Lee County set to decide likely fate of land along Cape Coral preserve

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Credit: WINK News.

Southeast Cape Coral neighbors continue to voice their concerns for the destruction of mangroves along the Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve.

And developer D.R. Horton continues with its plans to build hundreds of new homes on the land neighbors hope to protect. Many Cape Coral residents near the site have kept signs up for months near the area that say no to the developer.

The fate of the land will likely be decided at the beginning of 2020, as Lee County’s Conservation Land Acquisition and Stewardship Advisory Committee (CLASAC) is set to make a recommendation to Board of County Commissioners of Lee County, which will then make a final decision.

Among neighbors who want to stave off development, there are also those who look forward to the planned development. Neighbor John Meyer is all for it.

“I don’t have any issue with it,” Meyer said.

Meyer lives just down the street from the planned development. As for the wildlife in the neighboring Four Mile Cove, Meyer said they already have a home.

“It’s, to me, not that large of a piece of property,” said. “And Four Mile Cove is already protected for wildlife and everything else. I don’t think it would hurt the property values.”

Many of Meyer’s neighbors disagree, and they’ve posted signs along the streets near the proposed development that say, “No to D.R. Horton.”

For Christine Zwaan, the ecological preserve is her backyard. She argues building anywhere near it would be detrimental

“Anytime you’re building, you’re bringing more pollution,” Zwaan said.

CLASAC is scheduled to meet Jan. 9 to make its recommendation to Lee County commissioners. If the county buys the land, it will be preserved. If commissioners pass, development is likely to occur.

We first reported on land near the preserve in July when city workers ripped up mangroves around the Coral Pointe Canal as part of Cape Coral’s shoreline restoration project. A spokesperson told us the city is working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the property owner on a restoration plan.

“Cape is a beautiful area,” Zwaan said. “I know it’s booming, but we need to just have land available.”

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