Not Clearwater Beach

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The Grand Resorts website compares the “Coastal Protection System” (CPS) for Fort Myers Beach (FMB) with the “Wave Attenuation Wall” (WAW) on Clearwater Beach.  The locations are vastly different.  The CPS south of the pier on FMB is 40 to 80 feet from the Mean High Water Line (MHWL).  The WAW on Clearwater Beach is 400 to 600 feet from the MHWL.  Florida Statutes, Florida Administrative Codes and numerous scientific studies, recognize that armoring located too close to the Gulf will accelerate beach erosion.  Erosion restricts public use of a sand beach.

Ground level buildings in Clearwater Beach are landward of the 100-year storm Coastal Construction Control Line (CCCL).  They are separated from the Gulf by a boardwalk, the WAW, a wide vegetated area, a two-lane road with an unobstructed view of the Gulf, another boardwalk, another wall, another vegetated area and a wide sand beach.  To be comparable, Grand Resorts hotel rooms would have to be located at the foot of the Matanzas Bridge.

The Clearwater Beach goal for their “Beach by Design” redevelopment is to build 2000 additional hotel rooms in order to “compete with South Beach.”  Fort Myers Beach wants to maintain its small town character.  Not a good comparison!

Tom Babcock

Fort Myers Beach