Matlacha residents protest recent Cape Coral annexation vote

Posted at 10:31 AM, Dec 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-19 07:11:31-05

MATLACHA, Fla-- Dozens of protestors lined the Matlacha bridge on Saturday over fears of future development and irreversible damage to the environment. The protestors are upset with Cape Coral City Council's recent 4-3 vote to approve the annexation of about 5.4 acres of land along Pine Island Road. 

"We want Matlacha to stay the same," said resident Birdi Smock. 

Many who oppose the decision to annex the land fear a quiet lifestyle will soon be replaced by high rise buildings and boat ramps. 

"They want to put three to five boat ramps on the land they bought and it's just not a safe place there's already a boat ramp there," said resident Rachi Farrow.

Matlacha and Pine Island residents also fear increased traffic both on land and on the water.

"We are very concerned about the estuary and the animal and sea life that lives there," said Smock.

The City of Cape Coral recently issued a statement:

"This annexation is bringing six parcels of land owned by the City of  Cape Coral into the City limits. The parcels must be annexed into Cape Coral for the City's zoning and land use regulations to apply. The property is contiguous to the City boundary, and this annexation process has been vetted through legal channels at the City and County levels."

However, protestors said they aren't satisfied with Cape Coral's decision and will continue to oppose any future changes to the area. 

"We don't want Cape Coral, we don't want Cape Coral zoning, we are Pine Island and we are going to probably leave Lee County and start our own government so we have a voice," said Farrow.

The group said for now they are going to continue protesting the decision in hopes of the city council either reversing its decision or finding a compromise with protestors.