To the editor:
I saw Mr. Barnes's letter to the editor on July 14 addressing the subject of ordinances in Cape Coral. I am opposed to what is being proposed.
One of the big attractions of Cape Coral is that there are no commercial vehicles parked in driveways or boat(s) or boat trailers. Cape Coral is a residential community, with ordinances in place to help protect the value of the homeowner's property.
I am a Realtor, a very proud Realtor, who uses the ordinances in place as a selling point. It is usually one of the first things I tell potential new buyers. I tout the virtues of Cape Coral. It is NOT a retirement community and it was never designed to be a retirement community. It was designed as a waterfront paradise! It is still a waterfront paradise!
I make sure potential clients know that we are NOT a gated community but have a lot of the enhancements and amenities in place to ensure a safe, neat, clean, desirable place to live. I also make sure future property owners know that the Cape has a Code Compliance department that helps make sure property owners abide by the rules.
If Mr. Barnes wants to live someplace he can have his boat or boat and boat trailer and trucks and work vehicles in his driveway, then he should seriously consider living someplace else where he will not be overburdened with these regulations? Where do you draw the line? First it is commercial and work vehicles, boat and boat trailers, then what? How about a cement truck in your driveway? How about oversized trucks and vans? How about unregistered vehicles, maybe even up on blocks? Are chicken coops and pig pens next?
If your property is going to look like a commercial and recreational vehicle parking center or junk yard, why not take away the requirement to keep your lawn mowed? Then what? Does not Mr. Barnes understand that once you start to take away the very attributes that make a property desirable, you invite all kinds of other elements guaranteed to lead to a run down, seedy, crime-ridden neighborhood?
As far as I can tell, most of what Mr. Barnes writes has no basis in truth. How can anyone have a problem with the benevolence of a real estate office that generously donates fireworks for a City 4th of July celebration? How lucky the citizens of Cape Coral are to have such a wonderful display of fireworks celebrating the birth of its country.
How can anyone believe that Realtors are responsible for foreclosed properties not being cleaned up? I work with banks and lenders, etc., all the time and every effort is made to try and ensure the property does not become a blight to the neighborhood. Sometimes that does not happen overnight and, especially during our rainy season, grass grows quite rampantly. If Mr. Barnes were informed, he would know that often times there is a fairly long period of time between when the property has been vacated and the bank actually takes over the property's care and prepares it for sale.
I take exception to Mr. Barnes saying the Realtors run Cape Coral. The Realtor community in Cape Coral takes pride in the product it advertises and sells, namely a safe, desirable place to live. How blessed we are to have a city with such fabulous parks, Sun Splash, Coral Oaks Golf Course, the canals and all the other wonderful assets we citizens enjoy.
I cannot stress strongly enough that if Mr. Barnes is so unhappy with Cape Coral and its ordinances and regulations, he should seriously consider living someplace else. As for me and mine, we are thrilled to be living in a waterfront community that is safe, with the knowledge that the city is doing everything it can to ensure our property maintains its value and desirability.
Sarah J Morris