ONE DAY ONLY - Saturday, July 22, 9 a.m. - noon, LPG Family Medicine, 16271 Bass Road, Fort Myers, FL 33908
NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY, Limited spots available. Please bring the necessary forms.
Big Carlos Pass Bridge will be closed to fishing beginning July 23 to ensure safety
Lee County’s contractor begins working in the pass later this month driving pile for the new bridge.
The contractor, Superior Construction, will be installing signs this week to notify the public of this change.
The new bridge will replace the existing drawbridge over Big Carlos Pass with a fixed-span bridge that will provide a vertical navigation clearance of 60 feet. The new bridge will be constructed on the Gulf side of the existing bridge, and will include:
one travel lane in each direction;
6-foot-wide sidewalk along the north side of Estero Boulevard;
and a 10-foot-wide shared use path along the south side of Estero Boulevard.
A parking area with access to the Lovers Key State Park and a fishing pier will be included on the southeast side of the bridge. The project also includes relocation of existing infrastructure for Lee County Utilities and Bonita Springs Utilities. The construction contract also includes creation of an offshore artificial reef using the materials from the old bridge.
Drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists are urged to use extra caution when traveling through the work zone and follow posted speed limit signs as the speed limit has been reduced. The project is expected to be completed in Summer 2026. Project cost is $90.8 million.
For other fishing opportunities and other outdoor recreation, check out Lee County Parks & Recreation’s Hurricane Ian Progress Map to verify which county parks and beaches are open. Please follow safety guidelines and be respectful of your neighbors so all park patrons can enjoy the day. You can navigate to the Hurricane Progress Map and the Park Finder to search for specific amenities, such as fishing, by visiting www.leegov.com/parks.
Also remember to check recreational opportunities available through local municipalities and Florida State Parks.
JOIN US FOR MOUND HOUSE CLASSES
Join us at Mound House on July 25 at 5:30 p.m. as we host Brent Newman, Chief Curator at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. Brent will present "Thomas Edison and Henry Ford in the Wilds of Florida".
Learn about how these two famous men and their families explored Fort Myers Beach and other remote locations in Florida. General price is $15, but Mound House member pricing is $7. This includes museum admission and light bites.
Please sign easements by July 31 so that your property can receive the benefit of free sand to restore it after the damage caused by Hurricane Ian. This is part of the Town's beach renourishment project.
We've heard that some property owners believe that they will give up their property rights to the Town if they sign the easement form. We understand how that could be a concerning thought, and how hard it might be to accept that it is inaccurate. We asked the Town's new attorney to confirm what we've previously published about this matter.
"The easement form states that there are no third party beneficiaries and nothing prohibits the upland owner from using their property in any way as long as such use is consistent with the easement and complies with federal, state, county, and Town of Fort Myers Beach law. It also states that all risks associated with the use of the easement is on the Town, not on the property owner."
Questions can be sent by email to Chadd Chustz, the Town’s Environmental Projects Manager, at email@example.com
Please use native plants as you are rebuilding
The Marine & Environmental Resources Task Force promotes the use of native plants for all landscaping accomplished by Lee County, the Town, and residents or businesses on Estero Island.
What are the benefits of native plants to us? They can save you money and create a healthier place for yourself and your family.
They require little to no watering and can withstand periods of drought. (This saves money on watering and turfgrass irrigation systems.)
They require little to no fertilizer. (The main components of fertilizer are phosphorus and nitrogen. Both of these ingredients can run off and fuel excess algae growth, whether it be red tide or blue-green algae. When the nitrogen is not used up by the plants, microbes in the soil can convert it into nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.)
They require little to no pesticides. (The National Cancer Institute released a study stating households with lawns treated with pesticides had children with a 6.5 times greater risk of developing leukemia. All pesticides have a precautionary statement warning of health issues for humans and animals.)
They require little to no herbicides. (Herbicides pose a risk to humans and pets. The labels advise if the herbicide is in contact with skin, directly or by soaking through clothing, the first aid treatment is to rinse for 15 –20 minutes and contact a physician or poison control center. It should never be allowed to run in to any body of water.)
Freedom lawns consisting of native plants need less mowing. (Turfgrass lawns require regular mowing and the amount of gasoline used for lawnmowers or other gas-powered garden tools has been shown to emit 5% of the nations air pollution from exhaust.)
They give a beautiful array of colors and forms for human enjoyment (Plus they provide free entertainment with all of the birds and butterflies visiting your native plants.)
The Town is required to only accept the new form without a grace period. This means that any elevation certificate signed and dated on or after July 7, 2023 must utilize this new FEMA EC Form. This form and other National Flood Insurance Program Underwriting Forms can also be obtained from the FEMA website.
Elevation Certificates are very helpful and are used for two main reasons:
1) Community Development staff use elevation certificates to ensure that new construction or substantial improvements to property are compliant with floodplain regulations for minimum building elevation to or above the required Base Flood Elevation.
2) The insurance industry uses elevation certificates to rate your structure for flood insurance. Generally speaking, for each 1 foot above the required Base Flood Elevation your home or business is elevated, you will see a corresponding decrease of nearly 50% in your annual flood insurance premiums. Conversely, for each foot below BFE, your rates will double. Elevating your home can be costly, but this explanation shows how you can save a lot of money in annual flood insurance premiums, while having a safer home or business to enjoy. Download the Elevation Certificate Fact Sheet from FEMA for more information.
Contact a surveyor to have an Elevation Certificate prepared for your home or business. An Elevation Certificate is the only way to ensure that your premium accurately reflects your risk.
Have you gotten your hurricane re-entry pass yet?
We've worked with the Lee County Sheriff's Office and FMB Fire District to streamline this process from prior years, using lessons learned from Hurricane Ian.
Each pass will have the first three letters of the pass holder's name written on the back with an assigned number. The number will be assigned when the pass holder shows identification at pick up.
Permit is now required for placement of temporary structures
Town suspends $100 fee for temporary structure permits until further notice
The Town has reconsidered the permit process for placement of temporary structures and decided to suspend the $100 permit fee until further notice.
If a property owner has already paid the fee, they should contact the Town for a refund at 239-765-0202 during business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“Temporary structures” include trailers, manufactured homes and other temporary units that people are living in, working in, or using for storage on their properties while they rebuild from the damage caused by Hurricane Ian.
Town Council took action after Hurricane Ian to allow temporary structures to be used and registered with the Town. This was to assist property owners to start rebuilding quickly and to help the Town keep track of the number of temporary structures and their locations. The registration that was required at that time has now been formalized as a permit process.
Map or other documentation indicating the proposed location of the manufactured home, mobile home, motor home, recreational vehicle, or other temporary residential unit
State Department of Health, State Department of Environmental Protection, and Town permit(s) authorizing the connection of the manufactured home, mobile home, motor home, recreational vehicle, or other temporary residential unit to an on-site or existing community wastewater treatment system.
The applicant must be the property owner/commercial tenant of the lot and the vendor must have a Lee County Tax-ID; or with the Town’s consent, have the permission of the property owner to operate at that location. Permission must be supplied with application.
All vehicles and structures must be completely on the lot and may not extend into the public right-of-way.
Vehicles and structures placed on commercial lots must be setback by no less than the width of the vehicle/structure (i.e. track width) from any property line and not protrude into the right of way.
Food Service Kitchens are permitted on their brick-and-mortar commercial site that is zoned for that type of activity.
Other retail stores may not accommodate food trucks.
Temporary power and sewer connection must be permitted by submitting a Trade Permit Application.
Structures which are not on wheels must be tied-down on a stabilized surface or secured with appropriate helical piles, or other method to resist hydro-dynamic forces.
Vehicle and mobile home must be on wheels and be able to quickly disconnect utility connections and be removed from the property after a hurricane watch has been issued.
Once a complete permit application is received, a permit number is created and the permit is created in the iWorQ permit portal. From this point, to check the permit status, pay fees, print permits and approved job site plans, schedule inspections, and check inspection results, here is the link to the iWorQ permit portal: https://portal.iworq.net/FORTMYERSBEACH/permits/600
Hurricane season is underway, and Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) encourages businesses and professionals to protect themselves before and after a storm. We've been hearing sad stories about issues with construction contractors.
It's prompted us to share this reminder about making sure you are using a licensed Florida contractor to rebuild. You can verify licenses (see instructions below) and file complaints online or by email.
Two out of the six nests that have hatched were disoriented by lights from the land side of the beach!
The first turtle nest on the emergency berm has hatched!
The emergency berm was designed to restore sand in time for nesting season so that turtles could safely lay their eggs and hatchlings could find their way safely to the Gulf when they emerge. This makes six nests now that have hatched this season out of the 66 that have been deposited.
Two out of the six nests that have hatched were disoriented!!!
(These were not on the emergency berm.)
Here are the ways you can help the hatchlings that are still in their nests to go toward the Gulf when they hatch.
Do not shine lights on a nest or hatchling
Use Amber LED light bulbs where lighting is necessary.
If you find a hatchling wandering in the daytime, place it in a dry container---NO water--and call Turtle Time right away at (239) 481-5566.
Property owners are reminded about the lighting that is required to help protect turtles and hatchlings during nesting season. Conventional lighting scares females from nesting and disorients hatchlings away from the Gulf, leading to exhaustion, dehydration, and death from falling into storm drains, passing cars, and predators.
The Town will monitor lights on the beach during season. Efforts will focus on educating property owners on solutions. Property owners are encouraged to walk on the beach to see if their property’s lighting is visible from the beach and install wildlife friendly lighting. The Town’s Environmental Projects Manager Chadd Chustz is available for questions and light inspections. Contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Report a Concern
Do you need someone from the Town to address a utilities, street, beach, permitting, zoning, code, public record, or other issue? There's a button on the top of the Town's website that helps you submit an electronic form that goes directly to the Town employee who is responsible for your particular concern. You can also click the link below.
The Town is developing a plan to guide how and what information is sent to the public. Your input is needed as a recipient of the Town's communications! Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. If you would like to provide more lengthy feedback, please email email@example.com.
Monday, August 7 9 a.m. - Town Council Meeting- DiamondHead Beach Resort, 2000 Estero Blvd
*Meetings are subject to change. Please refer to the agendas posted on the Town's website.
Town Hall is open for walk-in service from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments are strongly encouraged to minimize wait times. Call 239-765-0202 to schedule an appointment with the appropriate department.
Status of bids and proposals
The Town has partnered with DemandStar which is open and accessible to all businesses and gives instant access to RFPs, RFQs, and ITBs