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Kayak club lease, P&Z appeal on council agenda Monday

By Staff | Oct 24, 2013

In the second-to-last meeting for this sitting city council, the city’s governing board has a rather thin agenda to deal with Monday at its regular meeting at city hall at 4:30 p.m.

The two most important items they will discuss is the appeal by a downtown businessman who wants to install a self-serve fuel pump at his place of business, and a preliminary discussion on the lease agreement between the city and a local kayaking club.

The Cape Coral Boat Club, a boat sales establishment at 1531 S.E. 46th Lane is appealing a decision made by the Board of Zoning Adjustment and Appeals at its June 12 meeting that denied a special exception for a self-service fuel pump use in the SC (South Cape Downtown) district.

The city council will have the option to allow the P&Z verdict to stand or reverse the decision and allow the fuel pump.

Jim Figuerado, owner of the Cape Coral Boat Club, was unavailable for comment. Councilmember Marty McClain said a reversal would take some pretty compelling convincing.

“The tank has a lot of people concerned and rightfully so. Anytime you say ‘above-ground tank’ people get excited about it,” McClain said. “There are a number of issues people are concerned about, and they’re all valid. I need to be careful about this one.”

According to the staff presentation to council, the proposal asks for a 2,500-gallon, aboveground tank enclosed by a six-foot vinyl fence, with the operation of it supervised by staff.

P&Z denied the special exception use because of aesthetics and concerns about the safety of an above-ground tank.

City council also is expected to discuss an ordinance approving a lease agreement between the City and the South Florida Canoe Kayak Club, a non-profit organization, for city property at 418 S.W. 3rd Place to be used as a training center, meetings, classes, housing for athletes, and storage facility.

The five-year lease will begin on Nov. 1, 2013, and will be automatically renewed for another five-year term. The rent is $10 per year.

The club has a plan to expand the three-acre training facility to include a boathouse, a 100-dorm room complex with four per room, a beach, stage, and a cross-training facility that would not only attract sailors training in the winter, but serve as camps for other sports.

It is the possible dorm space that excited Councilmember Rana Erbrick, who said it would be a big plus for a city the size of Cape Coral, but with a dearth of hotel space.

“Think of the cheer camps and the BMXers. They use our facilities, but at the end of the day leave the city because we don’t have enough places for them to stay,” Erbrick said. “They can spend their dollars inside the city limits.”

The plan was discussed at last Monday’s regular council meeting and was met with rave reviews by nearly everybody on the city council.

“Anytime you can get global exposure, it’s good for the businesses and for exposure to the city,” McClain said. “It helps their employment status as well as their bottom line.”

Economic Development Director Dana Brunett said the economic impact of the athletes, who come worldwide to train during the winter months, would be $58,460 daily, assuming 400 athletes. Over 90 days, that would be $5,261,443.

Meetings begin at 4:30 p.m. City Hall is on Cultural Parkway.