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National grocery store chain looking to open location in Coralwood Mall

By Staff | Feb 24, 2016

An unnamed national grocery chain seeking to open its first location in Cape Coral received approval from City Council Monday night to display seasonal merchandise outside its space being negotiated in Coralwood Mall.

Grocery store merchandise displayed outdoors is not allowed by city ordinance without council approval. Avalon Engineering, representing Coralwood Mall owners, made the exception request for the chain that operates 168 stores in 27 states with outdoor displays being a standard practice.

Staff recommended approval having determined that allowing the practice does not cause harm to pedestrians or the flow of foot traffic on the more than 20-foot sidewalk and would not impact neighboring businesses.

The grocer is negotiating a 28,000-square-foot space between the new Home Goods and Bealls Outlet stores in the mall.

Council approval was unanimous.

Filling potholes

January’s record rainfall left a large number of potholes in Cape Coral streets and the Public Works Department has been relentless is repairing as many as possible as quickly as possible. Council members and the Citizens Action Center have been inundated with calls reporting potholes.

Public Works Director Steve Neff told council it typically takes three days for crews to fill a pothole once it is reported. Because of the number of reports, it has taken much longer, but Neff said crews are catching up.

“Barring any more serious rainfall events, we will be back to three business days in a few weeks,” said Neff. “In 11 of the last 12 months, all potholes were filled in the same month.”

The department operates two pothole trucks full time with a two-person crew on each. Typically multi-lane roads are addressed first because of the higher volume and speed of traffic.

Local roads already badly in need of repaving have a multitude of issues, forcing crews to just fill the larger potholes even though the rideability of these roads cannot be significantly improved by filling potholes. They need to be leveled first and resurfaced.

Neff said in certain areas, particularly in the Utility Expansion Project zones scheduled in the next few years, resurfacing will have to wait until the project is completed. In other areas, decisions will be made to resurface small sections of the roadway on a case by case basis.

Residents are asked to call the Citizens Action Center at 239-574-0425 to report potholes.

Traffic signal study

Council also approved an agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation to conduct a study of traffic signals throughout the city. FDOT will pay up to $250,000 for the study. The unanimous approval means the city will now seek a Request For Proposal from private companies able to conduct the study.

Among the locations to be studied include Cape Coral Parkway from Del Prado Boulevard to Santa Barbara Boulevard; Santa Barbara Boulevard from Cape Coral Parkway to Pine Island Road; and Nicholas and Viscaya parkways from Santa Barbara to Del Prado.

The city has not had a traffic signal study done in six years. The study will take up to nine months to complete when it begins some time next fall.

Other business

Among the citizen boards and commissions on which council filled vacancies Monday night, all five of the Planning & Zoning Commission members and alternates whose terms expired were reappointed for another term – members Dan Reed, Jim Ranfranz and James Schneider, and alternates Ron Marmo and Todd Koskinas.

Also the South Cape Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) advisory board’s recommendation of Peter Davis to become its newly created alternate member was approved by council.

Council members will conduct a strategic planning meeting at 1 p.m. on Wednesday at Fire Station 8 located at 707 S.W. 1st St., just north of the Pine Island Road and Nicholas Parkway intersection.

The agenda lists discussions on fiscal, mission, vision, values and planning issues as well as topics brought up by council members.

The meeting is open to the public.

Council’s next regular meeting is Monday, Feb. 29, in Council Chambers.