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'HOO' WANTS TO SELL? The City of Cape Coral could purchase your property for Burrowing Owls

Burrowing owl property grant
Posted at 4:16 PM, Feb 27, 2024

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — On Tuesday, Janet Windisch, Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife said the City of Cape Coral could be the first city to receive the Florida Fish and Wildlife’s (FWC) Burrowing Owl Protection Grant.

The grant would allow the City of Cape Coral to purchase vacant properties and turn them into homes for the owls.

“This money is coming from situations where burrowing owl habitat has been destroyed for homes,” said Windisch.

It comes from the fee developers pay to relocate the owls.

“So the maximum is $900,000 once it all gets finalized and the grant is implemented the City of Cape Coral along with help from Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife will be able to start purchasing the land and then we will find out exactly how much money is sent,” said Windisch.

On Tuesday, Windisch said the City of Cape Coral was one step closer to finalizing the deal with the state, Windisch said the city council just needs to vote on it.

In a presentation at a Cape Coral Workshop, committee members were told after properties were acquired, the City’s Parks and Recreation Natural Area Division will be responsible for the maintenance and monitoring of each property, and for reporting Burrowing Owl activity to FWC.

Cape Coral city leaders said several property owners in North Cape Coral had already told the city they were interested in selling.

“Usually we purchase them in areas that aren't as expensive...So they don't have to be lots on the canal which might be more attractive to home buyers but they could be lots landlocked but the owls really like it,” said Windisch.

In a presentation to the Cape Coral Council, it was said they hope for the city. is to be closing on plots of land by May 2024.