Cape Coral neighbors look to protect land bordering ecological preserve

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

After we reported on the mangroves ripped out near a preserve, revealing potential plans for a developer to take over, we are finding out homeowners have a plan of their own.

Neighbors in southeast Cape Coral near the Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve are standing up for nature in their backyards. They want to save the land bordering the preserve from development.

“Our goal is to convince the City of Cape Coral to acquire these lands, add it to the existing Four Mile Cove Eco park,” neighbor Joanne Payne said.

The fight began in July when neighbors and our crews caught city workers ripping out mangroves along the Coral Pointe canal.

MORE: Canal construction mess at Four Mile Cove in Cape Coral

Since then, Florida Department of Environmental Protection has also stepped in to help.

Developer D.R. Horton has filed a proposal with the city to build more than 200 homes on the property the neighbors are trying to save. The land is privately owner, and Cape Coral officials said it’s been zoned for single-family residential use since at least 2002.

As for the issue of mangrove destruction, FDEP told us the city has submitted a detailed restoration plan and could face civil penalties.

MORE: DEP sends Cape Coral warning letter over destroyed mangroves, other violations

The city told us it’s working with FDEP to finalize Cape Coral’s shoreline restoration project.

We reached out to D.R. Horton about it project proposal but have not received a response.

Payne said the fight to preserve the land goes beyond the prevention of residential development.

“We’re thinking about that wildlife that’s out there,” Payne said. “It’s a habitat for endangered and protected species.”

MORE: Construction returns to Four Mile Cove despite DEP warning

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