Veach Wants To Raise Parking, Rental Rates

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During budget discussions Thursday night councilman Bill Veach said he’d like to see parking rates raised from $3.00 to $5.00 and short-term rental applications raised from $50.00 to $300.00.

Currently it costs local residents (without an annual pass), visitors and tourists $3.00 per hour to park in town owned parking spots. In Lynn Hall Park, which is owned by Lee County, the rate is $2.00 per hour. Veach suggested raising the parking fees to $5.00 and using the additional money collected to develop a parking app.

That app would include open spots that are government owned as well as privately owned. The town would have to get buy-in from the privately owned businesses. And, that assumes that people will not only use the app but not continue to drive around hoping they can get lucky with someone leaving a prime spot close to the water.

Vice Mayor Rexann Hosafros said she’s not opposed to the increase. “It makes no sense it’s less than Sanibel.”

Councilman Jim Atterholt said he’d have a hard time raising the rates before hearing from the public as opposed to springing this on the community one week before approving a new budget.

Veach also wants to raise the short-term rental fees the town of Fort Myers Beach charges to match what Sanibel charges. It’s now $50.00. He wants it to increase to $300. That, Veach says, would generate over $600,000 per year which he would like to see used toward developing affordable or work-force housing on Fort Myers Beach.

Affordable housing on Fort Myers Beach has certainly become a problem, especially for lower income workers as more single-family homes are sold and converted into rentals. Plus with the housing market booming the way it is, property owners are getting top dollar, not only for selling, but also when they rent.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Veach says this and doesn’t have to pay a penny I say everyone park at the council building as it is owned by you the people. Let the council members walk a mile to work and pay $40.00 a day to work see if Veach changes his tune. What a joke this guy is. He must need a new pool at the house. Get a grip. Guess what downtown fort Myers. Free parking. Downtown Naples, free parking. Downtown Cape Coral, free parking. Look for other ways to raise funds or better yet quite wanting the tax payers money.

  2. Parking is so hard to find now and very expensive. There is no place for many employees to park and most of them live off island because they can’t find any reasonably priced place on Island to rent! Eventually us property owners are going to have to take some responsibility and pay higher taxes for things needed on the beach. Our tourists bring so much money into our area and seem so under appreciated. Raise the property taxes by $50 year or pass a .5 % CITY tax!!! Hell I remember paying 7% sales tax in Arcadia years ago! It is 7.5% in Tampa. Look the list up! No to increasing parking costs – if anything we need to find more parking. We aren’t getting known for being the safest beach anymore – we are getting to be known for being a fee driven – expensive parking beach!!!!

  3. This guy! Is not a very wise man, he only cares about his person interest! Follow his voting, follow his agenda, and it is pure not a for the people person! He blows smoke and that smoke is someone else’s. , He thinks he joined a home owners association! Remember that homeowners guy who always was that one guy? Yeah this is him! He’s also the guy who put in flowers at Palermo and said it wouldn’t cost the city money! Oh wait they were just out there today putting in a sign! He wants people to pay for his pet projects.

    • Agree with every word you wrote. The council doesn’t even have a plan in place for the housing problem yet want a huge fee hike to fund it. “Because Sanibel does it” is a very childish reason raise these fees.

  4. We pay 50.00 per unit as a renewal fee per year, along with a state license. They also collect lodging taxes on each rental, that are suppose to go towards tourism but right now I think they are funding the walk over bridge fight.

  5. The 3 councilmen that keep siding together are so outta touch with reality of their decisions.
    The under bridge parking is a construction staging site…why not use the trolley holding area?
    Oh because our town continues to poke the Lee County bear.
    They dont want to work with us anymore than forced to do it.

  6. What is that actual monthly rental figure that determines affordable housing? If you own a rental, why would you charge $800 per month when there are folks willing to probably double that?

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