic environment, we see the Cape as part of our path of growth. If you’re in Southwest Florida, you need to be in the Cape,” said Rick Losse, senior vice president of McGarvey Development.

Mazurkiewicz was also high on the Cape’s potential.

“People looking to Fort Myers are looking the wrong way — that’s the past. The future is between the Caloosahatchee and Peace Rivers,” he said.