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“We’re not giving up”: Group's petition against Jaycee Park plans falls short

The Cape Coral Preservation Pac’s petition against the redevelopment of Jaycee Park falls short of it’s 22,000 signature goal
Posted at 9:28 PM, Apr 19, 2024

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Cape Coral’s Jaycee Park redevelopment plan has been a hot topic for our community since we began reporting on it May last year.

In January, we told you about a group that formed to fight the plan by trying to get it on the November ballot.

Fox 4’s Austin Schargorodski went to the park because we just found out the group didn’t get enough signatures.

A table in Jaycee Park filled with signed petitions against it's redevelopment.
A table in Jaycee Park filled with signed petitions against it's redevelopment.

A table completely filled with stacks of signed petitions sat at the center of Jaycee Park on Friday. Claire Dooley with the Cape Coral Preservation Pac said the petition needed 22,000 signatures to get on the ballot.

“Our group of bipartisan volunteers gathered over 7,700 initiatives about the park and over 7,350 initiates about the stipends,” said Dooley.

That’s far short of what they needed. The group is fighting a plan that would add food trucks, live music space and a restaurant to Jaycee Park.

“We’re a little disappointed, but we’re not giving up,” Dooley stated.

Claire Dooley of the Cape Coral Preservation Pac.
Claire Dooley of the Cape Coral Preservation Pac.

Which is not really a surprise if you know how passionate this group has been from the beginning.

For the past year we’ve watched council meetings turn into chaos over this - with some people even getting removed from meetings for getting too heated.

Man being removed from Cape Coral City Council meeting.
Man being removed from Cape Coral City Council meeting.

Now, Dooley says the Cape Coral Preservation Pac will meet Saturday to talk about their next step.

“We can refile these initiatives - start from the beginning and have another 90 days to get these signed. We can pursue other options. But, we just want the city council to know that a lot of people are unhappy about the way they’re steering the city, and we’re not going away,” said Dooley.

“In its natural state it’s a tranquil place,” said a Cape Coral Preservation Pac group member who came to the park.

“Just enjoy nature, and there are so few places left like this,” said Dooley.

A serene scene at Jaycee Park.
A serene scene at Jaycee Park.