Special to The Eagle
Helping with the vegetation removal and entrance gate cleaning of Matlacha Isles Saturday, July 12, were George Yorkston, Donna Yorkston, Frank Virts, Jerry Aske, Orion Anderson, Kim Parker, George Cavada and Cheryl Lamm. The group issued a "thank you" to Mitch Carter of Greider Realty for donating water for the pressure washer.
Volunteers work to remove vegetation and clean up the entrance gate area at Matlacha Isles Saturday.
Matlacha Isles is a small community consisting of 135 lots/residences, all with direct access to the gulf. Although it is totally surrounded by Cape Coral, the community has been part of Matlacha since 1976 per Lee County records. It resides in unincorporated Lee County.
Matlacha Isles Inc. of Fort Myers signed a deed of restrictions for Matlacha Isles in 1966, which included, among many other things, no corrugated metal roofs, no outside toilets, must have inside plumbing, no campers or trailers on any lot at any time, and the square footage of each house must be a minimum of 800 square feet. In 1972, a new Declaration of Restrictions upped the minimum house size to 1,000 square feet. This was raised to 1,200 square feet in 1973.
During this time, there have been two associations in the Isles.
The first Matlacha Isles Property Owners Association was formed early on as an informal and unincorporated group of neighbors to handle the maintenance of such things as the entrance to the Isles and the installation of a street light at the entrance in 1978. They also secured the "right" to keep trespassers and litterers off Matlacha Isles properties.
A letter dated Feb. 22, 1984, from the association, requested permission from all of its homeowners to place a sign on their collective properties to try to stop illegal fishing on their lots. After receiving 80 residents' signatures, a sign was erected to let violators know that intruders would be arrested if they fished in the Isles.
After the first association stopped having meetings for three years, a second association was established in February 1989. At this time they started the first annual community garage sale.
This new group successfully stopped the commercial re-zoning of the southeast corner of Matlacha Isles. The Prime Line Bait Shop (currently Greider Realty) wanted to add a second two story building and a parking lot north of the existing building.
In 1992, the association, working with Lee County, had the speed limit on Matlacha Boulevard changed from 30 to 25 mph. It also had the median permitted and planted with sable palm trees.
Today, once again without an association, Matlacha Isles relies on a few of its energetic residents to get things done.
Pamela Moore organizes and advertises for the yearly garage sale. George Cavada organizes the maintenance of the entrance gates and trimming of the surrounding vegetation. Individuals who live on the southern ends of each street maintain their respective circles.
Many residents volunteer a small monetary stipend every 1 1/2 to 2 years to maintain the entrance street light and the mowing of the median of Matlacha Boulevard.
Cheryl Lamm does the accounting for these projects.
Matlacha Islesa great place to live!