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September 26, 2019 @ 6:30 pm
Social Time starts at 6:30pm, the Meeting starts at 7pm
General Meeting (Open to All
Northwest Regional Library
519 Chiquita Blvd. N. Cape Coral, FL 33993
October 10, 2023 - 6:30 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.
With Guest Speaker:
Mayor John Gunter!
Don Apking -UEP Public Works Committee
Lessons Learned and Information Package
Development Review Committee Chairman
7 Islands Project “Gulf Gateway” update
Coral Grove “Town Center” update
Waterway Committee Chairman
Key Ditch Rock Removal
Key Ditch NW Trail -Two Pines to Crystal Lake
Minimum Wake Buoys N Spreader
NWNA President’s End of Meeting Comments
Jerry Smith, President
Promotion of NWNA Community Social on Nov. 9th!
“Meet and Greet new neighbors, developers, elected officials, city staff,
and business community leaders who are shaping the future of NW Cape”
Join Us to Learn More!
Presidents Updates for August 2023
The heat index this summer in many areas of Cape Coral has been unprecedented. As a matter of fact, I had the opportunity to go offshore into the Gulf of Mexico to find 92-degree surface water temperatures 27 miles due west, from Boca Grande Pass. Heading back home, my Garmin navigation system displayed a 102-water temperature in Matlacha Pass heading south toward the bridge, last week.
Excessive heat can slow your pace or take your will to get things done. NOT the case here with our loyal group of volunteers serving the NWNA.
Since our May 2023 General Open Meeting featuring Interim City Manager, Mike Ilczyszyn, much has been accomplished. This President's Update will be quite extensive, so get comfortable here at home or at your summer residence abroad.
In June, we met with Mike Ilczyszyn at City Hall to pursue permitting from Florida DEP to grant signage installation and maintenance work in “The Key Ditch”. This initial phase of work is required to establish a marked canal access pathway from Crystal Lake to the Two Pines channel in Charlotte Harbor. This project will extend the Calusa Blueway Kayak trail to Crystal Lake Park, a boat, and kayak launch, which is in the bidding process. To complete this work, additional permitting for the pruning of hurricane-damaged mangrove branches overhanging into The Key Ditch impacting egress will need to be addressed to create unobstructed access.
On August 7th, Mike and I visited with the Interim Manager of Charlotte Harbor, Nicky Ross from Florida DEP to discuss the signage permitting and work in The Key Ditch. The office visit ended with a site visit tour of Crystal Lake, NWNA proposed “Trappers Trail” which connects Crystal Lake's northern walkway with the City of Cape Coral’s property on the shore of Charlotte Harbor. The tour ended at the entry to The Key Ditch on the Spreader Canal just south of Jacaranda Parkway at the end of NW 31st Street. Permit Applications are to be filed with FLDEP.
NWNA has received funding and permission to remove rocks in The Key Ditch to prevent damage to shallow draft boats. The donation and funding were made possible by Ed Stafford, the developer of proposed community North Cape Estates on the spreader canal between NW 42nd Place and NW 41st Ave off Gulfstream Parkway. The contractor A-1 Seawalls and Docks provided a very budget conscious bid to provide the work. THANK YOU, ED STAFFORD, AND A-1 SEAWALLS for supporting NWNA and our members. This work will be scheduled in a few weeks. NWNA Waterways Chairman, John Bashaw was responsible for the fundraising, securing the contractor and provided the vision for “The Trappers Trail”.
Permits for Crystal Lake Park development have been received and all work is out to BID. Please review the site plan at Crystal Lake on the Cape Coral City website for the most recent renderings. Please focus on the boat ramp and launch egress into the spreader canal system. This will be an area of public use to include restrooms and facilities. If you have visited or utilized the Burnt Store Boat Ramp just south of Embers Parkway off Burnt Store Road (almost 6 miles to the south) , you will undoubtedly realize this existing boat ramp can be a busy place at times. Having additional access to the spreader at Crystal Lake Park on Caloosa Parkway will fill a void for those who wish to enjoy boating or kayaking in our quiet waters of the northern Lee County boarder spreader waterway. This new remote access offers wonderful recreation opportunities.
On July 11th, our District Council Member- Keith Long addressed our members and neighbors at the NWNA General Membership meeting held at the Kiwanis Club facility on Santa Barbara Blvd. The “Town Hall” style meeting provided all attendees the opportunity to engage in a one-on-one dialogue. Burnt Store Road corridor commercial zoning and Pine Island Road development dominated the subject matter. Standing in front of a crowd and handling rapid-fire questions and comments without a moderator for 60 solid minutes can be grueling. Those of you reading this who attended, know I tried to step in and give Keith a break. He was just fine relentlessly moving forward to handle everyone’s comments and questions. We are lucky to have Keith on our side representing the residents in the NW Cape. We have been represented well and the leadership of NWNA and Keith remain in close contact on the issues. Mayor Gunter attended our meeting to spend time listening to the concerns raised by attendees. We appreciated his support and for attending.
Watch the July 11th meeting Video - Click Here
Cape Coral Police Department was represented. Members of the newly formed “Cape Coral Community Policing Unit” attended and educated attendees of this new initiative established by the department
I was asked to speak at the August 10th, Southwest Cape Coral Action Committee (SWCCAC)-General Members Meeting at The Omelet Shop in Cape Coral. Steve Collins, President of SWCCAC introduced me to the membership and my presentation was geared toward seeking residents to show up at City Council Meetings to support or oppose important issues. Consider volunteering or being part of a committee. Don’t Be a Wasn’t- quoting Dr. Suess. I made it clear that the NWNA is open to exploring synergistic collaboration with the SWCCAC. The NWNA is forging new relationships with Interim City Manager, Mike Ilczyszyn and Florida DEP. Together we can work toward the protection and preservation of the estuary and find responsible ways to expand the recreational use of our waterways.
Don Apking, President of Friends of Cape Coral Environment, Non-Profit 501 (c) 3 announced with Council Member- District 2, Dan Sheppard of a planned partnership to reduce the costs of Median Beautification. “A million dollars per mile” cost index was shared, to accommodate the costs associated with development, irrigation, and installation of plant material of medians. Plans are in the works to significantly reduce this burden. Toward this end, we learned through Dan Shepard the city has invested in curb machines to cut costs with the reliance of outside contractors. DPW will be trained and utilize the new equipment.
Council Member, Dan Sheppard shared an interesting point that really resonated with me. Dan mentioned the importance and impact of any effort to increase the value of residential homes in our city. Many of our residents and members in NW Cape have voiced displeasure of the abundance of dollar store and storage unit development. I have been a vocal opponent. The increase of the median price of homes in a community greatly impacts marketing demographics. Reaching a certain plateau on the median price index scale deters future development of these types of applications. There is also data supporting the closures of existing stores. Important factors for us to consider. SMART Development in the NW Pine Island Corridor and along Burnt Store Road North is paramount.
Many good things have come from our May 2023 General Membership Meeting with Mike Ilczyszyn. The working relationship with the Florida DEP is promising, as I mentioned in the past paragraphs. We also requested NWNA representation at the 7 Islands Development Meetings held each month with Forest Development and the Economic Development City Staff of Cape Coral. After securing permission from the developer, we were invited to these important meetings. Development Review Committee Chairman, John Smart and I attended our first meeting in August 2023.
I believe we were well received. Our goal is to offer guidance and collaboration on a true local level to help produce the greatest waterfront community in all of SW Florida. A special destination offering access to marine life, estuary life and offering a Florida lifestyle, until now, found only in a dream.
Keep in mind that the 7 Islands property has not officially closed yet. A significant investment in engineering studies on land and in the waterways has been realized. The takeaway from our first meeting is the developer has demonstrated a commitment to attention to detail. The architect is very engaged and seems to bring the project to life as he shares his vision. John Smart and I will share information as it becomes available from the developer and this city.
In early November, NWNA is planning an evening indoor/ outdoor social gathering at an area restaurant. On our invitation list to engage with NWNA Members and neighbors of our community will include-
- Developers Defining NW Cape
- Business Leaders
- Elected City Officials
- Elected County Officials
- Advocacy and Civic Groups
I look forward to seeing you at our next General Membership Meeting this fall. Stay cool and stay connected.
Kind Regards, Jerry
General Membership Meeting RECAP- May 2023
Once again, in my office at 7:02 AM sipping coffee and reminiscing about our meeting the other night. My first Open Public Meeting as president and we attracted more attendees than expected. New rows of seating seem to appear in the blink of an eye, just before commencement. Thank you all for pitching in! I noticed the press, some new faces, neighbors, and family members. These gatherings are so important for our members and residents to obtain “unfiltered and pure information” on important issues impacting our way of life in NW Cape.
Click the link below to see the video of our meeting
Interim Cape Coral City Manager, Michael Ilczyszyn, provided answers. He handled all our questions in a lighthearted, cordial way. This resonated with the crowd. It did not take long for everyone to settle in.
Michael was invited to present a new interactive map outlining economic development projects in the city which was recently released out of his office. This is a tremendous asset for our Development Review Committee. Progress of development projects can be followed daily. Upon completion of the presentation, Michael graciously agreed to stay with us for the entire meeting. This was much appreciated. He jumped back into many discussions and was invited to close out our meeting. He smiled.
Link to Interactive map Click Here
Our members were delighted by the announcement of the formation of the NW Cape Waterways Action Committee, led by our immediate past president of NWNA- John Bashaw. This committee was formed to respond to the overwhelming request of our members to create a direct access pathway (EXIT) from the North Spreader Canal directly to Charlotte Harbor. John's presentation discussed three options under consideration. It was agreed that all three options are needed however, option 1 presents the least path of resistance and will be the focus for the near term. The path for Option 1 may be viewed using the link below:
Link to Option 1 Path
John’s presentation included an immediate request for funding from members and the business community to remove large rocks blocking boat egress in the KEY DITCH. A contractor has been secured to provide this service. The Key Ditch was utilized prior to Hurricane Ian by (shallow draft) boaters to directly access Charlotte Harbor. The entrance to Key Ditch is located just south of Jacaranda Parkway in the North Spreader and the exit to Charlotte Harbor is at Two Pines Channel. A Request for a Proposal from a qualified contractor will be pursued to prune and trim mangroves hanging in the Key Ditch waterway. This work and other maintenance will be pursued under a maintenance permit held by the city. Installing Paddling Trail markers to identify The Calusa Blueway Trail can also assist boater navigation departing the Key Ditch and entering open areas and islands approaching the Two Pines channel to Charlotte Harbor. This project can benefit kayakers and boaters of Cape Coral and all of Lee County.
Again, special thanks to the Interim, Cape Coral City Manager, Michael Ilczyszyn for attending and remaining on site after the meeting to handle many one-on-one discussions. Much appreciated! Having Michael Ilczyszyn at the meeting gave him the opportunity to understand our needs and to educate us on the jurisdiction of our waterways, and the limitations and opportunities involving this project.
Jerry Smith, President-NWNA
Presidents General Membership Meeting RECAP
March 14th, 2023 – Northwest Regional Library, Cape Coral
I am at my desk enjoying a cup of coffee this morning, following a very successful meeting last evening. The meeting was a success mainly due to the fact; I made it out alive. All kidding aside, your passion and voices were heard and were truly welcome.
If you attended this “Members Only” meeting, it is my hope that you left with a renewed spirit. This morning, I was elated to find a few emails from members who want to volunteer on committees.
Ahead of this meeting, NWNA prepared and tabulated the results of our 2023 Focus Project Survey which highlighted; Utility Expansion, 7 Islands, NW Spreader Exit, and Beautification. NW Spreader Canal Exit was the #1 Top Priority and received the largest margin of votes. Winning easily by a three-to-one margin.
My highlights from the evening:
- As the night progressed, we came together as neighbors.
- The show of hands in the room overwhelmingly supported and validated the results of our survey, moving the NW Spreader Canal Exit into the #1 position and primary NWNA Focus Project for 2023. Overwhelming vocal support.
- Watching the emotions and reactions of our members ranging from disbelief and euphoria during an extensive Development Committee presentation revealing renderings of the many large projects coming to the Pine Island Road Corridor.
- Members responding to our need for additional help and willingness to come together more often.
I must admit, going into my first meeting as president……I had no idea what I was getting into. Just before my introduction, I left the podium to welcome my wife seating in the crowd. One gentleman mentioned to my wife “you may have to go up and save him”.
The evening was a success. Our simple goal was to extract the collective voice of our members. The only way we could achieve this was to create an atmosphere in which people felt comfortable speaking freely.
I believe we accomplished this. I look forward to our next meeting which most of us felt should be more frequent. More social events will be planned and seem to be well received.
Thank you for coming out in support!
Jerry Smith, President NWNA
Thank You for Watching!
Come Join Us and See what We've Been Working On
Save the Date
When: Saturday, Dec 4, 2021
Where: Tropicana Park
Time: 10:00 AM
What to Bring: Hat with a visor, a Lawn Chair, Water, and an Umbrella for shade if you wish.
Our next membership meeting is scheduled for December 4, 2021, at 10:00 AM at Tropicana Park. The 90-minute outdoor event will be a great opportunity for us to connect again and for me to update you on the priorities we agreed to at our last meeting. I'm pleased to announce our Mayor, John Gunter, will be our guest speaker.
During the meeting, we will update you on progress on our top initiatives, announce the results of our officer elections, and bring you up to speed on many of the developments in NW Cape Coral.
I hope to see you all there. I promise you will leave with the information you did not have when you arrived.
Mayor John Gunter
Here is what we plan on discussing at this meeting:
Utilities Expansion Project (UEP)
North Spreader Waterway Exit (Feasibility Study)
Beautification, Safety, Lights, Walkways, etc.
We have all been very busy and can't wait to share what we've been doing.
John Bashaw provides us with more details about this event.
The NWNA will use Tropicana Park as its base for our members and neighbors to check in for the Clean the Cape event taking place on Saturday, April 24th.
Waste Pro will stage dumpsters there for us to fill and you can collect whatever supplies you will need before heading out for the day. Keep Lee County Beautiful and the City of Cape Coral will also be there to join the event and help out. Some equipment and helpers will also be there to assist.
If you have an NWNA T-shirt from a previous event, please wear it. We will have NWNA Event T-shirts funded by Sam Yaffee, trash bags, safety supplies, and NWNA Board Members will be on-site to help. Make sure you do NOT wear open-toed shoes and please bring your sunscreen. The event will run until noon.
If you have a truck or trailer and can help your neighbors get rid of waste, please do so and bring it to Tropicana Park on the 24th.
Let's all work together and get this one done!
Watch for more details............!
John Bashaw, President of the NWNA (Northwest Cape Coral Neighborhood Association) review details from the 7 Island Cleanup Initiative and talks about how the City of Cape Coral will be involved at the next NWNA Member Meeting.
Our February 18th meeting was held in our new location, Lee County Public Library, Northwest Regional, 519 Chiquita Blvd. N., Cape Coral, FL 33993. We had 200+ members and guests in attendance. The meeting was opened by President, John Bashaw. The topics for the meeting were updates on the UEP; Seven Islands, Myriad Luxury Motorcoach Resort, NW Cut-Through study, and the Tropicana Park Issues. Vice President, Dennis Winchester provided updates to the UEP project. Updates were provided on the remaining subjects and then the remainder of the meeting concentrated on the Tropicana Park Issues. President, John Bashaw opened up the floor to input from members and guests in attendance. This is a very sensitive subject with lots of different views. It was an interesting discussion.