I am writing in response to Kurt Kroemer’s letter. (“Dune Walkover Decision Wrong,” Island Sand Paper, November 22, 2019.) The letter conveys his displeasure in the Council’s denial of his request for a special exemption allowing a dune walkover in an Environmentally Critical Zone and adjacent to a Critical Wildlife Area. The words ‘environmentally critical’ and ‘critical wildlife’ should shout the need to protect this area. I applaud the town council vote. We must stand for the nature of this island.
We share this island with its original inhabitants-wildlife! We cannot expect nature to constantly survive our need for convenience. Mr. Kroemer states nine waterfront homes have no beach access. Is that true, or is it just that they have somewhat inconvenient access? Adequate access does not necessarily mean right outside the back door and venturing a little further to access the beach can provide beautiful experiences. I do it regularly.
The letter states properties have been devalued due to the denial. All beachfront homes on our island carry a high monetary value. He must have known the constraints that came with it.
He states that public opinion not public interest was the cause for denial of his request. Public opinion expresses the public’s interest. Many residents and visitors care greatly about protecting the island’s wildlife/marine life. One “small” structure in a critical zone can create huge, devastatingly negative changes to an already deemed critical area.
Maybe he could try marketing the adjacent CWA to potential renters. Advertise to bird lovers and those who love the unspoiled nature of that part of our beach. Supply binoculars, create a birdwatching area from a lanai, and provide information on all that the Audubon Society, Lee Shorebird Stewards and Turtle Time do for our nesting birds and turtles. Also supply instructions to renters on accessing the beach in an environmentally positive way. I hope he can see this as an opportunity to share with his renters a rare glimpse of nature that many would otherwise never experience.
Fort Myers Beach