Town Does About-Face on $100 RV Fee

20
50

Just a few hours after we posted the news about a new $100 permit fee Fort Myers Beach residents had to pay to live in an RV or trailer on their property, the town suspended the fee until further notice.

In June the Fort Myers Beach Town Council passed Ordinance 23-05 for placement of temporary structures (ie: trailers and RV’s) that some residential and commercial owners are using. The town press release to inform residents stated that they would be charged a $100 fee to acquire the permit.

Apparently members of the Town Council had no idea about the fee and on Tuesday Town Manager Andy Hyatt suspended the fee until further notice.

Many people on Fort Myers Beach are living in temporary trailers as they go through the process of rebuilding their homes, or having them demolished and rebuilt. When they saw the news about the permit and $100 fee on our Facebook page Tuesday – which they would have been charged every six months – many were not very happy. Neither were members of the Town Council.

Town Councilman John King said he didn’t think the council agreed to a fee. Vice Mayor Jim Atterholt said the $100 fee was staff driven and is hopeful the fee can be addressed at the first council meeting in August. Mayor Dan Allers told us the ordinance does not say there will be a fee.

The town ordinance will most likely have to be rewritten due to SB 250 that was passed by the State Legislature and signed by the Governor on June 28th. SB 250 states that “counties and municipalities cannot prohibit a resident from placing a temporary residential structure on their property for up to 36 months following a natural emergency under certain circumstances.”

 

20 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with most of the responses, but does any one else see the irony about people posting with initials or first name only and demanding the names of those accountable? Seems rather hypocritical.

  2. To all council members: “staff” is not a name. We AND YOU need actual names. All work should be signed off with the employee’s name and employee number. Each paper needs to be signed/initialed/employee number by EVERY person that worked on, contributed to or reviewed. We need accountability for both council and staff. Then there will be less denial. If you should have been informed and say you weren’t the papertrail will tell the story and things cam be verified

  3. To all council members: “staff” is not a name. We AND YOU need actual names. All work should be signed off with the employee’s name and e.ployee number. Each paper needs to be signed/initialed/employee number by EVERY person that worked on, contributed to or reviewed. We need accountability for both council and staff. Then there will be less denial. If you should have been informed and say you weren’t the papertrail will tell the story and things cam be verified

  4. Our town council and “staff “ is a hot mess…. Permitting has no end to their contradications and mass confusion. How can they charge a permitting fee, which was paid, a ridiculous $538 for a staircase, then reject the application? What????

  5. Mr Phil has an excellent point! The fees are outrageous! I just received a notice of non compliance because i have not paid a demolition fee. My whole building was swept away by Ian and I only have dirt on the property. I will not rebuild. I am told I must pay $475 for the demolition permit because the city needs to check the water and sewer and electricity. The water and sewer have been shut off at the street. Why do I need to “cut and cap”, get an inspection, pay for a licensed plumber when I am not going to build?
    Looks like i have a meeting date with council at the end of August that I will be arguing this crazy fee!

  6. It’s just part of living in a small town that has to balance its budget. The alternatives are 1) giving up self-governance and folding into Lee County and/or 2) growing FMB vertically to establish a bigger tax base. Personally, I prefer the higher fees from time to time.

      • After paying $8,000 in Real Estate taxes for a cottage that is not there thanks to Ian inwhich I just received my hurricane adjustment rebate of $390 I find your conclusions unbelievable

    • Let’s agree to disagree on the fees. I’ll even concede to the fees.
      What about the back and forth on votes. Revotes and changing laws after the find mistakes or poorly prepared orders. They blame “staff”. They have a new attorney and a new manager. Don’t they review these things. Sign off on the them. Make sure they are legal.
      Come on. We can do better.

    • Remember not so long ago when the County dutifully protected the residents from the looters crossing at Mantanzas and Big Carlos? Who’d have thought we REALLY needed protection from the looters down at City Hall? The city of FMB is an absolute disaster. There is really only one viable answer, and that is giving up self-governance to clean things up and get moving forward.

      After Charlie, I was actually a little surprised how many people simply walked away from their property. At the time, I thought they were crazy. Now, I’m looking at EXACTLY that scenario as an option for myself. I just got my final DR notice showing 100% loss. Do I stay and pay exorbitant fees, taxes, insurance, etc. or do I ignore all those pesky city notices, walk and let the County simply take it for tax forfeit? With my Federal Tax deduction at 100% and the salvage value of what I’m able to pull out, I’m about even. Every day, it costs me more money to remain in FMB. With homes in other states, there is NOTHING tying me to FMB except the ever diminishing hope that the town gets its act together. At this point, my enduring hope is that the County/State will finally step in to assume control of the City.

  7. This is common practice in this town. It seems that the people in power always blame their mistakes on “staff”. When will someone actually be held accountable.
    Window tinting last year was another reversal after public outcry.
    I have complained about the treatment by Code Enforcement officers walking onto my property and others, without authority, only to be laughed at.
    Isn’t this new ordinance in conflict with the state order SB250. SB250 gives people 36 months and the towns says 18 months to have a trailer?
    There have been other reversals by the town board because of poor “staff” decisions.
    I recently asked about the outrageous permits fees and was only told it was being looked at by “staff”. The same staff that keeps making mistakes, makes up these permit fees to the residents.
    FMB Sanibel Lee Co. Cape Coral
    Pool Fence $475 1% $50 $107
    Demolition $475 $53 $125 $127
    Driveway $625 1% NA NA
    Carport $860 1% $100 $266
    Roof $300 1% $85 $100
    Boat lift $400 1% $125 $107
    Pool $850 1% $150 $307
    Interior remod.$800 1% $100 NA

    The 1% percent model used by Sanibel represents 1% of the project cost.
    Ex. A pool fence that costs $10,000 the permit would be $100.

    Pay attention folks, you’re being taken to the cleaners with. Fees, fines and over zealous actions by “staff”
    Sickening!!

    • We have a new town manager and new attorney. Don’t they review these board actions for clarity, legality and other general content and sign off on them before they are presented to the board for action.
      Complete incompetence!!

  8. Thank goodness the town council righted the wrong. Common sense is alive and thank you BTR for bringing the fees to our attention!

  9. It seems like “staff” is a catch all euphemism that blames someone but holds nobody accountable. The $100.00 fee / tax reeks of the mean-spirited policies of the former town manager. So, I’d like to know the name of the person on “staff” who thought this was a good idea and followed through for the announcement without the council knowing about it, if indeed that is true.

  10. How can a “staff driven” fee be imposed without the town administration’s knowledge and then “suspended” by the same? Who the heck is running this town?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here