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City council votes to move forward with revised Yacht Club master plan

Posted at 12:00 AM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 00:15:12-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — The City of Cape Coral moves forward with a revised master plan for the Cape Coral Yacht Club.

City Council voted Monday night to approve the 36-million dollar revised renovation project.

This decision sparked a lengthy discussion at Monday's city council meeting, with several people voicing concerns over the project’s safety features.

“We’re happy to see the area be renovated and rejuvenated, speaking for all of us, we ask that our lifestyles and property be secured,” said a resident during Monday night's meeting.

The big concern among residents was the need for a security barrier.

“It’s far better to compromise esthetics than to compromise the safety of the vessels or their owners that are funding these improvements,” said Stephany Helper.

Right now, a fence surrounds the boats in the marina, but the new design does not include a security barrier — something that worries Stephany Helper, who lives at the Cape Coral Yacht Club.

“Right now, we have to have a gate key to get in and out, and that’s what makes it so secure,” said Helper.

But project staff say a fence can be easily be addressed, and it’s something they will continue to work on.

Another concern was the new location for the boat ramp.

“We do want everyone to remember that the yacht club is in our backyards, off our lanais, off of our bedrooms, we have to look at and live with whatever y’all decide to do to that park," said a resident.

Cape Coral City Council is moving forward with approving a revised design concept plan that relocates the boat ramp to the yacht basin instead of the canal as initially proposed.

“When the boat ramp is open if we could do dawn to sunset, something where we don’t put them right in the backyard at midnight,” said a resident.

In total, the project is now estimated to cost about $36 million, with $14 million coming from ‘go bond’ money.

That's a 2.28 million dollar increase from the design presented last month. Project staff says the increase is to accommodate changes.

“That includes some additional sea wall demo and seawall reconstruction in the very southwest corner of the park.”

A three-story parking garage is also part of the plan, with a projected $2 fee to park per hour.

Revenue from the parking garage and yacht basin going towards refunding the additional costs of the project.

“I can foresee some problems, but we’ll just have to deal with them as they come along,” said Councilman Rick Williams.

The renovation project also includes additional boat slips, a splash pad, and a building for the Cape Coral Police Marine Unit.

“We need to make sure as we move through this project that we have solid communication to come up with not only what council wants to see moving forward but the residents who live over in that area,” said Mayor Joe Coviello.