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Council approves renaming of pavilion at Eco Park

By Staff | Nov 4, 2015

The military memorial area at Four Mile Ecological Park at the west end of the Midpoint Bridge has a newly named attraction after City Council unanimously voted Monday night to rename the pavilion.

The Veterans Midpoint Memorial Charitable Trust, which has raised funds to construct the pavilion and over the years installed brick pavers and a flag array, requested council’s action. They asked that the pavilion be formally named the Veterans Pavilion Memorial.

During discussion, Councilmember Jim Burch voiced a concern that the name was grammatically incorrect and might cause confusion for some. He said the name should be the Veterans Memorial Pavilion.

Trust president Gary Bowler wanted to keep the pavilion name in line with the other memorials at the park.

“All of the other items at the park are named ‘memorial,'” said Bowler. “It should be a memorial to give the pavilion the dignity and respect it deserves, like the Iwo Jima Memorial, the Iraq War Memorial.”

Councilmember Rick Williams interjected that the name should be the choice of the organization because of its tremendous involvement in the area at the park.

“It’s not our role to change what (they) think is the right thing there,” said Williams.

Council voted unanimously on the name as Veterans Pavilion Memorial.

Councilmembers Dr. Derrick Donnell (District 7) and Leonard Nesta (District 3) said farewell to fellow council members, staff and employees Monday night on the eve of the 2015 municipal general election. New members will be sworn in to take those seats at next Monday’s council meeting.

Donnell was prevented from running due to the eight-year term limit. Nesta served four years and declined to run for re-election. The third council seat being contested Tuesday was that of incumbent John Carioscia (District 2), who ran for re-election opposed by Kirk LaGrasta. Council member Rana Erbrick (District 5) won re-election to a second four-year term unopposed and was not on Tuesday’s ballot.

Donnell earned respect over his two terms as “the voice of reason” on council. Others on the dais thanked him for his service and stated that his presence will be missed.

Normally a man of few words, Nesta thanked his colleagues and staff for “an awesome four years” of working together.

“I’m honored and humbled to have been your representative for Cape Coral,” Nesta said, struggling to hold back his emotions.

Rezoning request

The only public hearing before council Monday night was a request to rezone three parcels on Southwest 4th Court off Nicholas Parkway south of Pine Island Road from single-family residential to multi-family residential to be more consistent with the city’s Future Land Use plan that changed the zoning designation of the neighborhood in 2005.

The owner of the parcels, Wade Jurney Homes of Florida, was seeking more flexibility in developing the property. Duplex homes are allowed on a single-family site of 10,000 square feet, but it takes 15,000 square feet to construct a residence for three or more units.

Burch and Carioscia opposed the request indicating they prefer to protect the single-family residences already built on that block from “rentals.”

“We have situations like this all over the city,” said Burch. “I think we need to revisit the Future Land Use plan. I don’t think we are applying it correctly.”

Erbrick further explained the issue as it was vetted by the Planning & Zoning Board, which voted unanimously to approve. She said the inconsistency with the land use plan creates issues when homes destroyed by fire or hurricane seek permits to rebuild.

Council approved the rezoning request 6-2 with Burch and Carioscia maintaining their dissenting vote.

Charrettes to begin

Wednesday starts a three-day series of charrette meetings regarding the Seven Islands Vision Plan and Northwest Cape development in general. Meetings Wednesday and Thursday in Council Chambers run from 6:30-9 p.m. and 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Friday.

The public is invited to the open forum for input and suggestions on design and development ideas. Project consultants will conduct the meetings.

Lastly, council unanimously approved Erbrick’s request to sunset the current Charter Review Committee which recommended a series of changes to the city charter that were voted on by the public in Tuesday’s municipal election.

Council meets next Monday at 4:30 p.m. in Council Chambers.