Save Crescent Beach Park

297

The proposed Grand Resorts project benefits Lee County Government at the expense of all users of the beach. Lee County owns the centerpiece of the proposed project – Crescent Beach Park. Are County Commissioners willing to give up the park purchased with public funds so that a developer can build an 8-story structure with 262 hotel rooms? They will get rights to the beach in front of the hotel for rental chairs and sale of alcohol where there is currently a “family beach.” The County gets a large economic benefit by creating a resort on park lands while the Town of Fort Myers Beach gets to pay for increased infrastructure and maintenance. In order to increase the economic benefit to the developer, is the County willing to support the construction of a 9-foot high seawall so that retail can be placed at ground level? The developer will not pay for the seawall. Several payment mechanisms are being considered, but ultimately taxpayers will pay. The new seawall will encroach on the current beach and require 20 ft of vegetation. Beach recreational space will be lost. Seawalls are known to increase beach erosion which will require more taxpayer dollars to pay for more frequent beach renourishment. Development rights are being granted all over Lee County while this prime recreational space could be given away to a developer. County Commissioners need to hear your voice in order to save Crescent Beach Park.

The Town of Fort Myers Beach incorporated so that the County would no longer control development on Estero Island. All southwest Florida visitors and residents lose if County-owned Crescent Beach Park is lost. What terms are being negotiated? The park property is estimated to be worth $26M. Its value to future generations – priceless.

Tom Babcock

Fort Myers Beach