Popular boating spot could face new rules and regulations

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Cape Coral is making plans to make Bimini Basin a top destination with shops and restaurants, but many homeowners are having some big problems with it.

The popular spot flies under the radar with virtually no rules for boats. Neighbors say dozens of boats anchor in the area with no regulations.

“No questions asked. They just come here. They stay here. Sometimes they park within 25 or 30 feet of your property because there are no restrictions, there are no guidelines,” said resident Frank Dethlefsen.

And it’s something that worries many of the homeowners along the water.

“In Hurricane Irma, I stayed here. And there were a lot of boats out here and I was always worried about some of them coming loose. Did they have insurance? What if they hit my property or my boat? What happens?” said neighbor Charles McNeil.

The South Cape Redevelopment Agency will hold a public meeting Tuesday to talk about adding a privately-run mooring field in the basin. Proponents say it would create some much-needed rules.

“I think it’s a good idea that we have some control over this Bimini Basin. And so my understanding is having a mooring field allows more regulation…I’m for that. Because this is our backyard, actually. And we want to have something to say about it,” McNeil said.

But others say the boats are fine where they are.

“Well I think they’re beautiful the way they are right at the moment. I like the view,” said neighbor Nancy Abele.

Abele is worried the mooring field will make it harder to enjoy the basin’s beauty from the shore.

“I think it will take away from the view for other people. All you’ll see is boats. It takes away from the beautiful city of Cape Coral,” Abele said.

But homeowners say it’s a necessary step.

“We don’t have a problem with them being here, we just want accountability. We want to know where they drop their waste, how often do they drop their human waste, and that the city gets some tax dollars out of that even if it’s minimal,” Deethlefsen said.

The public meeting to talk about regulating Bimini Basin will be held Tuesday at 5 p.m. inside the Community Redevelopment Agency on Chester Street.

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