CAPE CORAL, Fla. - City growth versus protecting "quality of life". Dozens of people in Cape Coral are protesting potential development in 200 acres along Four Mile Cove Parkway. That's off of Del Prado Boulevard just north of Veterans Memorial Parkway.
The Planning and Zoning Commission sided with the residents who say this land should remain single-family homes. But those who want to develop it say this is an opportunity for city growth, and the fight is far from over.
More than 50 residents packed city hall Wednesday morning. Many held signs, and feel the ruling by Planning and Zoning is a small victory. "I do. I really do. It renews my heart," said Cape Coral resident Judy Griffin.
Planning and Zoning shot down a request to change the future land use of the almost 200 acre property from single-family homes to multi-family.
Neighbors fear something such as a duplex or condo will harm the environment, increase traffic, and ruin their quality of life.
"It will destroy the eagle. What's the otter going to do? You know, we're fighting for the ecological part, preserve," said Griffin.
But Joe Mazurkiewicz with BJM Consulting says that's simply not the case. He says plans for the property include setting aside more than 100 acres of it for a preserve.
"This project could do things to enhance water quality that's presently coming of that site. This project could do things to enhance transportation services in the area. There's a lot of things you can do in the development process to enhance the quality of life," he said.
"It allows for alternative housing opportunities, it allows more clustering of development on property, instead of spreading it througout the whole parcel," he said.
"It will disrupt us completely. And it hurts my heart. It breaks my heart," said Griffin.
This now goes before city council to decide June 2nd.
But even then, the matter won't be finished.
If council approves it, it will then head to the state for review, and come back to the city.