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Council approves plan for three of four parcels at Four Corners

By Staff | Aug 14, 2019

Cape residents now know there could be as many as 264 multi-family units on three corners of the intersection at Agualinda Boulevard and Beach Parkway.

What will go on the fourth corner of the intersection will be discussed at a later time.

The Cape Coral City Council on Monday unanimously approved an ordinance to allow multi-family housing on three corners of the so-called Four Corners intersection, but delayed a decision concerning the southwest corner so the board can decide whether to allow professional or commercial use there.

Residents packed council chambers to express their concern about that fourth corner, which they believe could end up being home to a gas station or dollar store instead of something they say would be more appropriate for an area that, until now, has been exclusively single-family homes.

Steve Collins, one of the residents in the area, said the commercial corner does not align with the city’s commercial zoning district, in that the intersection is not on a major thoroughfare.

Yolanda Olsen, a local Realtor, conducted a survey with residents and found that a vast majority wanted professional offices to go there.

Russ Whitney, land owner, said he only wants what is best and appropriate for the neighborhood.

“We could have the equivalent of two Edison Malls. The area won’t support a 7-Eleven and this satisfies the need for affordable housing,” Whitney said. “I want to be in line with the community.”

Councilmember John Gunter said he had concerns about what would potentially go there and made the motion to approve the housing, but to hold off on the fourth corner until they get an idea of what will be proposed for the site.

The motion passed unanimously 7-0, with Councilmember Marilyn Stout absent.

Michael Cooper, another of the residents from the area, said the owners have a right to develop the property as they see fit, but that a commercial/professional designation could open a Pandora’s Box.

“That’s where you get the Dollar Generals, the Taco Bells and 7-Elevens, which we don’t need and doesn’t fit in the neighborhood,” Cooper said. “It’s a nice neighborhood and people have done a great job maintaining their homes.”

Whitney thought it was a fair decision by the council.

“It gives the homeowners and the neighborhood time to meld into what the decisions will be. It will take six to nine months for permitting. I think it will work out for the best,” Whitney said.

In other business, City Council approved an ordinance that would set up a medical clinic for employees, their dependents and retirees.

The clinic is expected to save the city more than $4 million over the next three years and should be ready by the beginning of 2020.

Not everyone was happy with the decision. Louis Navarra said in public input that such a clinic is discriminatory and that he should have the same access to health care as the employees, a notion that was shooed away by council.

“This has saved many cities millions of dollars in health costs and in co-pays for families, including where I work in Charlotte County,” Councilmember Dave Stokes said. “It’s been proven. I’m all for it.”