Cape Coral wants to annex 12 parts of Lee County

Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
lee county enclaves
Credit: WINK News

Cape Coral wants to swallow up 12 parts of Lee County and make them part of the city. But with new land comes a new set of rules and more bills to pay.

So, how do those that live in these 12 parts of Lee County feel about this? Some property owners see the advantages of becoming part of Cape Coral. But, many fear stricter ordinances and higher taxes.

Cape Coral is already the largest city in Southwest Florida, but city leaders want to increase its size. Cape Coral City Manager Roberto Hernandez said this week that the city should try to annex 12 different land parcels called enclaves.

They are part of Lee County, even though they surround Cape Coral. “And that makes it extremely challenging and inefficient for the city to plan appropriately,” Hernandez said.

For example, when the city wants to extend its water and sewer services, it must work around these enclaves. Or, when someone calls 911, who responds? – Lee County or Cape Coral?

Jay Johnson owns Bubba’s Roadhouse and Saloon. He’s currently part of what’s known as Enclave six, but he doesn’t want to be part of Cape Coral.

“We’ve been happy with the services provided by Lee County. We have no reason to go anywhere else,” Johnson said.

Tony Ferrera lives in Enclave 12. This neighborhood has 41 single-family homes and eight duplexes located just south of Pondella Road and west of NE 25th Ave.

Ferrara isn’t interested in living under the Cape’s rules either. “It’s whether… it’s what you parked in your driveway, or how much your taxes are, or even like the cost of living,” said Ferrara.

“Cape Coral taxes are higher than unincorporated Lee County,” said Johnson. “And that doesn’t take into account that fire service assessment and other assessments and permits that would be required by the city.”

Cape Coral leaders hope to decide if and which enclaves they’re like to annex by Aug. 1. That would give them enough time to craft legislation that, if passed, could allow those pieces of land to be added to Cape Coral city limits.

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