In 2022, Cape Coral annexed eight parcels on the east and west sides of Veterans Memorial Parkway at the intersection with Pine Island Road. Owners of parcels on the west side of Veterans are planning a massive development that will include a hotel, homes and businesses valued at more than $200 million.
This was a voluntary annexation, with property owners requesting to be brought into the city limits.
The lots that the Cape annexed fall within the boundaries of the Matlacha-Pine Island Fire Control District (MPIFCD) and the Greater Pine Island Water Association, potentially impacting services that both provide and possibly causing an increase in rates to those remaining in the water and fire districts, as those of us who remain will pay costs already incurred for the capitalization the districts undertook to provide services to the now-annexed properties.
The Greater Pine Island Water District has a franchise agreement to provide services to the properties in place through 2050, which provides protection for the next 27 years.
On Sept. 7, 2023, the Cape and the MPIFCD signed an interlocal agreement dealing with the dispute over services to the newly annexed properties and future annexations.
Under the agreement:
- Cape Coral will provide fire services, fire plan reviews and fire inspections to the annexed properties;
- Cape Coral will pay the MPIFCD the estimated ad valorem taxes billed to the annexed properties over the next 10 years. The taxes will be calculated using the average increase in ad valorem taxes based on the three years of taxes the properties paid before they were annexed into Cape Coral;
- Cape Coral shall also pay the district 10 percent of the Fire Impact Fee that the city receives as the properties are developed within four years of the annexation and within 90 days of when they are received by the city;
- The provisions apply for the next 10 years.
As part of the agreement, the Cape agrees to provide 45 days notice of future voluntary annexations to the MPIFCD and MPIFCD agrees not to oppose any such annexations. The Cape also agrees to pay the Fire District an amount equal to 10 percent of the ad valorem taxes for 10 years based on the use in place at the time of the annexation.
Cape Coral also agreed to:
- Not initiate, endorse and approve any annexation of Saddlewood, Cape Royal and Matlacha Isles into city boundaries. This also applies to any annexation through legislation at the state level; however, residents may seek voluntary annexation and the provisions applied would be those outlined in “Future Annexations” above.
- The City also noted that they are currently negotiating the purchase of 10 acres in Saddlewood, adjacent to the Trafalger Sports Complex and that if the purchase goes through, the land will be annexed into the city and subject to the terms under “Future Annexations.”