Cape Coral Downtown Plan and Code


In 1957, the Rosen Brothers and the Gulf American Corporation laid out a grand plan to develop the ‘‘Venice of America’’ on a little-known peninsula once used for hunting and fishing.  Cape Coral and its sibling developments, Lehigh Acres and Golden Gate Estates, are infamously known as the quintessential Florida land scams.  Most of these developments remain unsettled and unfinished, their undeveloped tracts shocking when seen from the air.  However, Cape Coral has a different story.  In the 1960s the Rosen Brothers undertook an aggressive campaign to bring people to the Cape, and come they have.  Homesites were laid out along 400 miles of canals with many homes having direct access to the Gulf of Mexico or the Caloosahatchee River.  In early plans, Downtown was shown with a grid of streets, varying block sizes, and parking lots, but little access to the waterfront.  Forty years later, the need to accommodate additional businesses, stores, civic opportunities, and housing choices is still evident, along with the desire to create waterfront locations for dining and shopping.  Momentum has been building to enhance the sense of community and civic-mindedness that already exists in Downtown.  Dover, Kohl & Partners worked with Hall Planning and Engineering, Spikowski Planning Associates, and ZHA to create the long-awaited plan for Downtown Cape Coral.