Property Owner Must Pay Massive Code Fines

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The moral of this story is if you do work, or did work, without a permit, you will most likely get caught eventually. And, when you get caught, it could cost you an enormous amount of money. In this case, Fort Myers Beach property owner Daisy Garcia (pictured here) must pay nearly $300,000 in code violation fines…with more on the way

This code violation involves work done at 268/270 Nature View Court which is owned jointly by Dania Carballo Ortiz and her mom Daisy Garcia. The town says code violations started racking up on the property in February of 2020 when repairs were being made to the roof without a permit.

From the issuance of the initial code violation the town says the property owners never responded to any correspondence with the town. Code violations eventually make their way to the town’s Special Magistrate where financial teeth is put into the violations. The town says the property owners didn’t show up to those hearings either. Over 1,000 days later and the fines eventually ballooned to $286,075.

Ortiz went in front of the Town Council this week to ask for a 100% lien reduction. She said the reasons for ignoring the town had to do with COVID, Hurricane Ian and having to deal with her mom becoming sick. While council members were sympathetic they denied Ortiz’ request and said she had to pay the full amount of $286,075 for this violation.

Mayor Dan Allers questioned why Ortiz didn’t respond to the code violations or attend the Special Magistrate meeting. Allers said to Ortiz, “This didn’t have to get to this point. You should have negotiated at the Special Magistrate hearing. There was plenty of opportunity to get this corrected.”

But there’s more…

A second violation at the property had to do with the house being rented when the town told the property owners it could not be, due to “life and safety issues.” Despite being warned not to rent the home, the town says it had evidence of the home being rented at least 24 times over 2 years. That fine totaled $12,075, which the Town Council also told Ortiz she must pay.

A third code case which the town opened back in 2018 for remodeling the home without a permit after a fire has racked up fines totaling $365,575. The council did not rule on that request to reduce the fine after Ortiz withdrew her request. She plans to discuss that case with her attorney before deciding how to proceed.

The 268/270 Nature View Court property is one of several that a previous Town Council placed a lien on then moved forward with foreclosure proceedings for ignoring code violations. The foreclosure proceeding is moving forward according to the Town Attorney.

The property is also listed for sale now for $1.6 million.

15 COMMENTS

  1. I know a professional who has clients in their 80s. These people grew up overseas , came here & established a successful business, and ran it for many years. Because of their background, they are terrified each time they receive official gov communications. They bring unopened mail to this trusted professional for them to interpret & handle whatever the issue in question.

    Has the town ever considered having some sort of social services provider contact people who get into a situation that just doesn’t seem reasonable? Fines & penalties motivate most people to take appropriate action, but what about people with mental or cultural issues? They are worthy of a little respect & consideration…

  2. Well…first off you pay taxes to help, not harm. And seems as if the city has more interest in roadblocks, hoops, fines, and $$$$, than actually helping residents. The city does not own the property, yet the owner has to comply with city, state federal and mitigate all risk. How is that ownership? Sounds more like joint custody.

  3. The Town should round them all up; we went through the painstaking process with Permits. It seems if there is NO “Pooer Dooper” or / Port-a-John on the property, they most likely have no permit; my point is if there going to deceive the town they are not going to rent a port a john

  4. My question is .. so the property owner on “the square” gets property & parking fines in the hundreds of thousands forgiven but others must pay the full amount 🤷‍♂️

    • That’s not accurate. He paid $250,00 and had to put $500,000 in escrow to ensure he stays in compliance for a year. If he stays in compliance, that money will be refunded, if not he will forfeit that money.

    • Its because money talks and bs walks. Thats how this new council operates and their spokesperson, Mr. King will tell you otherwise. They all have hands within pockets on beach businesses. $$$

      • It would be interesting to learn how many FMB properties have been identified by the Town or FEMA for cheating on the permitting process or foregoing FEMA’S 50% calculation requirement. The number must be way high.

  5. People like this need to be held to the same rules as everyone else. I have all my permits that were needed to repair my house. I know of at least 4 on my street that never pulled any permits. I don’t understand how the town hasn’t caught on to them. Town employees went by several times a day for months. Send in the excavators and debris trucks!

    • No permits on house next to us since Ian. They have almost finished the rebuild. Every single story dwelling was under water during Ian. Just crashes property values on the street with DYI dumpy house. How will this effect our discount on flood insurance when they are left to fall through the cracks. I guess we could all take the online class to be a floodplains mgr. How hard can it be? Looks like a realtors prep class.

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