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Cape Coral continues push for annexation of properties in Matlacha

By Staff | Nov 1, 2019

To the editor:

Welcome to Ground Hog Day in Cape Coral. On the annexation front, Cape Coral has now hired the Tampa law firm of Manson Bolves to reinvigorate the lost bid for annexation of lots in Matlacha. This is the same firm that Cape Coral paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to oppose our lawsuit to keep the Chiquita Lock (no decision from the court; overdue by months.) Manson Bolves now say to Judge Kyle: we think you did not mean what you said; we think you meant that we could have a “do-over” before the City Council; and then come back to you for approval of Annexation.

Manson Bolves also reports to Judge Kyle that Cape Coral “anticipates” presenting new information to the City Council “by the end of the year” and then will come back to Judge Kyle for approval of annexation. Maybe this time the witnesses will be under oath.

Cape Coral residents should be concerned how their tax dollars are being spent on big law firms. The Mayor threw hundreds of thousands of dollars to the same law firm to modify the flow from Lake O and lost. The Petitioners in the annexation are entitled to legal fees, and have presented a petition to Judge Kyle for Cape Coral to pay their fees in the amount of $65,000 to $130,000. Any fees received will replenish the MCA Environmental Fund.

The Board of the Matlacha Civic Association announced at its October meeting that it intends to file a companion lawsuit against Cape Coral to declare purchase and development of the annexed parcels unconstitutional. A city is not permitted to speculate in land development, particularly outside its boundaries. This is an improper use of taxpayer funds.

Why such a big push for annexation? Because Cape Coral hopes to develop the Seven Islands, Serenia Park, and the annexed properties into a little Miami of the West. When it completes killing the mangroves on the Matlacha Estuary Preserve to the west, then it will petition the state to take over those mangroves with manmade canals, fountains, lakes, beaches, marinas, boat launches, swimming pools and high rise hotels and condos.

Will each of the current City Council members publicly declare whether her or she is in favor of all this? After all, the vote in 2016 was 4-3 for annexation, with the proponent of annexation voting NO.

Michael Hannon