We owned 3 cottages on the north end of Ft. Myers Beach for many years. The island was full of mostly cottages. Then Lee County allowed condos with no guidelines.
We came back later. Town Square was a Caribbean aura with beach houses, sculptures and historical boards. Public beach was expanded. Pavement of flowing pastel colors.
Bowditch Point Regional Park, with uninhibited island growth, has a beach house, descriptive panels and fences for turtle’s protection. Buses travel on and off the island. Gorgeous!
The island incorporated with restrictions and guidelines. Restaurants and boutiques lined the streets. Visitors came in the winter looking for something other than another high-rise development along a beach.
Change is a necessary thing, so is development, but not when change dictates a homogenized culture. Now as change is about to begin again, saving FMB’s uniqueness is extremely important.
Keep Times Square open. Go with mega sand dunes with sea oats instead of a wall. 5th Ave and Estero Blvd may be the place for the 4-story hotel with parking, retail and restaurant spaces. Convention center: do you really need that here? Leave those mega industries for the south end.
A traffic circle coming onto and off the island makes sense: it should increase road and pedestrian flow.
I think the question for FMB residents is “Do you want FMB to look like any other resort enclave? Or do you want to keep that special, no-where else look that is now FMB?
Personally, I like the Caribbean aura of Town Square and environs. Go to the other end of the island for mega and convention stuff.
A question here: Does the city have a Historical Preservation Society or a National Registry of Historical Places for the island?