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CCPD shows plan for industrial park cleanup

By Staff | May 5, 2017

The Cape Coral Police Department’s plan to help clean up the Mid-Cape Industrial Corridor is three-pronged, using education, enforcement and addressing zooming issues as a way to solve problems owners there have.

That is what Police Chief Dave Newlan told a group of business owners in the corridor Tuesday at a meeting at the Public Works building on Nicholas Parkway.

Councilmember Rana Erbrick hosted the session, with the topics of discussion including parking, trash and blight. Rich Carr of Code Enforcement was also there to answer any questions.

The Mid-Cape Industrial Corridor is just south of Cape Coral Hospital, just west of the Del Prado Boulevard at the intersection of Viscaya Parkway.

Newlan told the nearly 20 business owners the city had come up with a plan to help combat such problems as parking, abandoned vehicles and boats, trash, property conditions, and items blocking alleyways.

He said there would be three tiers. The first would be educating the businesses through social and traditional media. He suggested the business owners get the free Ping4 app for their phones.

The second will be enforcement and cleanup, which is under way, with Newlan showing several before and after photos of industrial park businesses that took care of issues.

The enforcement of ordinances include overgrown grass, unregistered vehicles, overflow of garbage in Dumpsters and storage of junk.

The third tier is addressing zoning issues, which Carr discussed. This could be a problem, since many of these buildings are 40-plus years old.

“Many of these buildings are non-conforming structures where green space has been removed and fencing added,” said Todd Koskinas, owner of Cape Jewelry and Pawn. “We’re dealing with 40-year-old technology and there aren’t even any handicapped parking spots.”

The main problem has been the parking, with many abandoned cars and boats in scarce parking spaces. Several business owners stood up to discuss this, as well as the problems of stolen tools, the lack of quality lighting and even mosquitoes.

Another problem was between the CCPD and code enforcement regarding who has the authority to do anything there.

“Give us a chance. We hope to meet our expectations and cooperation is critical to our success,” Newlan said. “You need a response to your requests.”

Karen Hill, who works for Mighty Auto Parts, said they were making progress after years of passing the buck.

“There’s been parking, garbage, dumping, you name it. Before it was code enforcement saying it was a police issue and vice-versa. Nobody wanted to make a difference,” Hill said. “I’m excited all these people are here and we’re still growing.”

Erbrick said it’s a good start..

“I figured there would still be questions and concerns and I think we have the beginning of a plan. Our job now is to make sure we follow through with the plan,” Erbrick said. “Everyone here has said there hasn’t been the follow through. This time we’re looking to change that.”