Plans to develop hundreds of single family homes on an abandoned golf course in Cape Coral have came to an abrupt halt Monday.
An application by Florida Gulf Ventures LLC., to change the land use permit for the abandoned golf course failed Monday in a 4-4 split vote.
D.R. Horton has been working with Florida Gulf Ventures on a deal to purchase the land; however, Horton abruptly pulled out of the deal Monday, just an hour prior to the meeting.
For four hours, council members listened to oral arguments from critics and reps for Florida Gulf Ventures.
“You know it’s a vital link in the future development of this downtown area,” said one resident during the public comment segment of the meeting.
Residents wore green to show their support to keep the golf course as a green space for recreational use. Even a former Cape Coral mayor showed up for the debate.
“Will it make life better or worse; that’s the question you have to ask yourself,” said Joe Mazurkiewicz, Former Cape Coral Mayor.
Critics argued building on the 175-acre lot would create less revenue for the city than a park.
“If single family residential is such a big boom for city of Cape Coral we ought to be rolling in money because that’s all we got!” said Mazurkiewicz.
An attorney for Florida Gulf Ventures threatened litigation if the city voted denied their request to a land use change. He also suggested the city could buy the land at residential market value.
“The city will own the property and they’ll pay the fair market value of the property,” said Richard D. Yovanovich, attorney for Florida Gulf Ventures.
As some council members voted yes to the request, some in the audience were visibly upset. At one point several people turned their backs to council members.
“If the denial goes through tonight it’s very probably Florida Gulf Ventures, maybe Ryan Companies, maybe D.R Horton, they’ll sue us,” said Council member Marilyn Stout.
As it stands, the land will remain a parks and recreational zone.