The town and Estero Boulevard neighbors Eddie Rood and Kurt Kroemer are all named in the lawsuit the Audubon Society filed to try to block the wooden walkover to the beach the town approved for the two homeowners last month. We reached out to all three to get their reaction.
Interim Town Manager Keith Wilkins says, “We are surprised and disappointed. We would like to put this behind us and let everyone just move forward.”
Kurt Kroemer told Beach Talk Radio News it’s extremely disappointing that Brad Cornell would have the town of Fort Myers Beach sued during their time of rebuilding. “The Audubon does not own this land and they should not be trying to fight permits already approved by the FDEP and Town. Mr. Cornell had his say at both the LDC meeting and the Town Council Meeting, where the final vote was 6 to 1 and 3 to 2 respectively, approving the walkover special exception application. The Audubon is bound by the final ruling of the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings which confirmed walkovers help and do not hurt this dune eco system. This lawsuit is a terrible waste of their member’s monetary contributions.”
Eddie Rood said every governmental entity from the local level, state level and federal level have all approved the walkover. “It has been determined by all of them that the walkover is a benefit to the environment and wildlife, but the Audubon wants to disagree with those agencies whose job it is to protect the environment and wildlife of the State of Florida. The Audubon continues to fight the walkover simply because they just don’t like it. It is hard to understand why the Audubon would pick this fight against the Town with all the physical and financial problems the Town is already facing with the destruction of Hurricane Ian. The solution should be all of us working together for a positive outcome that benefits everyone. The Audubon just gave the Town an unnecessary gut punch simply because they didn’t get their way.”
Read the full filing from the Audubon HERE.
When does a town vote on a very controversial topic right after a hurricane & when most island residents are not even here? Those that survived were busy saving their homes & tending to family. Thank you Audubon for recognizing preservation & thanks to the two councilmen who had the vision to vote against this boondoggle. The beach has always belonged to the public & not special interests.
Who pays the taxes on that land? What are the legal boundaries? Many a concrete sidewalk and bridge have been built in parks without harming wildlife. Central Park comes to mind. Is this a land grab?
If the board walk was to be a public one allowing ALL to use it then fine. If it’s only for the homeowners then NO!
And FYI I do not live here full time.
Kurt claims the Audubon Society doesn’t own the land, neither do you guys, your own attorney stated this during the meetings. And did you guys drop your state lawsuit during this time of rebuilding? Oh wait, the state filed a judgement to dismiss your case due to no merit. I heard Eddie’s bogus American Disability Act claim was also in the new suit. You guys have proven you will stoop to any level to get your bridge. You should have just purchased a home that had dry beach access, but you didn’t. And all you do is whine and threaten the town about it. Great job Audubon Society, we support you!!
Take an Island poll, I am 100% confident that the public’s support is largely in favor of the walkover.
Hahaha. Perhaps the “public” in general who don’t live here or have a full understanding of this years long battle thanks to Eddie and Kurt. But the “public” as in those of us who call FMB home do not support this and you know it. Why would anyone support a private bridge that will give 2 homeowners dry beach access when the lagoon behind their property was there when they purchased the property, and the state owns the land they want to build their bridge over? Do you even live here anymore?
A bridge built over public land should be for public use. I agree with Leah. If you purchase a home knowing it has no dry beach access, then live with your decision or move.
Nice hearing from you Leah, it’s been a while. I have struggled emotionally ever since you blocked me from your 5-Decide page.
Bad argument Leah.
I don’t live on the island anymore but I did for 67 years and I’ll be damned if not being there somehow exempts me from commenting on the issues confronting it.
Turning over publicly owned property to private interests for access to the Gulf and not allowing public use is dead wrong. This is not about private property rights. It’s about public property rights belonging to the public.
The fact the DEP has allowed this is shameful.
Good for Audubon. It’s trying to protect the public’s rights since the town refuses to.
I could not agree more that filing this lawsuit in the middle of the carnage left by Hurricane Ian, the worst disaster to ever hit the area, a disaster that decimated the entire Island, is nothing short of callous and shameful. How many times does the Audubon Society need lose court decisions to give up this futile battle?