Condo Owners Concerned About Direction of Government


The Condominium Associations of Fort Myers Beach met Thursday at the Fort Myers Beach Library. On the agenda: window tinting and beach re-nourishment. The Town of Fort Myers Beach has approved an ordinance change regarding the tint, and is closing in on a beach renourishment project that has condo owners concerned.

Fort Myers Beach Projects Manager Chad Chustz attended the meeting to respond to questions. The condo association committee chairman said “we had more questions and comments at this meeting than any other meeting in our history”.

Condo owners and their associations are strongly opposed to the recently approved window tint changes from .45 (45%) light transmittance to .15 (15%). They stated that the .15% windows are not currently available and once available will be prohibitively expensive. Both facts were disputed by Chustz and councilman Bill Veach at the Marine Resources Task Force meeting Wednesday.

Condo residents also say the darker windows make condo interiors dark and gloomy. They want the town to go back to the .45%, which is what the state requires. Chustz said the town’s expectations have not changed, “that no exterior or interior light transmittance be visible from the beach” and that “he uses his eyes to make that judgement.”

Chustz’s additional recommendations to reduce light transmittance include: “motion detectors on lights, downward pointing lights, opaque window coverings, shielding, yellow/orange/red long wavelength bulbs and working with a lighting professional.”

Chustz stressed there has been no change in enforcement in the past 3 years. He also stated that “turtle rules apply to businesses as well as condos and homes” and when asked why the turtle season begins in May instead of June (when turtle eggs begin hatching) Chustz said “adult turtles get disoriented too”.

Regarding the beach re-nourishment project the condo owners & associations had numerous questions and concerns. The town has proposed declaring a stretch of the beach near The Island Winds condominium a “critically eroding beach.”

Island Winds President Dave Nussbaum pointed out that the stretch of beach from the Wyndham to the Outrigger is a “beach of attrition” and they do not want to be classified as a “critical erosion beach.” He asked if the town would be willing to sign off on an agreement to not be subject to eminent domain or the town seizing ownership of private property.

Chustz replied “nobody wants eminent domain and no one wants to seize property” — the question remains whether the town would be willing to put that on paper. A number of people in attendance said they would be open to beach re-nourishment if the town would memorialize that assurance.

Another question was whether condo owners could be forced into putting in dunes if they opt out of beach re-nourishment. Chustz replied “no” and when asked if they could get that in writing he said, “you need to ask, I am not the town council.” The timeframe for beach re-nourishment is the 4th quarter of 2023 to early 2024, working north to south, dependent on funding and the outcome of the CWA lawsuit the state of Florida is fighting with homeowners Eddie Rood and Kurt Kroemer.


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