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Cape Coral residents concerned over proposed new car wash over canal

Posted at 9:20 AM, Jan 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-12 09:20:28-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Cape Coral residents are voicing their frustration about a new car wash that is set to be developed over a canal near their homes.

They're saying that it would be an eyesore and bad for wildlife in the area.

“The city of Cape Coral doesn’t care about the residents. We pay taxes, we should have at least been offered to come to a meeting to tell us what was coming here,” says resident Rose Thom.

Thom was outraged when she heard that eighty feet of the canal outside her home on Santa Barbara and Kamal Parkway would be filled for a new Tommy's car wash.

“We have manatees in the canal, dolphins, and abundance of other wildlife,” explains Thom.

She argues that the car wash isn't needed.

“We already have five, I believe, downtowner car washes. We have one down the street right from us.”

She tells Fox 4 that she's tried to contact the city of Cape Coral, but didn't get very far.

“I talked to the zoning person, Bob Peterson, and he said there was absolutely nothing we could do.”

It's frustrating for Thom, who says there's been a lack of transparency in the process.

“I can’t believe the army corp of engineers actually were involved in this and they approved the permit, also the Florida water management.”

Remax owns the property, and has told Thom and her neighbors that they will talk to the new buyers - but she can't even find out who they are.

“She said that she will voice us - you know, we’re all against this - to the person, I don’t even know who’s buying it. I can’t even get that information.”

As a resident for over 25 years, she says the car wash is a prime example of over-development.

“Years ago they told us that nothing like that would ever be allowed. No gas stations or certain things that would be an eyesore or harmful.”

She says she's prepared to have her voice heard one way or another.

“We want it to stop, and we’re going to do everything we can. If we have to stand out here with signs saying save the manatees, we will.”