Cape Coral residents plead for modular home regulations

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. – Residents say they feel no closer to regulations that would limit modular homes in their neighborhoods after a city council meeting Monday.

One by one, residents pleaded with Cape Coral council members, asking that they create standards for the appearance and construction of homes in Northwest Cape Coral.

Neighbors said they became concerned when construction began on Kismet Parkway and Embers Terrace for homes they believe will devalue property in the area. One local builder and appraiser, Bernie Exposito, said the modular homes taint residents’ investments.

“The thing is we’re investing millions of dollars to better this community and this is what people in Cape Coral are looking for. They’re looking for the waterfront properties, the harmony, the landscapes and with this modular homes bringing to us, is nothing but trouble,” Exposito said.

Aside from worries about property values, neighbors also voiced frustrations about modular homes being a visible eyesore. Rosko joined other residents who said the appearance of modular homes make them a bad fit for Cape Coral.

“You have half a million dollar homes. They should be surrounded by half a million dollar homes,” she said. “They have to blend in. You just cant take a low end, low price modular, that looks like a cheese box with a front door and stick it into an established neighborhood.”

But the modular home developer said several weeks ago that he will continue building the homes as long as there is a demand.

“Guess what, it’s not for everybody. It really isn’t,” said Spencer Raffel, a modular home builder. “We just want to give them the best product we can at an affordable price. And like any business if we can get them a better product at a better price we’re going to sell a few homes.”

While local residents complained, builders weighed in saying that new regulations will make it harder for them to do their jobs. The council said modular home developers plan to improve the standards of future modular homes, but residents want to see more done.

City council members said modular homes and any other homes will continue to be built as long as they have proper permits and meet state standards.

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