Goodland sits on a horseshoe shaped peninsula -although some insist it is an island- which juts out eastward from the southeast corner of Marco Island. It seems to be separated and isolated from the City of Marco Island by a couple of miles of trackless mangrove forests. Consequently, Goodland streets generally lead to dead ends or to intersections with other streets which lead to dead ends. This holds down traffic volume and speed. We like it that way. You can’t get to somewhere else by going through Goodland.
A notable exception to this serenity is Goodland Road (CR92A), which is the only way to get in or out of Goodland. There is a lot of traffic on this road, which winds through mangrove forests for a half mile before emerging at the Village of Goodland. It was originally a shell trail built by Calusa Indians, who also liked the tranquility ofthe Goodland peninsula. There are no residences along this road, so no one complains about traffic bustle.
There is one street in Goodland however (also a dead-end), which, oddly enough, sits astride a border between two towns – the City of Marco Island and unincorporated Goodland. The border runs roughly down the middle of the street. This street is Angler Drive, the first right off Goodland Road, after emerging from the mangrove forest. It is easily discerned by a street sign and noticeable because of the Calusa Island Marina sign at its entrance. I live on this street. It is Goodland’s, or maybe Marco Island’s, newest street. Take your pick.
On my side (the east side) of the street are a row of 22 duplexes and a single family home. These are tastefully designed with a Key West motif. We are within the boundaries of the Village of Goodland, which is administered by CollierCounty. On the other side of the street is the Calusa Island Marina, within the boundaries of the City of Marco Island. The boundary actually runs just east of the middle of the street. How did this happen?
In 1957 Collier City, FL decided it had had enough of self-government and voted to unincorporate and let the county run things. This included the whole of Marco Island. In the 1990’s, with an increase in population, most of the citizens of Marco Island decided they wanted to incorporate again and govern themselves. They would call the new entity the City of Marco Island. It would include the entire island including Goodland.
Two votes were taken. Both failed. In each case the residents of Goodland voted overwhelmingly against the proposed incorporation. It seemed like a hopeless endeavor, unless the Goodland voters could be convinced to vote in favor of incorporation.
In 1997, a third vote was takenand passed. Significantly, this vote did not include Goodland voters. The proposed city had drawn a new boundary running down the middle of Angler Drive and excluding everything east. Goodlanders were cut out of the vote, and thus the City of Marco Island was born.
And so, in the midst of the 10,000 Islands and mangrove forests, I live across the street from the City of Marco Island and the Calusa Island Marina. The Marina pays city taxes, but has a Goodland address and zip code. I should add that the Marina has been a good neighbor, and supporter of Goodland community activities.
In retrospect, these events seemed to have made everyone happy, especially those of us who came to live on the Goodland side of the street.
Barry was a practicing attorney before he worked as a Special Agent of the FBI for 31 years. Barry worked for several government agencies another ten years before retiring to Goodland in 2006. Barry is presently the Secretary of the Goodland Civic Association.