Project Description:

The Buckley’s Pass project is an additional navigational access channel connecting the Punta Gorda Isles canal system to Charlotte Harbor through a shorter, more convenient, and direct route than is currently available through the existing Ponce de Leon Inlet harbor access point. The access channel, approximately 1,446 feet long and 60 feet wide, will be cut through an existing mixed wetland and upland area to connecting the city’s canal system to Alligator Creek, which then connects directly to Charlotte Harbor about 1 mile down the creek.

This additional harbor access has been contemplated for more than 10 years and is envisioned in the Punta Gorda Waterfront Development Master Plan and the TEAM Punta Gorda Citizens Master Plan. Various boards and committees have discussed this potential project and possible means of implementation, including the Waterfront Development Advisory Committee, the Revitalization Committee, the Punta Gorda Isles Canal Advisory Committee, the Burnt Store Isles Canal Advisory Committee, and the 1% Local Option Sales Tax Committee. Spearheaded by Punta Gorda Boater's Alliance and the late Captain John “Jay” Buckley, City Council officially named the new access channel “Buckley’s Pass.”

Aerial View Buckley's Pass

Project Updates:

January 15, 2019 - City closed on the real estate transcation acquiring the 5.86 acres needed for the project.

December 21, 2018 - City submitted grant application package to Charlotte County for the FY 2019/2020 Boater Revolving Fund Grant. Application Processing Schedule:

  • Dec 10 – Jan 31. Application Period.
  • Feb 14 – Mar 14. Marine Advisory Committee (MAC) review and prioritization of applications for formal recommendation to Board of County Commissioners (BCC).
  • April 23. BCC reviews MAC recommendation and votes on applications. 
  • July. WCIND board votes on district applications for funding. 
  • July – September. Grant contracts developed and signed
  • October 1. Grant term begins. 
December 5, 2018 - City Council approved the Resolution of Intent to utilize the Uniform Method of Collection (placement on the property tax bill) for the non-ad valorem assessments to fund the project.


November 7, 2018 - City Council awarded Special Authorization #3 to Master Agreement with Hans Wilson & Associates for construction engineering services.  

October 31, 2018 - City provided County MSBU (Municipal Service Benefit Units ) Coordinator with Water Access Units assignment information for benefitted parcels

October 22, 2018 - Executed amendments to vacant land contract, rescheduled closings to January 15, 2019

September  24, 2018 - Issued purchase order for land survey

August 22, 2018 - City approved land purchase

August 7, 2018 - Army Corp Permit No: SAJ-2016-02715 (SP-KRD) approved

November 15, 2017 - Economic Analysis accepted & proposed Special Assessment Methodology approved by City Council

June 21, 2017 - Award of Agreement for Economic Analysis to PMG Associates May 5, 2017 - FDEP issued state water quality certification (permit)

May 3, 2017 - Legal Counsel presents apportionment methodology for special assessment

May 4, 2016 - Award of Agreement to Nabors Giblin & Nickerson for establishment of an assessment program

February 3, 2016 Engineer presented preliminary channel location assessment matrix and Council selection made

September 2, 2015 -  Approval to Negotiate Master Engineering Agreement with Hans Wilson

June 17, 2015 - Council adopts staff’s plan of action for moving project forward

April 6, 2015 - Public Input Workshop held

Water Access Units:

A “Water Access Unit” or “WAU” is defined as a dock, lift, slip or other structure for receiving water craft that is allowable under existing code regulations and will be the standard unit for assessment calculation of each parcel. WAUs will be assigned to each platted lot within the assessment area based on the maximum number of docks, lifts, slips or other structures which are existing or allowable, whichever is greater, under Chapter 6 of the Punta Gorda Code. The total number of WAUs assigned to condominiums will be divided among all unit owners.   

Zoning Designation Lot Width (feet) WAUs Assigned
Single Family 84.99 or less 1
Single Family more than 85 2
 Multi-Family  n/a Varies

 ***interactive map coming soon***

Proposed Assessment Area Map:


Project Location Map:
 Overall Site Plan Buckley's Pass