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January 11, 20

 

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- Cape coral residents are making noise, both on social media, and within their
community, as two modular containers pop up on their streets.

“I would definitely like to see them put this one back on a traitor and pull it back down the road,
obviously,” said Jeff Leonarczyk, a resident on Embers Parkway.

He says he’s lived in Cape Coral for eight years, and just built his new home in July of last year.
Now he worries his beautiful home may not be worth as much.

“The first thing you’re gonna see when you come down the street is this modular container .. It’s just
not a fit for the area.

Residents including Leonarczyk have joined a Facebook group titled “Cape Coral Residents Against
Modular Homes”, one that already has thousands of members, to express their concerns over the
homes.

So far, only two have been built. One on Old Burnt Store road, the other on Kismet Parkway East.

“You’re surrounded by upper scale homes here, that are all block construction,” said Doug
Malinowsky. “They’re built from the ground up, and [then] you bring in something that’s probably
like 80 to 85 thousand dollars, built at a factory. It just devalues everyone’s property around
here.”
These community members are now taking their concerns to city officials, asking them to step in and
stop construction.
Modular containers are usually built and sold cheaper than Concrete Block Structured (CBS) homes, like
many of the ones in Cape Coral. They’re wood based, smaller and built off-site.
These homes are selling for between 120 to 200 thousand dollars, according to Golden Key Homes. A
much cheaper price than the homes directly in front of it, which are valued close to 500 thousand
dollars.
The city of Cape Coral tells WINK News, per state law, they are not allowed to ban a specific type
of home from being built in the area. State law also does not allow them to impose stricter
regulations on modular containers, in comparison to CBS homes.
A response, continuing to anger residents.
“They could flood this area, there’s a lot of growth coming out here, and it’s a big area so
there’s room for a lot of these out here.”
Cape Realty Realtor Peter Davis agrees neighbors should be concerned, and the homes could in turn
deter other buyers from the area.
“I had a client who just closed on a home. I asked him if he would have purchased the home if this
was next door, he said no.”
He says the look of the homes alone stands out from the consistency of the neighborhood, and could
paint a different picture.
“You don’t have a lot of the articulation and design elements that you have in the typical homes
in this area, you know, they kind of have the perception that they are low quality.”
WINK News spoke to Spencer Raffel, an employee with J&S Construction, the company contracted to
build the homes. He tells WINK News he’s aware of the backlash regarding the homes, but disagrees
that it will affect other property.
He says he and Golden Key homes, the company behind both these homes, provides customized homes, in
any location the buyer chooses to purchase land.
“They tell us where they wanna be, not us. We ask ‘where would you like to be? [they say], Well, I
have family in Lehigh or North Fort Myers or North Cape, or what have you. We go there because they
tell us to go there,” said Raffel.
Cape Coral officials say as long as the home buyers and contractors have the proper permits, the
city has no say in where they can or cannot build a modular home.

Other cities like Jacksonville have created standards and added them to a city ordinance to help
regulate the construction of modular containers in certain neighborhoods. City officials said that’s
something they can consider. They are evaluating options to set certain architectural and design
standards for the homes.

 

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