Opinions split on current plan for Tropicana Park in Cape Coral

A sprawling piece of land will soon be a bustling park. People nearby are excited to see this happen. But they’re also mad they might have to share it.

Tropicana Park will sit right near Tropicana Parkway and old Burnt Store Road in Cape Coral, but some neighbors are upset with the current plan.

“It was very upsetting, and we really want the original plan that residents voted on,” neighbor Carolyn Jones said. “This is our tax money.”

Carolyn Jones says she and other neighbors voted in a poll on what they wanted Tropicana Park to look like.

“We want the large beach. We want the grills. We want the splash pad. We want the pavilions. We want all that space,” Jones said.

That’s space for two rowing and canoe kayak storage areas that the city could lease to the Caloosa Coast Rowing Club and the South Florida Canoe Kayak Club.

“We never asked the city for any kind of provision,” said Sandra Weston, with the board of directors for Caloosa Coast Rowing Club. “We’re exactly like Pop Warner football, youth soccer, girls’ softball. Community athletic organizations is what the city calls them. We’ve just never had that relationship with the city.”

Weston says they’ve existed for about 13 years on private land now being sold, and they need a new place to operate.

“We would also love to be partnered with parks and recreation to become a parks and recreation program.

While they think the park is perfect, some say it’s not safe.

“There are areas that are very shallow,” Jones said. “So, when you have large boats and 62-foot rowing shells, it’s not safe.”

Cape Coral City Council did not make a decision tonight on whether they will allow the rowing clubs here. But the rowing club told us they expect a decision at a meeting on February 19. That will be between them, the city and the neighborhood association.

“I want a well-lit, safe location where parents feel confident they can leave their kids for a couple hours for a practice,” Weston said.

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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