Grand Resort’s proposal to build a seawall relies on our Comprehensive Plan’s concept of a seawall as a “last resort” to protect structures from erosion. These are quotations from the Comprehensive Plan:
“Buildings and other structures should be located (or moved) as far away from the shoreline and dune system as possible, since the beach is a constantly changing environment.”
“New hardened structures such as groins, jetties and seawalls should only be used as a last resort when an entire series of major structures is in imminent danger of collapse, and after methods such as emergency renourishment with trucked–in sand have failed”
“Groins, jetties and seawalls along the beach should be the absolute last resort since their use may damage the shoreline in other locations”
These codes exist because fragile barrier islands rely on the free movement of sand. Seawalls (even when renamed Coastal Protection Systems) have been shown to do irreparable damage to barrier beaches.
This “last resort” applies to existing buildings. There is no way to contort the meaning to include structures that do not yet exist. New buildings need to conform to the state and local building codes, both in their structure and location.
You cannot build in a location that you know is unsuitable and then claim the need for relief because of its unsuitability.
Deciding to ignore both the spirit and the letter of our code sets a terrible precedent. How will we deny the next developers’ seawall request if the code doesn’t suit their plans?
Let Grand Resorts build what our Comp Plan and Land Use Code allow, in keeping with the character and architecture of the surrounding area. We are the guardians of this beach. It is a responsibility that outweighs the lure of any short-term profit.
Fort Myers Beach