Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cape mayor wants control of vacant Golf Club

Posted: May 28, 2013 3:34 PM EDTUpdated: May 28, 2013 7:09 PM EDT
An eyesore is at the center of controversy in Cape Coral. A developer bought the Golf Club years ago with big plans. But after a judge ruled in the city's favor in a suit over rezoning the property, it's back to square one.
We found out what's next for the forgotten piece of land.
The Golf Club was once considered the crown jewel of the Cape. Tuesday, we learned the city's mayor says it may be time to take control of the land and it's fate.
"It's disheveled. It's not kept up," said Cape resident Herbert Ruescher.
Dry grass and brittle brush now cover what's left of the Golf Club. Those who live nearby, like Ruescher, say the piece of property is a source of constant aggravation.
"They get away with murder. I don't understand it," he said.

A lawsuit over the property's future ended last week - leaving the real estate in limbo again. Investors wanted a large scale development, something Cape Coral nixed from happening.
Cape Coral Mayor John Sullivan says he wants change - even if that means taking the land.
"I think we could get a real pod shot, an economic shot in the arm, if we play our cards right," he said.
In an interview with us, Mayor Sullivan suggested a trade for the property with other city-owned real estate.
Once in the Cape's inventory, he says he dreams big of botanical gardens, a band shell and a satellite university on the defunct course.
"You'd add a lot of culture to the city and create a destination," he said.

And if those wishes prove to be too far-reaching, neighbors say they'd be happy to settle for a better view.
"I'd like to look out my backyard and see anything but green and a golf course," said neighbor Ron Wendy.
For now, the big question is whether the developer will appeal the court's decision, which sided with the Cape. We don't know the answer at this point.
Multiple calls to the company and their lawyers went unanswered.

But the one thing that has been made very clear is that many of those living next to the old course want it cleaned up.

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