There Are 52 Unsafe Structures on Fort Myers Beach

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That’s what Operations Manager Frankie Kropacek reported Monday. The town is working through the process of getting those structures taken down, one way or the other.

It’s been more than 16 months since Hurricane Ian barreled through Fort Myers Beach damaging nearly every structure on the island. Many structures, both residential and commercial, have been demolished. Some are still dangling piles of debris with no real solution in the plans. Property owners ignoring the town’s plea to clean up their mess are the ones the town plans to go after aggressively.

In addition to the Town Council getting more aggressive cleaning up the broken buildings, residents are becoming more frustrated that they have either demolished their homes or applied for permits to repair them, while others do nothing.

Kropacek says of the 52 structures that the town is aggressively pursuing, about 10 of those are commercial buildings. The Town Operations Manager says the town has come up with a better solution, a quicker process, to get those structures taken care of. He says the town’s new building official, Joe Specht, will be going out to the structures and “red tagging” them.

The town is also planning to put out a ‘Request for Proposals’ to hire a contractor that would demolish the buildings on the list, if those property owners continue to ignore the town’s request to clean up.

Fencing a structure, whether its a home or a commercial building is no longer enough. Last month, Town Attorney Becky Voss said properties have to be brought back to code. “Securing property is not enough. It’s been more than a year. If they are not coming down, they need to be fixed.” She told the council they had tools in their toolbox to get property owners into compliance and she referenced the International Property Maintenance Code.

If the town must knock down an unsafe or abandoned structure a lien will then be put on the property to attempt to recoup the money it cost town taxpayers to knock the structure down. An additional step could be for the town to foreclose on the property.

We are working on getting a detailed list of all 52 of the structures on the town’s list.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Unfortunately it’s not always what it seems. We have a horrible condo association that has stopped any forward progress to do anything and therefore here we sit. It’s disgusting

  2. so did I understand correctly? We the responsible taxpayers who have spent thousands of $ fixing our own homes now have to pay for those irresponsible who have ignored demands to fix or demolish their properties? Can someone Please clarify for me ?

    • It’s a long process, to be sure, but if the town is left no choice but to demo the properties, they’ll place a lien on the property for the cost (and potentially foreclose, as well.)

      Yes, the FMB taxpayers will foot the town’s costs but will ultimately be “reimbursed” when the lien is paid or the property foreclosed. It won’t result in a bottom line of FMB taxpayers/the town being out of pocket.

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