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Letter to Cape Coral City Council - No annexation

December 21, 2016
Pine Island Eagle

To the Editor:

I'm president of the Greater Pine Island Civic Association. The area represented by our association covers Pine Island and Matlacha. Our by-laws describe the area as extending west from Burnt Store Road, but excludes any area within the city of Cape Coral.

I object to the proposed annexation of part of Matlacha by the city of Cape Coral because it threatens the sovereignty of Matlacha and Pine Island. The communities of Pine Island and Matlacha are now sovereign, because we have representation by the elected officials and regulatory departments of Lee County. Sovereignty is having independent political authority over our community by representation. If Cape Coral sticks its finger into the area that has been historically considered Matlacha, by annexation, then we lose all say in the development and management of that area.

Even if we were Cape Coral residents, we could not expect to have our interests heard and included in future actions. The residents of northwest Cape Coral voted against the high density development of the "Seven Islands." The City Council overruled them and recommended 8-story buildings. We have now seen how our safety, welfare and property values would be considered in the future development of the land in Matlacha.

There will be negative impacts from this annexation on Pine Island Road. Traffic will be increased. This will cause loss of business from customers not being able to get on the islands. Island residents will not be able to get to work or school on time. Ambulances and fire trucks will not be able to perform emergency services.

This annexation is on a canal and major waterway of Lee County. There will be negative impacts to the water quality and aquatic life of Matlacha Pass. Future development on that site will cause hazards to boat navigation, and threaten the safety of mariners from Matlacha Isles.

The property proposed to be annexed is the gateway to Matlacha and Pine Island, and it greatly effects our communities. The character, appearance and values of Matlacha and Pine Island are totally different from the city of Cape Coral.

If this annexation is approved, we will lose all say in maintaining the unique character of our islands. Cape Coral has a city attitude, and that is fine for your area. But, we have an island attitude, and we will fight on all fronts to maintain our unique quality of life.

Roger Wood, president

Greater Pine Island Civic Association



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