homepage logo

Kayak club gets permission to use city property

By Staff | Dec 11, 2012

What some had expected to be an easy approval the Cape Coral City Council city to allow a local kayaking and canoe club to use city property got some debate Monday after one council member questioned whether the organization might be soliciting deals from multiple communities.

Council did, however, unanimously approve the permissive use agreement for the South Florida Canoe Kayak Club to use the Parks and Recreation building at 418 S.W. 3rd Place, near Lake Kennedy.

The discussion came after Parks and Rec Director Steve Pohlman told council that several entities, including Fort Myers, were also looking at giving the club the same agreement.

That didn’t sit well with Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz, who expressed concern over what he later called the equivalent of selling of a time share.

“I don’t care what Fort Myers is offering. It’s like you’re trying to strong arm a decision,” said Chulakes-Leetz, who also questioned the $1 contribution the club will pay to use the property until a formal lease can be agreed upon.

Meanwhile, Councilmember Kevin McGrail said the facility will allow the club and its director, Melinda Mack, to apply for grants to help them move forward.

City Manager John Szerlag said the vision of the club is to create a world-class facility where athletes around the world can come to train, and said it is being looked at as a possible site for para-Olympians to train, as officials who came to see it were impressed by the site.

With his concerns addressed, Chuklakes-Leetz made it unanimous. The vote was 7-0, with Lenny Nesta excused because of illness.

In other business, the city council unanimously approved the prohibition of all accessory structures in residential districts except those specifically stated in Section 3.1 of the Land Use and Development regulations.

Those structures are garages, satellite antennas, sun shelters, gazebos, sheds, playhouses and recreational facilities, such as tennis and basketball courts.

The ordinance is intended to eliminate confusion as to permissible structures but still, council members had questions, including whether the ordinance addressed swing sets and sandboxes.

Mike Struve, Development Management Team coordinator, said only if it was a very elaborate one. He also added the terms of the regulations were static, meaning that changes were expected to be made over time.

Council also approved the repeal of an ordinance that established the Entrada Community development district and approved a termination agreement with the Florida DOT regarding sidewalks that would have been installed on Southwest 20th Avenue from Trafalgar Parkway to Veterans Parkway by money provided from a grant.

If sidewalks were constructed, the UEP would require the sidewalks be demolished and removed, thus the reason to cancel the agreement.

The next city council meeting is on Jan. 14, 2013.