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"People aren't going to walk that far": Folks irate over Cape yacht club garage

Fox 4's Bella Line attended Tuesday's public meeting about the Yacht Club Master Plan and saw firsthand how residents got fired up over parking issues.
Posted at 11:18 PM, May 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-07 23:18:20-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — "What do we need all the parking spots for?"

A question many at Tuesday's workshop meeting had and had some seniors in the crowd demanding answers.

"People aren't going to walk that far," said Tony Adinolfi, a Cape Coral resident. "It seems like it's not far but it's far when you want to go eat."

City of Cape Coral Yacht club meeting
Residents listen pensively as presenters discuss the master plan for the new and improved Cape Coral Yacht Club on May 7, 2024. Several residents were upset over the parking garage, how far it was from key buildings on the site, and the notion of paying to park.

"That far" is 1,060 feet from the new garage to the boat house. It was the one thing in this master plan that caught everyone's attention and angst.

"You're not going to be able to park and this idea of a drop-off.... Yeah, like somebody's going to drop people off and then have to go all the way to the parking garage, wait for a bus, get a bus or walk over... in 90-degree heat. Are you kidding? There's no point," said Laurie Lehmann, resident.

City of Cape Coral Yacht Club plans map walk
The Master Plan for the new and improved Cape Coral Yacht Club illustrates the length of the walk from the new parking garage to the boathouse. The distance upset several seniors in attendance, as did the notion that they might have to pay for parking.

"You can walk there if you're a young person, three to four minutes, and have a talk, but if you're an older person, it may take you 10 minutes and it's gonna be a deterrent," said Robert Sutter, a resident.

City staff and architects didn't have many solutions to offer but promised residents that they were heard, including their concerns about paying for that far-away parking garage.

"That's pathetic," said Lehman. "Our taxes aren't high enough. When are they going to get their hands out of our pockets?"

City of Cape Coral Yacht Club current view
A current view of the Cape Coral Yacht Club area more than a year after Hurricane Ian.

Despite the debate over how to get to the Yacht Club, there were other improvements that were well-received, including the club's Key West theme - and of course - its ability to stand up to the next hurricane.

"Some of the regulations have changed so the building is going to be elevated, a little higher than the previous building, and everything will be designed to be hurricane resistant, meet all the building codes and we're raising the sea wall a couple of feet to provide some more flood protection," said Dave Hyyti, City of Cape Coral.

Click here for the Yacht Club rebuild plans.