Matlacha annexation battle moves to court of appeals

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Photo: WINK News

After years of protests, petitions and lots of passion, the Matlacha Civic Association’s case against Cape Coral has now made it to the Second District Court of Appeals in Tampa.

Residents have been fighting to keep Matlacha from being annexed by Cape Coral, and now they may be closing in on a solution.

The City of Cape Coral already owns the land and has been trying to bring it into city limits, but neighbors believe that if annexed, the small piece of land along Pine Island Road will just be turned into developments.

The fight is about saving the land and the water quality near it.

“Matlacha is a old fishing village with a lot of history but it’s like a small community,” said Eric Sundstad of Matlacha.

They are hoping that the Court of Appeals will reverse the decision and it will go back to Judge Kyle who will then decided on the merit of the annexation.

Earlier this year a Lee County judge dismissed Michael Hannon and the Civic Association’s petition against the City of Cape Coral for it’s annexation.

“Just can’t use the statute to block out the group of people who have the most important interest in this land and not let them have a say,” Hannon said.

Neighbors fear what might happen if zoning changes are made.

“A private developer can come in and build a 12-story apartment building,” Hannon said.

A Tampa judge heard the Civic Association’s case yesterday and next the City will get it’s chance.

WINK News did reach out to Cape Coral. The City cannot comment on ongoing lawsuits.

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