Cape Coral neighbors concerned yacht club renovations removes park space

Cape Coral city leaders are considering the removal of park space and tennis courts at Cape Coral Yacht Club. Although city officials say these are preliminary ideas for the future of the yacht club, people are upset with the idea. City leaders told us they don’t want locals to overreact just yet about the early talks for these potential changes.

City of Cape Coral posted its preliminary redesign of Cape Coral Yacht Club, which does not include a current picnic area and recreation facilities on the property.

Neighbor Doug Duncan, who has lived next to the yacht club park for nine years, said the green space has been one of his favorite spots.

“It’s a place where there’s lots of weddings,” Duncan said. “There’s people that come and fish. There’s picnics every weekend.”

Duncan is worried about the “concept diagram” the city shared on its website. He fears the preliminary redesign plan for the park means the picnic area will be removed.

“The park that we’re sitting here, this is the only green space that is actually on the Caloosahatchee,” Duncan said. “And for people who don’t like to sit in the sand, that’s really their only option.”

Also missing in the diagram are the tennis courts.

“The tennis courts are a great asset,” Vincent Buenfil said. “Not many people have the opportunity to have it.”

Although city officials have stressed the early period for this redesign, neighbors like Duncan said there are obvious reason local would still have concerns for future at the yacht club’s space.

“Obviously, that takes away one of the key features of the yacht club,” Duncan said. “So, not surprisingly, a lot of folks are upset about that.”

The proposed renovation is part of Cape Coral’s “Go Bond” initiative: a $60 million project to expand the city’s parks and amenities. The city said the redesign is not final and officials want to get public input prior to decision making.

Neighbors have the opportunity to make public comment during the preliminary plan meeting for the yacht club renovation Thursday this week, and again during public workshops in December.

“This is a community park,” said Kerry Runyon, director of Cape Coral parks and recreation. “So, in order for it to be a community park, the community has to be a part of that says so.”

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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