Veach Wants Town to Investigate Tent Living


If you’re living in a tent on your own property while you rebuild, because you lost your house in the storm, you may soon be told to fold it up.

Fort Myers Beach Town Councilman Bill Veach said he’s noticed a proliferation of tents around the island. “Some of the people living in the tents don’t look like they’re property owners.”

Veach wanted town staff for clarification on what constitutes a trailer, RV or tent for people on their own property.

Town Attorney John Herin advised the council that the temporary use permits that the town has been approving to allow residents to live in RV’s and trailers on their property as they rebuild does not include tents. Veach asked Herin if that’s something that can be enforced and if an ordinance was needed to disallow it.

Mayor Dan Allers said some people can’t get a camper on their lot while they’re rebuilding.

During the meeting Herin found an ordinance in the town code that stated, “no person shall set up tents, shacks or any other temporary shelter for the purpose of overnight camping other than in designated camping areas.”

Veach said some of the tents he sees look like camps outside of some third world country rather than someone who owns a property and is living there


  1. People are in need the city must let tents on private property pass a temp ok for the next year this is beyond there control if you want the beach to come back remember the people need help and a simple thing like this makes big difference it’s not like they have a lot of chooses in this it’s a need not a want

  2. The United States of America is a bureaucracy. Dictatorship is upon the country. And the USA is one of only a few countries that throws homeless people in jail. The USA is no longer the Land of the Free; ask any Mexican immigrant and they will tell you; the United States of America is LESS FREE than Mexico! In other words, there are things you can legally do in Mexico that, if done in the United States of America, will mean a one-way trip to jail.

  3. Tent,box,van..whatever someone rendered homeless by a hurricane is living what.They need shelter and unless government can do that,the last thing these people need is harassment.

  4. What about laying on a beach chair is that next? Umbrella?? Lounge chair? Oooh cot that would be in acceptable… this is ridiculous …. Try helping people.

  5. I’m so disgusted!! So sorry for all of u. I was blessed with 9 days no electric,minimal damage. I’m in north fort Myers. I hope u start getting some help. Even a little house town made from containers!!! No humanity!! Just stick together and fight for your rights,and money that agencies have donated!! Prayers,blessings,luv. Speedy recovery.

  6. It would be one thing if homeowners felt that intruders were trespassing on their property but that does not appear to be the concern here. Homeowners need help not judgment on how their property looks during this emergency.

  7. Unbelievable Government over-regulation at its best. During this time of disaster; why not let people decide what they can live in on their own property. This is America!

    • Bill “close the” Veach
      His claims to fame is Straw Ban and closing Beach for Covid –
      Why would someone like this be on the Town Council?
      I’m sure he is a nice man who means well but he has NOT represented any interest of the people who live on FMB in the 5 yrs I’ve observed him-
      The charade of a non partisan town council must end – people should speak openly about what policies and type of community they want to have-
      Then let people vote for it- whatever it may be .

  8. why cant you people leave us alone what do you suggest? why don’t you pay for some place for them to live.. why are you doing this? how are they hurting you? ..What are you afraid of.?. the tents may scare some of your multi millionaires as they try to drive out the residents and build their multi million dollar mansions.? Ft Myers Beach already looks like a 3rd World country…where do you live? ,Why dont you invite the text dwellers to live with you for a while??

  9. I can understand the concern if the tents aren’t being used by the property owners. So what if it appears to be a third world nation. That’s what much of FMB looks like now, tents or no tents. Sounds like the ordinance Herin found is intended to stop people from camping on the beach or other public areas. If my home is damaged beyond the point of being livable I should have the right to erect a tent to stay in while the home is being repaired. In “normal times” if I wanted to put up a pup tent on my property for an overnight camping for my kids, would I need a permit or be in violation of a code?? Ridiculous!!’

  10. It will soon be very warm here and tent living may be hot. Perhaps a cot and sleeping bag may be allowed for property owners. Seems like their tax dollars should buy them something while they wait for insurance money, streets, electricity and other services.

  11. Leave it to Veach for judging people. Some of these Town Officials are so high up on their horses that it is hard for them to see what’s on the ground. Some of these people in tents are still paying for water and electric on their properties that don’t exist. It’s not easy living here amongst the devastation and it is sad to see homeowners living in tents in the first place. Not all can afford RV’s and we all know that the Fema trailers are not accessible. How lucky you are Mr. Veach to stay wherever you are staying while your house is being built back. Many people that have lived here for decades before you do not have the means. Instead of snooping around people’s properties to see if they are supposed to be there, leave it for the Sheriff’s Office and work on the Town helping others instead of hindering them.

  12. Shame on the town for judging people. Maybe town needs to go out and humble themselves and talk with these people find out what there needs are instead of dismissing them as though they are beneath them. Get proactive instead of hiding behind a attorney.

    My advice is never judge a book by its cover!!!!

  13. I am not allowed to overnight stay in my park even though I’m renovating my home. Hotels prices have skyrocketed so my only option is to sleep in my car, in a parking lot. I think the town council forgets who their constituents really are.

  14. Is the millions of dollars that were sent from all over the country to help the people on Fort Myers Beach gone? If not, would it be possible to help with
    temporary housing (a little more than a tent) be purchased or rented for these
    people? Example a conversion van?

  15. I mean FMB is basically third world right now and the townships permitting and rules will keep many lots that way for a long time. See Mexico beach and how many lots are still for sale.

  16. Last time I checked some property owners have been here for decades, may have bought their homes when they were affordable, may not have been able to afford flood insurance, now are homeless living on a limited retirement income. It’s sad to think someone in authority is judging a book by its cover. Shame on you.


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