The Town Wants This Mess Cleaned Up…Now!

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Times Square on Fort Myers Beach is the welcome mat for the island. It’s one of the first areas visitors experience when they come over the bridge. Beach goers congregate in that area first because it’s within walking distance of cheap parking, restrooms and local restaurants.

14 months after Hurricane Ian destroyed nearly every building in Times Square some property owners have done nothing to clean up their property. The biggest – and most dangerous property – continues to be the Pierside Grill property. Mangled rebar and massive chunks of loose concrete remain piled up in the corner lot overlooking the beach.

There was a time, many months ago, when debris could have been piled up at the side of the road and removed, at no cost to a property owner. That time has long passed. It’s now the responsibility of property owners to remove their debris and pay for it themselves.

To date, according to town staff, not much has been done to push the Pierside Grill property owner to clean up. About a month ago, after a post we made on Facebook showing the mess, Mayor Allers made contact with the owner and the next day a flimsy orange fence was put up with several no trespassing signs. That fence is not preventing curious visitors from climbing over it or going around to an open area of the property and taking pictures and video.

This Town Council is now fed up with the lack of cooperation from the property owner and at the council meeting yesterday staff was directed to start issuing code enforcement violations on the property owner.

Councilman John King said “They’ve had enough time. It’s time for us to move. We’ve been very lenient in that area and it’s time to act.”

Council member Karen Woodson is concerned about the safety aspect of that area with fireworks returning to the island next month. The fireworks display will take place on a barge not too far from that spot and the town is expecting a very big crowd, especially with Margaritaville open by then.

There are other areas on Times Square which property owners have not fully cleaned but none is as bad as the Pierside Grill lot. Mayor Allers said they need to start taking responsibility.

38 COMMENTS

  1. Holly O. Please shut up. Your don’t live on the beach or even in Florida but you keep interjecting your sarcasm and it’s so annoying. Worry about you’re own frickin neighborhood!!!!!

  2. I am so excited to be back in December For the fireworks !! Hope it gets cleaned up .
    Maybe Ed can donate all that Tshirt money he is making from the Clock in Time Square to make TS look pretty !
    And clean up those properties!!!

    • That money supports the enterprise that is Beach Talk Radio, and buying their merchandise shows support for their great local news coverage. Thankful for BTR!

    • Sue, you do realize that Ed and Kim do not get paid, right? Would you put as much time and effort as they do without getting paid anything anything? AND Why in the world should Ed pay to clean up other people’s property? You are probably one of the people that also sit and bark about Margaritaville being too expensive and how nothing should be allowed to be changed on the beach. Are you another one of these posters that chime in on everything and don’t even live in Florida let alone on the beach?

      • PS Sue, If it weren’t for Beach Talk Radio/Ed, we would have no idea of what is going on, on our island. Do you have any clue how much their “yellow army” has accomplished for this island? Ed organizes all of those events and constantly is working projects to help the island. What have you done? Go ahead and let us know. Rude people like you that really are pathetic.

      • What do you mean “They don’t get paid”? They sell adverts on their website, have their walkarounds and bikearounds sponsored by local businesses, sell merchandise for profit and made more than $45,000 in coffees we all bought for them this year. It’s a regular commercial enterprise that does alot of good.

        • Paul, the money they earn is from selling merch, donations and selling ad space. It is NOT a job that they are earning a paycheck from someone and getting benefits from an employer. How would you know how much they earned from coffees? If you are snooping into their business then that is called “stalking” and you should address that problem of yours.

          • Vicky: yes, they do not get a paycheck just like any other entrepreneur or small business owner. That’s the way a small business works.

            Concerning the 45K in coffees this year: that information is available on the buymeacoffe-website, no “stalking” involved.

    • Because the Town Council believes they are almighty and pick winners and losers –
      Either hold all to the standard or nobody – what a joke .
      Too much one offs – history of FMB .
      Needs to stop

        • Well if you actually had any interaction with the town council and staff, you would know what he is talking about!!
          But you don’t f…. Live here so quit commenting on the folks here trying to put there life back together…

          • LOL

            The town council doesn’t believe they’re “almighty” and “pick winners and losers.”

            All you have to do is attend Town Council meetings or watch Mondays with the Mayor to realize that.

    • The Wyndham applied for a demo permit back in April; the last time I looked, they still needed to pay the permit fee. How do you know where in the insurance process the Wyndham is?

      And unless you’ve checked the code violations database, are you certain they haven’t received one of the letters the town in sending regarding dangerous/abandoned properties?

  3. As I read this, my rake away is that it is a Pierside Grill issue. It is NOT! Please keep in mind that the Pierside owners leased the building, did not own it. They are not responsible for the mess. Instead of trashing, inadvertently, the Pierside name, list the actual owner who is responsible for this mess. Bad PR for the right person might help. It pains me to see Pierside’s reputation tarnished by something not in their control. We were a close-knit family who still mourn th loss of our beloved home.

    • No one has mentioned Pierside. If anyone is placing blame it’s on Sunset, which also was not mentioned. OWNERS, not leasers, clean-up your property, it’s your responsibility!

        • Pierside isn’t “targeted” – the article expressly said “Pierside property owner.”

          Most people seem to understand a business doesn’t necessarily own the property on which it operates. Even the FMB post office and CVS do not own those properties.

          • Oh that’s right… you know everything about FMB, But yet, don’t live here, don’t own here and you don’t even visit here. Odd.

  4. I don’t the financial or the legal implications, so I ask, is it possible for the town pay for debris removal and then put a lien on the property so that it couldn’t be sold or rebuilt until the lien was repaid?

  5. If the town reached out to the owner then why don’t they know whether it is an insurance problem or not? Many homeowners haven’t been able to build back because their insurance pay outs haven’t come yet or it isn’t enough to rebuild at the new standards. Call that State Insurance man that bragged about how much he has done for people to come back and really do something this time. Why does the Town always jump to enforcement instead of helping the owners by just knowing why? So quick to bitch from their RV’s that have replaced their homes for now. Even businesses owned by some of the council haven’t even started rebuilding. Why? Why? Why? is the question please! Then see what you can do to help.

    • “Jump to enforcement”??!! LOL It’s been well over a year.

      And for some, code violations/warnings are the ONLY thing that will get their attention to clean up their property.

        • Karen, Holly O doesn’t live on the beach, is not a home owner and doesn’t even live in Florida but she loves to be the loudest voice in the room. Just ignore her. Everyone is tired of her mocking home owners and being the “know it all” in her own little mind.

  6. There are so many properties that need cleaning. It’s been over a year…how were these properties maintained before the storm? Why aren’t they after? If an owner is able bodied, it costs nothing to pick up debris and put it in a garbage can. Insurance money is not needed for that. If you own property here, please maintain it, and if unable to do so, then it may be time to sell it. Unfortunately, that’s the hard truth.

    What so many people don’t realize is there are two types of cleanup….gross debris cleanup, and fine debris cleanup. Many did gross debris cleanup (home removal), but never did the fine cleanup. Now all this small debris not only looks horrible, but also blows into streets, canals, and neighboring properties on a windy day.

    It seems like the town has been catering to all the property owners that live out of town…not to the full time residents. It’s not fair that the full time residents have to see this mess everyday, where as the part timers don’t have to. Seeing this every day has an effect on one’s mental health. It’s about time that owners are held accountable for their debris cleanups.

    • “Pick up debris and put it in a garbage can”???

      Yeah, sure; just grab those slabs and chunks of concrete and rebar.

      🤦‍♀️

      • Gross and fine debris. Two different things. Obviously, large concrete won’t fit in a can😅, but the fine debris sure will!! (ie…pieces of pipe, trash, insulation, bottles,etc etc) There are properties all over that look like small dumpsters, and I’m constantly fishing garbage out of canals, streets, etc.

        • Eric, just ignore Holly O. She doesn’t even live in Florida and is NOT a home owner on FMB. She is a troll. Just don’t feed trolls.

  7. The full time residents would LOVE THE ENTIRE ISLAND CLEANED UP! There are properties and sections of sidewalks all over that look like ghettos. No one was allowed to leave their properties like this prior to the hurricane. Why are they allowed now?

  8. We owned mango Rita’s on time square. The property was leased. We saw first hand the devastation of this storm. To this day we have received not one penny in insurance. Keep in mind things in the surface are not always what they seem. Some of these property owners are having the same issues with insurance and our government allows insurance companies to just neglect their duty. I would agree there is a huge safety issue down there but it’s everywhere on the island. And the bottom line is this. That property is private property and nobody should be walking on it. It’s not open to the public as a restaurant or tee shirt shop. It’s no different than a home that hasn’t been torn down. Stay off the damn property. It’s not yours. Ok if I come walk on your property?

    • Maybe a large class action suit against the state insurance commissioner for not putting an end to the debacle will hurry things along. The last thing a politician wants is to have his name publicized in a negative light.

    • Well said ! I own a beach condo which is fenced off but they still park in front of the fence and walk around to the beach !! They have also destroyed parts of the fence on numerous occasions!! We need to fine trespassers to stop them from abusing our homes and property!

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