Kevin Black gives us an update on the current status of Tropicana Park with his dog Tito. He describes what we can expect to see for amenities and an approximate timeline.
Update - Tropicana Park and Cape Coral Rowing Club PUA Draft
Attached below is the NWNA pro forma Priority Use Agreement (PUA) for the public property the Rowing Club will occupy on Tropicana Park.
At a City Council Meeting in June, the dais discussion centered around stipulations to define the limits of the Rowing Club’s activities and facilities, to ensure the park would meet the needs of the Rowing Club, yet still remain a neighborhood park.
The Priority Use Agreement attached is by no means complete, but it does capture all of the discussion and commitments made in the June meeting.
The residents greatly appreciated the time Council dedicated to solving this highly contentious issue in our city. Their creativity and broad thinking delivered a solution that is a workable compromise, but its implementation as directed is contingent on the development of a Priority Use Agreement.
The NWNA is pleased to make the first pass at the PUA in an effort to continue to be a part of solutions to problems. We are at their service and are willing to meet and continue with these discussions and put the final touches on the agreement.
This work is intended to prevent the sort of vitriol we all experienced during the design of Tropicana Park. We are now at a point where decisions have been made and it’s time to execute. We would appreciate the opportunity to participate equally as these discussions take shape.
Kevin Black, Parks Chairman
Tropicana Neighborhood Park was discussed at the Council Meeting on Monday. After the meeting, I sent the following memo to the City Council.
After a full hour of speeches, videos, and memos read by the City Clerk, and after a request by one Council Member to move forward with the plan that puts both clubs on the park as approved on December 2, 2019, things took a turn for the positive.
Council took charge of the park design and made significant changes based on the input received from the residents. The input they reacted to was not solely from the NWNA, rather it was input from all areas of the city. I was impressed and pleased. The vote on the new design was 7-1 with District 6 as the only dissenting member.
Staff was directed to make the suggested changes to the design and bring the plans back for approval.
This is significant as there is an approved resolution that will be removed and replaced with another resolution for the revised design.
There are some loose ends that need to be tied up, including the Splash Pad and the last-minute introduction of Dragon Boats on the Park. I was totally surprised by that news and I don’t support further compromising the Neighborhood Park for another club.
If you have questions or comments on these last two loose ends, I suggest you write an email to the Council.
I still do not believe Tropicana Neighborhood Park is the only viable location for the Rowing Club.
Last week, the NWNA sent an email to Council with the attached proposal for a permanent location at Crystal Lake Park.
Note that the NWNA proposal was a short-term solution and a long-term vision. It never proposed putting rowers in Crystal Lake as was erroneously stated by opponents to the plan. In the proposal, Rowers would still use the North Spreader.
During last night’s Council meeting, additional changes were made to the Tropicana Neighborhood Park design – all based on your input.
Another revised design will be brought forward at the next Council Meeting for review. At this point, I ask that we step back and wait to see what comes forward. There is no need to communicate with Council, other than to gratefully thank those who kept this in play as long as they have and for continuing to listen to the residents. The park design is definitely in the hands of the Council with input from the residents.
Our goal in this lengthy process was to have six issues addressed while helping to find a location for the club(s). Promises were made and promises are now being kept.
Lack of Transparency in the Park Design – It can’t be undone, but it is known the design and communication processes could have been more transparent. Let’s move on.
Safety of all boaters – We have raised awareness of the volume of traffic in the NW Spreader and I believe the protection of all boaters, present and future, is in the right hands. Let’s move on.
Unrestricted access – We are assured all park amenities (docks, ramps, etc.) will be available to the public. Some amenities paid for by the clubs will also be available for public use and we appreciate that. Let’s wait to see the Priority Use Agreement (PUA).
Zoning – all amenities and design (including the new park property along Old Burnt Store Road) will conform to the Land Use and Zoning rules everyone must obey. Let’s move on.
Use of Funds – amenities solely benefiting the club will be paid for by the club. The PUA will be complicated and I am confident there are enough eyes on it, including the City Attorneys. We will also have an opportunity to review it. Let’s be patient and see what the agreement looks like.
Fit in the Neighborhood – our concern about the equipment and its fit in the neighborhood was raised and addressed. Storage trailer parking and fences were discussed in detail and I am convinced this is adequately addressed, but let’s wait to see the PUA.
ALL issues raised by the NWNA when your input was solicited back in September 2019, are being considered by Council and the Rowing Club has a new home. Success. Just like last week, Council took charge of the park design, based on residents’ input. The major issues considered last night were.
- Splash Pad – after healthy discussion led by CM Cosden, Council proposed putting a Splash Pad in Joe Stonis Park. This is actually a better location (my opinion).
- Fit in the Neighborhood – CM Gunter led a great discussion on the location of the club, the type of equipment that can be placed on the park, and the specific boundaries of the space for the Rowing Club.
- Use of Funds and the relationship with the Rowing Club – CM Cosden led this discussion, followed by the City Attorney explaining the complexity of this PUA and the uniqueness of the relationship with the club. Her words (paraphrasing) – this is not like the other relationships and there are a lot of tentacles. My words – this is going to be a very complicated and difficult PUA to write.
Let’s continue to deal with facts and present them in a professional, concise manner. You have all done a marvelous job staying on point, in a very tense situation. Well done.
Thanks. I will keep you posted.
“When you go into the end zone, act like you've been there before.”
. – Vince Lombardi
President – Northwest Cape Coral Neighborhood Association, Inc.