Here’s The Letter You May Be Getting

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On Wednesday of this week, the town of Fort Myers Beach started cracking down on property owners who are simply ignoring the mess they inherited from Hurricane Ian. The town is calling it an unsafe structure letter.

Some residents of the island are starting to get frustrated that they are doing everything they can to take care of their plot of land, while others haven’t done a thing.

You don’t have to travel up and down too many side streets on Fort Myers Beach to find homes that still need to be demolished, debris still sitting untouched, and now weeds and high grass being ignored. There are also commercial properties up and down Estero Boulevard that are in the same shape they were in nearly a year ago.

The letter, which you can read in its entirety below, will help the town establish an inventory of who’s in what phase of cleaning up. The most pressure will be applied to those who are simply doing nothing.

Dear (property owner):

The Town of Fort Myers Beach extends its condolences for the loss of your property as a result of Hurricane Ian. The Town is in the process of rebuilding and must do so in a way that follows the applicable State and Town legal requirements. The processes are required for the common good and are necessary to prevent further losses and harm.

As the Town moves forward with the rebuilding of Fort Myers Beach, we are starting to address the properties that have become unsafe structures or that have been abandoned. In the interest of public and community safety, the Town’s Code Compliance Division is embarking on the following:

1) Surveying the current status of the remaining structures on Estero Island to photograph any buildings which are unsafe, do not provide adequate egress, constitute a fire hazard, or which, in relation to existing use, constitute a hazard to safety or health. The plan will be to require such unsafe structures to be abated by repair or demolition by certain dates in accordance with the provisions of the Unsafe Building Abatement Code.

2) Sending a letter to property owners with unsafe or abandoned structures. A code compliance case will be created for each of these buildings requiring the property owner(s) to acquire an issued Fort Myers Beach building permit prior to Oct. 1, 2023, to either demolish the structure or repair the structure. Code compliance will monitor the permitting status of the buildings on this list to ensure that the property owners are complying with the property maintenance requirements and deadlines specified.

To be as consistent as possible in this process, the following time limits will be followed:
1) Property owners receiving an unsafe building notice must acquire an issued building permit prior to October 31, 2023, to either demolish or repair the structure.
2) Property owners must demolish or repair their structures and close their permits by requesting and passing all required inspections within 180 days of permit issuance.

8 COMMENTS

  1. First, thank you Town Council for FINALLY getting this letter out. Next, let’s do something about the weeds. There are cleaned up properties (7-Eleven on Driftwood and the old BBT Bank on Flamingo) that have no debris, but the weeds are over your head. If you still own the property, no matter what your plans, you are still responsible, please clean them up and mow your weeds. Thank you, your neighbors.

  2. It is rumored that all church properties (less the Catholic Church) have been sold to developers with an offer to build a single unified structure in a yet determined location.

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