Traffic Chaos Ahead

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On January 6th I got information from Lee County on the final approvals already given by the County Commissioners for a 36-acre site currently occupied by the Ebb Tide on Maine Street in February 2013. They comprise a 450-room hotel, a 74,000 sq. ft. Convention Centre, 271 residential condo units, 10,000 sq. ft. of offices and 85,000 sq. ft. of retail space. Maximum building height is 230 ft. Despite public hearings and objections to this huge development, full approval has been given. Although nothing has yet been built, there is no reason why this work should not start at any time now!

Less than 1/2 mile away from Ebb Tide, the former Compass Rose Marina have applied for a new Marina Development, called Bay Harbour Marina, on a 7.8-acre site. They are seeking to build 113 residential condos, 286 dry boat slips, 29 wet slips plus 30,000 sq. ft. of commercial, office and retail space. In addition, they want a parking garage for 500 cars in excess of their needs for commercial parking. Building height requested is 175 feet. This development was applied for on June 18, 2015 and the first Public Hearing is scheduled for February 4th 2016. Final approval has not yet been given.

It is clear that Lee County, despite protestations by Commissioners to the contrary, does not have the slightest interest in the welfare of existing residents of San Carlos Island or Fort Myers Beach. If you add to this the proposed huge downtown development on Fort Myers Beach itself, then it is clear that our road infrastructure from the mainland would be quite unable to cope. Our traffic problems on San Carlos Boulevard would become utterly intolerable! Somebody responsible for roads and bridges needs to step in and knock many heads together to try to find a sensible solution to this chaotic situation.

Michael Short

Fort Myers Beach