A New Twist To That Illegal Parking Lot Story

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For years the Fort Myers Beach government has claimed Key Estero Shops owner Carmine Naccarato was operating an illegal parking lot. Naccarato has ignored code violation fines to the point the town started the foreclosure process on his property. Last week Naccarato wrote a big check to cover his fines. Then he went right back to operating illegally.

Spaces in the Key Estero parking lot are supposed to be for shoppers who come to the businesses in that plaza. In 2020 the town issued Naccarato a notice of violation and ordered he correct the violation by getting a special use permit. If Naccarato would have corrected the violation back then he would have paid a $75.00 administrative fee.

Naccarato did not correct the violation, fines began to accumulate and the town put a lien on his property. By the time the violation went before the town’s Special Magistrate in September 2020, Naccarato was facing $34,000 in fines. Naccarato continued to rent parking spaces, and according to the town, racked up nearly $220,000 in fines.

Last week, according to Town Attorney Nancy Stuperich, Naccarato came to town hall and cut the town a check for $188,000. That, according to Stuperich , is good enough to stop the foreclosure case the town was pursuing against Naccarato for ignoring the code violations for years. We’re not sure why the town accepted a $188,000 check and not the $220,000 the town reported he owed earlier this month.

Key Estero Shop owner Carmine Naccarato

However, just because he wrote a check does not mean everything is in order. Naccarato still needs to apply for a special exception to operate the parking lot. That means he has to come into compliance with the town’s rules for operating a parking lot, something he has never done. Stuperich says she’s having a conference call with Naccarato’s attorney today to explain to him what needs to be done to get his client into compliance.

In the meantime, Naccarato continues to sell parking spaces in his lot. The picture in this story is from yesterday. The lot was nearly full by 1PM. Someone who observed Naccarato’s lot on Friday said they counted him sell 160 spaces. At a rate of $20 per spot, that’s $3,200 for the day. Operations Manager Frankie Kropacek said the town has already started the code violation process again on Nacarrato.

Vice Mayor Jim Atterholt said Naccarato looks at paying his fines as the cost of doing business. Atterholt is more frustrated with the fact that rebuilding the Key Estero building to get more retail on the island is not moving along faster. Perhaps generating all that cash is more lucrative than operating a retail plaza.

Town Council member Scott Safford said Naccarato plays by his own rules and believes the other legitimate parking lots close by need to be protected.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Anyone who has never “fudged” on their income taxes or taken something that wasn’t theirs can comment on how bad and corrupt this owner is. 100 years ago you didn’t need permission from the government for 95% of the things you want to do now. We are but slaves.

  2. Yes, build back our Pool!!!!!!! Use the fine $$ for us locals instead of the tourists that park there. At least we get something out of his business.

    • Not everyone who parks there is a tourist! You’re forgetting about your neighbors in town who come out quite often to support the beach!

  3. Does anyone truly believe they own their land on that Island? I believe the owner recognized that beach people were parking in his lot all day. It’s his damn buisness let him run it. Why doesn’t FMB just pay everyone’s taxes and show us all how to make businesses profitable. Lol ! Aren’t we overdue for a seven figure traffic study?

  4. He owns the property and is not hurting anything, in fact he is providing a service so people that come to the island have a place to park. this is another example of how a few people here want to control everything that is done on FMB

  5. Uh…the town really needs the parking but they wish to remain selective as to who (the Town included) is allowed to rip off the Gulf going public. A disgusting debacle.

  6. Why has he been allowed to violate the law for years? The rest of us have to obey them. Shut down his illegal parking lot until he comes into compliance. It’s not rocket science.

  7. He’s been doing this for years.. This isn’t a new thing. Take those fines and do something good with it! Still much need in the communty.

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