December 2022
A Message from
Mayor John Gunter

As we embark upon the holiday season, family, and friends, near and far, will gather to share stories of what has transpired in their lives during the past year.
As I continue my term as Mayor of the City of Cape Coral, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to our residents for their civic engagement and continued support. During these times of uncertainty and change, I can reassure you that my leadership will be authentic and straightforward. As your leader, I will continue to negotiate and work with others that will enable our community to thrive.
Despite the challenges of Hurricane Ian, this has been a productive year. Cape Coral experienced significant economic growth. We have several large-scale multi-family developments in the works and several thousand square feet of commercial projects under construction. More than 4,000 new construction building permits were issued in 2022, and our population continues to grow. 
One of the primary responsibilities of the City Council is to adopt the annual operating budget. Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2023 budget in September, and we lowered the millage rate from 6.250 mills to the rollback rate of 5.3694 mills. This budget allows us to expand public safety and invest in our infrastructure... READ MORE-->

John Gunter

Hurricane Ian
Recovery Update

As the City continues to recover from Hurricane Ian, the cost of the event is estimated at $86 million, with $54 million of that cost for debris removal.

While recovery is taking time, there are signs of progress being made. Below are some updates reported during the Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting on November 30:


  • Transportation assessments are complete
  • All intersections have at least one working light
  • Crews have been replacing ~10% of the City's 40,000 damaged or displaced signs per week, with ~7,000 signs completed so far
  • The City's Public Works Department is receiving mutual aid through mid-January to finish up with stop signs and directional signs

Debris Removal

  • 33,150 truckloads of hurricane debris have been removed from Cape Coral streets
  • 383 truckloads of debris have been removed from Cape Coral canals
  • 309 truckloads of compacted debris from the C&D debris management site
  • 454 truckloads of vegetative mulch from grind sites to final disposition

Hurricane Deductible Assistance Program

  • The application period for this program began on Monday, November 21, at 8:00 a.m. and will end Friday, December 9, at 3:00 p.m.
  • Funds are extremely limited and are not being awarded on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Cape Coral residents who meet the requirements should submit a complete application and all required documents to the Zoning Counter at City Hall; Applications will not be accepted via Email
  • Applications will not be accepted outside of the application period
Debris Collection Reminders

With hurricane debris pick-up going into a second pass, here are some important reminders to Cape Coral residents:
·    DO NOT mix your debris piles
·    DO NOT use plastic bags
·    DO NOT litter or illegally dump trash
·    Rake your swales
·    Take pride in your neighborhood
·    Move debris into the right of way
FEMA requires that debris haulers only collect debris that is in the right of way. This means that if the debris hauler made an initial pass and picked up debris in the right of way, any additional debris in the front yard will need to be pushed into the right of way. 
In addition, please do not place debris under cable or power lines or low-hanging branches; keep it off driveways, and keep debris 3’ away from fixed objects such as mailboxes and lawn decorations. 

Remember, it is the property owner's responsibility to clean up any leftover debris in the right of way after the debris hauler comes through. Residents who need assistance can contact community resources, including Keep Lee County Beautiful, for help. 

For details on commercial debris removal, call 850-961-2002.
Drive with Caution as Transportation Infrastructure is Repaired
In the wake of Hurricane Ian, many of Cape Coral’s traffic lights, traffic signs, and street signs were damaged, destroyed, and displaced.

While the traffic lights have power and the worst structural damage was repaired since the storm, there is still lesser damage. Many intersections are cycling automatically instead of responding to traffic levels. In addition, several traffic signs need replacing, including stop signs and yield signs, that are knocked down or turned in the wrong direction.
The Lee County Department of Transportation (DOT) has assessed what needs to be repaired at each intersection, and they are now working on a plan to fix them.

Regarding street signs, the priority is to fix stop signs first, then directional signs, then informational signs. Approximately 40,000 City street signs were displaced or damaged during the storm, and the City is working to replace about 10% each week. We are receiving mutual aid assistance to replace and repair street signs through mid-January.
In the meantime, drivers are reminded to be especially cautious when driving southwest Florida roadways and to give yourself a little extra time to get where you are going.
FWC Now Accepting Applications for Vessel Turn-In Program

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is now accepting applications for a recently approved and newly created Vessel Turn-In Program, a key component of Florida’s derelict vessel prevention program. 

VTIP is a voluntary program designed to help owners dispose of their unwanted at-risk vessels before they become derelict. Upon approval of an application, VTIP will take a surrendered vessel and dispose of it at no cost to the boat owner. Removing the vessel before it deteriorates into a derelict condition will prevent legal ramifications for the vessel owner and will protect Florida’s valuable seagrass resources, marine life, and human life, safety, and property. 

A derelict vessel upon waters of the state is a criminal offense and can carry serious penalties and fines or possible jail time.

To qualify for VTIP, a vessel must be floating upon waters of the state of Florida and cannot be determined derelict by law enforcement. The owner must have at least one written at-risk warning or citation and possess a clear title to the vessel. 
To apply for or view program guidelines, visit or call the FWC Boating and Waterways Division at 850-488-5600 for more information. 
Council Approves Article Revisions to Lessen Impact of FEMA 50% Rule

During a Special Meeting on November 30, the Cape Coral City Council voted to approve Ordinance 96-22, which amends Articles 11 and 12 of the City's Land Development Code.

This ordinance removes the 5-year cumulative impact rule, which adds the cost of building repairs and additions to the cost to repair damages when determining whether a structure is substantially damaged (at or above 50% damage by market value).

This will result in a slight loss of points gained through the Community Rating System but will make it easier for property owners who recently updated their roofs or made hardening improvements in the past five years to not be affected by the FEMA 50% rule.
City to Participate in Home Repair Fraud Workshop

The City of Cape Coral is participating in a public workshop to educate residents on how to protect themselves from home repair fraud and scams.
This free workshop, hosted by the National Alliance Against Home Repair Fraud, will be held on Tuesday, December 6, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cape Coral-Lee County Public Library, 921 SW 39th Terrace.
In the wake of Hurricane Ian, unlicensed contractors and scammers may try to prey on you in your time of need, and this workshop will provide helpful insight on how to avoid becoming a victim.
Topics include how to find, hire, work with, and pay contractors, so you don't get scammed; what should and should not be in your contract; the building permit process; and more helpful information to help you protect yourself from scammers.
City staff from Development Services and Code Enforcement will be in attendance to help educate residents.
For information on the National Alliance Against Home Repair Fraud, visit
Voters Elect Mayor and New Council Members in General Election

Cape Coral City Council will have two new members and two incumbents seated on the dais following the 2022 General Election. District 1 Council Member William “Bill” Steinke and District 4 Council Member Patty L. Cummings, join incumbent Mayor John Gunter and District 6 Council Member Keith Long as the successful candidates from the election.

City Council races are non-partisan and are council members elected by voters citywide. Cape Coral City Council is an eight-member board consisting of a mayor and seven council members. The two new and one returning council member will serve with returning Mayor John Gunter and council members Dan Sheppard, Tom Hayden, Robert Welsh, and Jessica Cosden. 
Voters Support Ad Valorem Tax Exemption

During this year’s General Election, the majority of Cape Coral voters supported an Economic Development incentive tool made available to cities through the Florida Constitution. The Ad Valorem Tax Exemption, Ordinance 31-22, is designed to encourage new commercial development and expansion of existing businesses within Cape Coral, creating new job opportunities for the community. 

The ordinance grants tax exemptions to developers of specific projects, facilitating the growth and creation of business enterprises in Cape Coral. The City of Cape Coral is seeking opportunities to become more business-friendly. 

Click the button below to view the full ordinance and qualifications required by businesses who wish to apply.
Accomplishments & Challenges Highlighted in FY22 Annual Report

The City Manager's FY22 Annual Report was presented to Cape Coral City Council on November 16, 2022. The report includes major challenges and accomplishments the City of Cape Coral experienced from October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022.
As recognized in the report, the biggest issues the City faced over the past 12 months include:
  • Responding to Hurricane Ian
  • Contractor performance for solid waste services
  • Regulatory permitting delays for key city projects
  • Customer service issues in Development Services.

COVID-19 and its variants, labor market challenges, rapid population growth, cost escalation, and supply chain issues presented additional obstacles.
Despite the challenges, Cape Coral experienced a significant number of achievements over the course of the year, with a few highlights including:
  • Finalized its 2022-2030 Strategic Plan, “Cape Compass"
  • Opened fire station #12
  • Substantially completed UEP North 2 construction
  • Completed 47th Terrace public art projects
  • Renovated Giuffrida Park
  • Expanded public engagement efforts with various types of media through the newly operational Office of Communications
  • Hired the first City Arborist to oversee the City’s investment in green infrastructure.
  • Initiated a Facility Master Plan
The report also identifies a long list of organizational goals and objectives for FY23, including Hurricane Ian recovery, restoration, and reimbursement, implementing the CapeCompetes Strategic Plan, initiating the Facilities Master Plan, updating the City’s website, and starting on the remainder of the GO Bond Parks, amongst other objectives. Click below for more details.
Cape Coral Police Department News

The men and women of the Cape Coral Police Department work hard every day to help keep our City safe. Click on the newsroom link to see recent law enforcement news and follow them on Facebook for regular updates.
2nd Annual Tree Lighting Set for Thursday, December 8 at City Hall

Kick off the holiday season at the City of Cape Coral’s 2nd Annual Tree Lighting Celebration on Thursday, December 8, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at City Hall (1015 Cultural Park Blvd.)

The Mayor and City Council will help light the beautiful, oversized tree, and the Grinch will make a special visit. Enjoy holiday music and live performances by students from the City of Cape Coral’s Oasis Charter Schools. This free, family-friendly event will also feature local food trucks, vendors, a visit from Santa, and a movie on the lawn!
Cape Coral Parks and Recreation will show “Dr. Seuss' the Grinch” (2018) on a giant inflatable movie screen on the front lawn starting at ~7:00 p.m. Plan to arrive early to enjoy dinner from our onsite food trucks and grab a good spot to watch the tree lighting. Bringing your own blankets or lawn chairs is recommended.
Reindeer Run 5K and Family Fun Run at Coral Oaks on December 10

Cape Coral Parks and Recreation is proud to present Reindeer Run 2022 at Coral Oaks Golf Course on Saturday, December 10. This is a family-friendly Reindeer Run, so come dressed in your favorite holiday attire!

You can choose to participate in either a 5K run or a 1.5-mile family fun run. The run will be on the cart path through the golf course, so it is a stroller/family-friendly race. Walking entrants are welcome.

4:00-5:30 p.m.

5:30 p.m.

Save $5 per entry when you register for the event by 12/9/22.

Note: Only credit cards will be accepted for "day-of" registrations.
Fire Department Annual Toy Drive Continues Thru December 19

As a reminder, the Cape Coral Fire Department is currently collecting toys and gifts for children in our community who have special needs, suffer from chronic illnesses such as cancer, are in foster care, or have families struggling with financial difficulties.

Donations for boys and girls of all ages (newborn to 17 years) are needed. Gifts for teens are often in short supply. Please consider donating gift cards, makeup, body soaps and lotions, perfume or cologne, arts and crafts supplies, sports equipment, or entertainment items for this age group.

To contribute, please bring a new, unwrapped toy or gift to any of Cape Coral's 12 fire stations by Monday, December 19.
December Happenings Around Cape Coral
*Pre-registration required

Friday, December 2
  • "Toyland" exhibit opens at the Cape Coral Art Center and the Annual "Holly Daze" Art Sale Continues (Holly Daze runs thru 12/16)

Tuesday, December 6
  • Home Repair Fraud Workshop at Cape Coral-Lee County Public Library (921 SW 39th Terrace), 2:00-4:00 pm

Thursday, December 8
  • 2nd Annual Holiday Tree Lighting at City Hall, 6:00-8:00 pm, and a Free Movie on the Lawn featuring "Dr. Seuss' the Grinch (2018)"

Friday, December 9

Saturday, December 10

Friday, December 16

Saturday, December 17

Monday, December 26