Salty Crab Owner Asks Town For Parking Relief

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Before Hurricane Ian The Salty Crab Restaurant operated successfully for years with no onsite parking. Town code would now require owner Greg Powers to have 62 parking spaces in order to rebuild. He’s asking for a variance to eliminate the parking requirement completely.

The Salty Crab property is located immediately next to Margaritaville’s Fins Up Beach Club on Estero Boulevard. It’s probably a 2-minute walk from the Lynn Hall Park parking lot and not much further from many other private parking lots. There are 800 parking spaces within 1/4 of a mile from the Salty Crab property.

The property is only 35 feet wide on .23 acres of property with frontage on Estero Boulevard making it impossible to rebuild and include 62 spaces. In addition, the Fort Myers Beach Town Council has consistently stated they want the downtown area to be more walkable and bikeable with less automobile traffic.

Earlier this year the Town Council gave Whale owners Mike and Dawn Miller a break on parking requirements. The new Whale will be built about 200 yards south of the Salty Crab property. The Town Council has been discussing changing the parking requirement rules in the downtown area, however nothing official has been done yet.

Powers is requesting a public hearing for his variance request which means it will first go to the LPA and then the Town Council.

The documentation filed with the town does not give a timeline for construction for the new Salty Crab. Obviously without this variance there could be no new restaurant.

The new two story 13,000 square foot structure would include an outdoor seating and consumption on premise area seaward of the CCCL replacing the same use and approximate area that was part of the former structure.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Salty Crab was a family favorite of ours ! Even the little kids loved it. It would be a huge loss if they don’t let them rebuild😢. As everyone has stated never needed parking before, why now?

  2. To be honest…never went to the Salty Crab much. Great sunset views and a favorite tourist spot. Never had parking. So……no need for parking now. Sunset views still beautiful, tourists will come. Let them be! One more place for me to start to enjoy, that I rarely took advantage of visiting before Ian. Restores more of the beach vibe that we all miss. Not a tourist, an island resident and a FMB voter. Take it for what it’s worth 😎

  3. Jason has outstanding idea! Why don’t we move on parking, traffic, and rebuilding instead of holding countless meetings? It is okay to hold more than one meeting a month or week!

  4. We owned mango Rita’s on time square. None of us ever had parking. Never will. So wondering why the town has some parking spot rule for some and if this hold true how will they handle time square businesses? Also, wouldn’t it be advantageous to not have the parking spots to minimize the actual number of spots available on the island? This would surely be a benefit to the flow of traffic. Why after all these years is nobody looking at a parking garage over the bridge? Buy the shark bar, the moose and other property and erect a massive parking garage. Add four shuttle trams to shuttle folks over the bridge. The lane is already there. The traffic light to get in and out is on Prescott street. Lobby the county to do this. Would eliminate possibly hundreds of cars coming over. The solution will never be on the island. It’s over both bridges.

  5. We always walked down there from Gulf View Colony, which is now gone. Never a problem walking downtown. No need for parking evah! Let them have their business! For Pete’s sake! That place was there long before Margaritaville and we loved it!

  6. I went there for years when it was the Barking Shark. All the locals did plus tourists. And Bill had no parking spots. Let them open already. Without the parking issue.

  7. The city really needs to remove this BS parking rule. They keep on waving the requirements at the expense of pushing the project back months while they “discuss.” If a business has been successful in the past without parking, they will be just fine in the future. Give us back the crab!

    • Right! Now wasting time with two hearings, the LPA and town council when you know they dismissed the parking requirement. Why make it harder for these businesses to rebuild?

  8. I really love the comments of support for this! These businesses are everything to this island, jobs, tax dollars, tourism boost, etc. I really hope the town does the right thing and lets them build back!!! Good luck salty crab, can’t wait to come in!!!!!! 😊🦀❤️

  9. Good luck Salty Crab! We have plenty of beach parking and off island/ trolley parking. Please stop making it so difficult for these businesses and our island to come back.

  10. Good Luck Salty Crab! We didn’t need parking before Ian, and do not want it now. Best birthday spent at Salty Crab watching Pats on one tv and TB and The Bucs on the tv beside it…best birthday ever!

  11. Long live the Salty Crab. Zero parking spots is a no-brainer as that’s what they had prior to Ian. Expedite their rebuild and bring it back ASAP!

  12. Salty Crab was one of our favorite places at the beach. We never needed parking to go there. Rode the bus or used other parking lots. We will be so glad if it does come back. The picture of the future building is great! We really miss going there, hate that empty spot.

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