CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Frank Chiodo bought his house on a canal in Southeast Cape Coral to spend his days on the water.
“I’ve been a fisherman all my life, had a boat since I was a kid. All I want to do is get my boat out of the water,” Chiodo said.
Shortly after dock upgrades were complete, Chiodo noticed getting his boat out of the water was a challenge.
“Every time I try to pull the boat out, I have to get another vehicle besides my Chevy Tahoe which should be able to pull a house out of the water, I can’t pull the boat out because it just sinks right into the ground,” Chiodo said.
Cape Coral requires owners to get a permit for docks and boat lifts, followed with an inspection by the city to check for proper installation. But they do not measure the depth of a canal before issuing a permit.
“Why would the city come and inspect it and say it’s okay if I can’t put a boat on it? They should’ve stopped it there. They let me build all this .and the issue is I can’t even take my boat out of the water… and the fix is very simple,” Chiodo said.
Thais Johnson, a realtor at Schooner Bay Realty Inc in Cape Coral, warns boat owners to be cautious before purchasing a home.
“Just make sure they know what your intentions are. What kind of boat do you have, what depth of water do you need,” Johnson said.
Chiodo’s neighbor, Dolores Walters, also feels misled by purchasing a home on the canal where she can’t use a boat.
“I said, what do you mean boats aren’t allowed here? That’s why we moved here and people making docks and buying boats,” Walters said.
The city says boats can travel through all canals in Cape Coral, but travel distance varies.