As has been widely reported by local news outlets, Edward Rood and Kurt Kroemer - through their corporate entities Squeeze Me Inn, LLC and Texas Hold’em - have recently filed a “quiet title” lawsuit against the State of Florida. These gentlemen sought approval from the Town to build a dune walkover on their properties, which was denied by the Town Council. Their new lawsuit does not involve the Town. There have been a lot of rumors, suggestions, innuendo and misstatements regarding this issue, and we wanted to share the facts based upon public record documents as follows:
The lawsuit does not seek the dissolution of the Little Estero Island Critical Wildlife Area (“CWA”). The sole relief sought is a court determination that “the Plaintiffs own in fee simple, the accreted land [behind their homes] Nowhere in their lawsuit do Mr. Rood and Mr. Kroemer ask the court to dissolve the CWA.
Per § 34-652 of the Town Land Development Code (“LDC”), all beaches and wetlands whose preservation is deemed critical to the Town are designated as being zoned EC (Environmentally Critical). Furthermore, “[accreted] beaches or wetlands, whether by natural causes or through beach renourishment or artificial filling, [are] automatically assigned to the EC zoning district.”
The “dune walkover” is an accessory structure and per § 34-652 of the Town LDC, accessory structures in the EC zoning district may be permitted as a special exception.
The Town is treating Mr. Rood and Mr. Kroemer no different than any other property owner under similar circumstances. In fact, only two or three months prior to their public hearing before the Town Council, the Town required Lee County to apply for and obtain a special exception to replace the four existing publicly owned beach “dune walkovers” at Lynn Hall Park because they are located within the Town’s EC zoning district.