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K-C’s River Stop lease agreement on council agenda

By Staff | Feb 9, 2013

Cape Coral City Council is expected to consider the future of K-C’s River Stop at the city-owned Yacht Club, on Monday.

If the city decides not to extend the lease, the board have to decide what to do with it, which could be a lengthy process.

The owners, K-C’s River Stop, LLC, would like to extend the lease for another three years.

In June 2010, the city council authorized the renewal of a lease agreement with the owners of the shop for continued leasing of the property for use as a restaurant, patron docking, fuel sales and storage.

The lease expires on June 30, with the base monthly rent being $3,182.95.

“The council will be provided with a variety of options. Staff will not make recommendations,” city spokesperson Connie Barron said.

The owners have had problems falling behind on their rent payments, and staff has recommended issuing a Request for Information to obtain new ideas on how to use the site, the discussion item reads.

Barron said there were extenuating circumstances regarding the delinquency.

“The property taxes ended up being higher than we anticipated once we established new contract with them,” Barron said. “They have paid and are now current.”

Parks and Recreation Director Steve Pohlman and City Manager John Szerlag will make a presentation to ask council’s direction if it wants to continue offering a casual waterfront snack bar or a more traditional casual restaurant.

Once they determine long-term desires for the facility, the city could renew the lease, renegotiate the lease, have the city operate it as a potential revenue stream or seek other operators through a Request for Proposals.

The thought of the city possibly entering the restaurant business had one council member curious.

“As I have received from so many e-mails from citizens, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz said. “I could not imagine a better way to break something than to let city government take control.”

Councilmember Rana Erbrick remembered this being an issue three years ago, and didn’t think this time would be any different, but all factors would have to be considered, even if it means taking it over.

“We have to weigh all options as to if it’s good or positive,” Erbrick said.

If the city goes the RFP route, it could take three to five months for the process to play out, leaving K-C’s, which has operated there for more than 20 years, to lease it on a month-by-month basis.

Also on the agenda is the appointment of four members and two alternates to the Planning & Zoning Commission.

Joe Kibitlewski and Glenn Hewitt are up for the alternate positions, with the former interested in a full-time position.

Dan Read, Patti Martin, James Ranfrantz and Paul Tee are all up for reappointment, as their terms expire at the end of the month.

Last week, Erbrick protested the P&Z’s ability to recommend members to its own board, something no other board in the city is permitted to do.

Erbrick motioned to abolish that ability, but it failed as the council deadlocked.

As far as she’s concerned, the council has spoken and that’s the end of it.

“That issue city council voted on. They weren’t denied the ability to do that. Done issue until someone else brings it up for consideration,” Erbrick said.

Also, the council will hear for the first time an ordinance amending the city’s Land Use and Development Regulations, to add recreational vehicle parks as a special exception use in the agricultural district.

This would help clear the way for a proposed RV resort to be constructed on Burnt Store Road. The public will get to speak out on the ordinance on Feb. 25 and March 11, when a vote will likely occur.

Barron said she didn’t expect much discussion on the ordinance, though that could change during the two public hearings.

On Wednesday, the Planning & Zoning board unanimously pushed through the ordinance for council consideration.

“As liaison to the P&Z, I concur with the vote,” Chulakes-Leetz said.