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When ‘life in paradise’ becomes anything but!

July 24, 2014
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

In December of 2010 we purchased a home on a canal with gulf access. We spent a lot of time and money renovating and then decided to have a dock built with a boat lift. We enjoyed hanging out on the dock and enjoying the wildlife. Seeing the eagles, osprey, cranes, otters, manatee and turtles was breath taking. I would call my family and friends up north and tell them that "we had found a piece of Paradise."

Well that was up until January of this year when the City of Cape Coral issued a permit for an industrial construction site to be erected on a large empty residential lot that was zoned for one-two family homes.

The City originally played it off as "being part of the water and sewer project for our neighborhood." This site is on Southwest 17th Place and Veterans Parkway. Southwest 17th Place had already been receiving city water for a few years already, so all they required was sewer and irrigation. Seven months have passed, the work has been completed and Southwest 17th Place has been completely asphalted. Problem now is that the construction company has no intention of leaving.

What was once supposed to be a staging area for the sewer project has now become a full-blown industrial site, operating 12 hours per day on residential property. The company is trucking in dirt and debris from all other sections of Cape Coral and using this open-air site as a sifting and dumping area. This site had no barriers and receives a minimal of 75 truck loads per day and operates daily from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. The dirt is being trucked in from various other sections of Cape Coral and sifted on a large sifting machine with no barriers set up to block or filter the dust and dirt, thus allowing dust and dirt to go airborne, across the canal and into our lanais. God only knows what we are breathing in!

My neighbor and I have had respiratory problems since this site opened and the canal behind our homes resembles a swamp. For the first time in the 3-1/2 years that I have lived here, I am now seeing dead fish and even a dead turtle. The birds, manatee, otters all are long gone.

When I purchased "gulf access" property, I never anticipated that the city would permit an industrial construction site to be erected directly behind my lanai on water-front, residential property. So much a "A little piece of paradise." The reality is, I am currently residing on a swamp with brown water and dead fish and turtles and I am unable to sit out on my dock or in my lanai without coughing and sneezing.

To top it off, and all of my emails and phone calls to Mayor Sawicki have gone unanswered. I'm not surprised because obviously someone in City Hall signed off of this permit.

Maureen Fatigato

Cape Coral



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