Rotonda West, Florida

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Rotonda West, Florida
Rotonda
Census-designated place & Unincorporated community
Rotonda.jpg
Location in Charlotte County and the state of Florida
Location in Charlotte County and the state of Florida
Country  United States
State  Florida
County  Charlotte
Area
 • Total 11.5 sq mi (29.9 km2)
 • Land 10.7 sq mi (27.6 km2)
 • Water 0.9 sq mi (2.3 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 8,759
 • Density 823/sq mi (317.8/km2)
Time zone Eastern Time
Area code(s) 941

Rotonda West is an unincorporated, deed-restricted community situated in west Charlotte County, Florida, United States. The U.S. Census Bureau lists it as the Rotonda census-designated place, with a population of 8,759 at the 2010 census.[1] It is part of the Punta Gorda Metropolitan Statistical Area. It was developed and named Rotonda West by Cavanagh Communities Corporation, the developers of a projected but now defunct community named Rotonda in southern Martin County and northern Palm Beach County.[2]

History[edit]

Rotonda West was originally developed by the Cavanagh Communities Corporation, which sold the entire Rotonda complex in 1980 after several years of financial difficulties. It is an unusual subdivision, in that it is shaped like an incomplete wagon wheel. A closed, fresh-water canal system surrounds the outside of the "wheel" and travels inside each of the pie-shaped wedges forming the subdivisions of the development. A protected wetland to the south prevents development of that area. Alligators, bald eagles, great blue herons, egrets, and many other birds and animals inhabit the area.

The oldest and most-developed subdivision, Oakland Hills, once sported Ed McMahon as a home owner. In 1973, the inaugural edition of a television special called Superstars, featuring athletes from different sports competing in various events, was filmed in Rotonda. What is now the community center was a bowling alley. A local track was where the track and field events were held.

As conceptualized, each subdivision was supposed to have its own golf course. The theory was the developers could draw residents by offering "a course a day to play." But beleaguered GDC wasn't able to carry through with their promises, and many developers took turns building out the area.

Although the area struggled for a while during the real estate bust period of the 1980s, in 2005 it was one of the hottest areas to build in, with development escalating in nearly all of the sections and several new golf courses.

Many of the homeowners are seasonal snowbirds from northern states and only live in the area part-time during the winter.

While the area is at risk of flooding from storm surge, it is located towards the center of the Cape Haze peninsula and hasn't flooded in recent memory. During Hurricane Charley in 2004, it was located on the left front quadrant of the storm, and although the eyewall came within a couple of miles of the area, most homes escaped major damage. Several large trees were downed, and many shingle roofs were damaged by winds. Quite a few pool cages and screened-in porches were blown down or damaged, but few houses sustained more than relatively minor damage. After Charley, most of the area had power back on in 13 hours. In the Oakland Hills section of the community, utilities such as power, phone, and cable are all run underground, although the other six subdivisions are all overhead utility services. Several overhead main feeder lines supply power to transformers in the area, but they were quickly repaired.

In 2005 Hurricane Wilma travelled south of the development, and because of the underground utilities, the area never lost power, even though many surrounding areas did.

The Rotonda West Association is the organization in charge of managing and enforcing deed restrictions. Homeowners pay a modest annual association fee that is used for canal and vacant lot maintenance, among other things. The community is managed by a volunteer board of directors with help from over 100 volunteers on various committees.

Geography[edit]

Rotonda West is located at 26°53′16″N 82°16′17″W / 26.887875°N 82.271262°W / 26.887875; -82.271262Coordinates: 26°53′16″N 82°16′17″W / 26.887875°N 82.271262°W / 26.887875; -82.271262.[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the Rotonda CDP has a total area of 11.5 square miles (29.9 km2), of which 10.7 square miles (27.6 km2) is land and 0.89 square miles (2.3 km2), or 7.74%, is water.[1]

Public schools[edit]

Rotonda West falls within the Charlotte County Public School district. Two schools are found inside the Rotonda West area: L.A. Ainger Middle School[4] and Vineland Elementary School.[5] Both schools have received an A from the state more than five years in a row.[6]

Center of Rotonda[edit]

There is a large park inside the center of Rotonda West with a playground, tennis courts, and a walking path. There is also a designated area where people can pay to park boats, trailers, and RVs.

Climate[edit]

Located in southwest Florida on the Gulf Coast, the weather usually stays relatively mild. In the summer, it is not uncommon for temperatures to get into the mid-90s, but this is tempered by sea breezes from the Gulf. At night in the summer, temperatures quickly drop to the low to mid 70s. However, due to the high humidity levels and lack of breeze, it tends to feel much hotter. In the winter, hard freezes are rare, but occasionally occur. It's more common to have frost on the ground briefly in pre-dawn hours, but it melts shortly after sunrise. This usually only happens 2 or 3 times during the winter. Temperatures average 50 - 70 degrees during the winter. On a sunny winter day, it's rare for the temperature to stay below 50 degrees for long.

Summer thunderstorms are not uncommon. Florida is known as the lightning capital of the United States.[citation needed] The dry season is in the spring.

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 6,574 people, 3,181 households, and 2,287 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 597.4 people per square mile (230.7/km²). There were 3,961 housing units at an average density of 359.9/sq mi (139.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 98.16% White, 0.44% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.32% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.34% of the population.

There were 3,181 households out of which 11.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.3% were married couples living together, 4.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.1% were non-families. 24.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.05 and the average family size was 2.39.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 11.0% under the age of 18, 2.9% from 18 to 24, 12.3% from 25 to 44, 29.1% from 45 to 64, and 44.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 63 years. For every 100 females there were 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.8 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $38,636, and the median income for a family was $43,844. Males had a median income of $28,046 versus $18,616 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $21,437. About 1.7% of families and 4.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.5% of those under age 18 and 2.7% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Rotonda CDP, Florida". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  2. ^ |Early Facts About Rotonda West by Jack Alexander
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ "L.A. Ainger Middle School". Charlotte County Public Schools. Archived from the original on 2008-06-11. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  5. ^ "Vineland Elementary". Charlotte County Public Schools. Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  6. ^ "School Accountability Reports". Florida Department of Education. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  7. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]