How The CWA Could Cost You Millions More

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(By Ed Ryan) During a presentation regarding the Estero Island Shoreline Protection Project the town is undertaking to renourish and protect its beach, Mike Poff the President of Coastal Engineering Consultants, dropped a multi-million dollar bombshell on the town council.

Poff put together a comprehensive plan for the entire 6.5 miles of shoreline that would renourish critically eroded areas of the beach and protect it when the next big storm hits. The total length of shoreline within the project is 33,923 feet. The length of shoreline within the project boundary that is designated critically eroding by FDEP is approximately 30,905 feet.

Step one is to submit applications to state agencies in November. The application process takes 15 months with the work possibly beginning in early 2023 if all goes according to plan. The entire project, if done at once, would take 6 months.

A major monkey-wrench that Poff says needs to be worked out is the ownership of the land where the Critical Wildlife Area sits on the south end. Yes…the same Critical Wildlife Area the town is fighting homeowners Eddie Rood and Kurt Kroemer over regarding a proposed walkover.
Poff says if the state owns the CWA the state would pay 100% of the beach renourishment costs because that area has been deemed as critically eroding. If it turns out the homeowners own the land in which the CWA sits that could run the town portion of the total bill up by millions of dollars. The length of shoreline within the Little Estero Island Critical Wildlife Area is approximately 5,662 feet.

You may recall that Rood and Kroemer are involved in a lawsuit with the state of Florida to determine who owns that property. And, the homeowners believe they have the documentation – a title – that will prove they own the land, not the state. A trial is set for June of next year to determine whether the state or the homeowners own that land.

Rood and Kroemer have also said they would not have staked any claim to the land if the town granted them a special use permit to build a walkover so they could access the beach from their homes. The battle between the town and the homeowners has already cost the town hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The entire beach renourishment project is estimated to cost about $23 million if the town chose to go with the cadillac program and renourish the beach for the next decade. The south end would cost about $6 to $7 million with the central and north end costing $16 million.

Not all of the money will come from the town. Both the state and the county will also contribute funding. The state of Florida will cover 43% of the cost of the project, Lee County TDC (Tourist Development Council) funds will cover 43% and the town will pay a 14% share.

What was approved by the town council this week was $212,000 for design and permitting of the project. The Town is financially responsible for 14% of $204,000 or $28,560, plus $8,000 for the southern segment beach access feasibility study.

Poff says he’s applying for a 15-year permit, the initial renourishment in 2023, then to be able to do additional work if funding becomes an issue. Sand will be brought in using equipment that costs millions of dollars to mobilize so phasing it in will cost more money.

16 COMMENTS

  1. LR/Lane … Your comments sound suspiciously similar to comments made by another BTR listener that had been previously blocked. Why don’t you include your actual name on your posts? Why post duplicate comments, do you think saying the exact thing over and over and over again has more impact and makes you seem more wise and profound?

  2. Kurt, when you Purchased your home, your back yard was EXACTLY the same as it is now. Comon, you know what you purchased. Your back yard did not change, the only thing that changed was your neighbor put up a fence so now you can’t walk thru their property to get to the beach because you never could walk directly to the beach from you home. You really do think the people on this island are stupid don’t you. And please stop making baseless threats and providing subjective, inaccurate information. The town will not lose the CWA, and it will not cost the tax payers millions. You got what you paid for Kurt and you know it amd so does council. Let the courts decide based on the facts Kurt. If I’m a betting person, I’d bet you and Eddie will lose once again.

  3. Please provide actual proof that this could cost the town millions. But then again, this is what Eddie has been threatening for over a year and it’s simply not true. If Eddie and Kurt are actually in litigation and think they will win as they’ve claimed repeatedly, why would they jeopardize their case by wanting to debate a local resident on your show?

  4. Please provide actual proof that this could cost the town millions. But then again, this is what Eddie has been threatening for over a year and it’s simply not true. If Eddie and Kurt are actually in litigation and think they will win as they’ve claimed repeatedly, why would they jeopardize their case by wanting to debate a local resident on your show? This story is so old. Eddie and Kurt lost yet they continue to make baseless threats and try to instill fear in the public amd the public is not getting an objective view of the entire story. Just Eddie’s side which you continue to pitch.

  5. Please provide actual proof that this could cost the town millions. But then again, this is what Eddie has been threatening for over a year and it’s simply not true. If Eddie and Kurt are actually in litigation and think they will win as they’ve claimed repeatedly, why would they jeopardize their case by wanting to debate a local resident on your show? This story is so old, and Eddie and Kurt lost yet they continue to make baseless threats and try to instill fear in the public. And please don’t have him on your show again, we’ve seen enough of Eddie. It’s like watching a cheesy used car salesman and the only people buying are the ones who don’t live here because they are not getting an objective view of the entire story.

  6. Been to ocean city Maryland? Dune replenishment happened. They fence area off. Put a walk way through the middle. It’s helped everything from plants to wildlife to people. Guess nobody in fort myers beach has ever left the damn island. Check every beach in South Carolina, Delaware, all the same dune structures. Hmm let’s have a Study done maybe and waste some more tax dollars.

  7. Wendy: You really need to do some research.
    Fact: Their boardwalk would not cross the actual CWA. Fact: Wildlife loves cover & structure and prefer that humans walk on an elevated boardwalk instead of wading through the sensitive area. That’s why nature preserves have boardwalks. If the town would have approved the walkway the CWA would remain as is, by denying their request the town put the CWA at risk. If the CWA is dissolved it will be the town that’s at fault.

  8. They act like they cant get to the beach because of the CWA.
    What a bunch of bull. So we should sacrifice the Critical Wildlife Area because they cant walk 10 minutes to get to the water? I believe it’s called “Critical” for a reason. The birds that nest there need that area to be able to raise their young safely so they continue to thrive in a safe environment.
    Keep in mind these 2 Texans knew the CWA was there when they bought their properties. Why do people come here to change what attracted them to FMB? I wonder if these 2 men would be able to pull this off on San Padre which is a protected barrier island in Texas.

    • You obviously haven’t read how much these gentleman have bent to get access to the beach that their property once had access to (realize – there are seawalls on their properties where the ocean once met their property). All they want is a simple boardwalk walkover. It’s really simple. But some on our town council are just too stubborn and proud to have someone do what they want with their own property. Now we stand to lose the CWA (and I believe they will prevail in that suit) because our town council in inept. You anger should be directed at the council, versus the people trying to do a legal thing with the property they own.

    • The short reply to your comment is Mr. Rood is disabled and will not be able to walk in the future. However, this aside, we share in your frustration that the town council would give up the CWA to stop a beneficial dune walkover outside the CWA. If you do not believe the walkover is beneficial, then you share the responsibility of this loss as do the 3 council members who voted against our application.

      The town spent around $300,000 litigating their reasons of why a dune walkover is harmful in a dune system. The Town lost. They were told no to their concerns by an administrative judge and were informed that walkovers are beneficial. We made sure each council member had a copy of the final order. Yet they still proceeded to twist the town’s boardwalk ordinances in denying our permits.

      Rood and I made it very clear to Rexann, Bill and Jim before their vote, that our land ownership suit would follow an application denial. We gave them the documents, contacts, and resources so they could do their own research of who owns this land. Our goal was to leave the CWA alone and put our walkover outside the boarders. If you are frustrated, then direct your frustration to the council. Use your voting power to hold representatives accountable to Florida laws and property owners’ rights. (Fl. Statute Chapter 253 Section 141)

  9. Considering the risks for the town … was denying their request for an exemption for their walkway a wise risk or a foolish one?

  10. Risks of the town denying the homeowners request for a boardwalk:
    Repercussions of approving the boardwalk — Rood & Kroemer build their boardwalk.
    Repercussions of denying their request and losing the resulting court battle — The boardwalk is built. The town accrues hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. The town risks possible payouts to the landowners. The CWA designation could be lost. The town could be responsible for renourishment costs as stated in the article.

  11. If it is decided that Rood and Kroemer own the beach and can build a walk over to it how much will they pay to refurbish their section of beach?
    Or will the town and state be obligated to guarantee that there will always be a beach at the end of the walkover ?

    • Our section of the beach is accreting, so no renourishment is required. I purchased a beach front home to have a nice beach. It is as important to me as everyone.

    • They won’t own completely down to the water… so no, they wouldn’t be responsible for the cost of the re-nourishing of the ’public” beach/right of way.

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