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Residents want answers after Fort Myers Beach lots deemed 'unbuildable' after Ian

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Posted at 1:22 PM, Dec 08, 2022

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — A group of residents wants answers from the Fort Myers Beach local planning agency.

They say lots they bought years ago have been deemed "unbuildable" after Hurricane Ian, despite the fact other lots have received the go-ahead to rebuild.

Estero Boulevard in Fort Myers Beach is where some of these residents say they have land that's now been deemed unbuildable because of what are called "non-conforming lots."

According to some of these residents who WFTX heard from at the last city council meeting, it all has to do with the dimensions of these lots that, they say are 50 to 60 feet.

They say in order to get a permit to build on this land, the dimensions need to be 40 by 75 feet.

Property owners like Dave Lawrence, who has a business in Fort Myers Beach, brought these concerns to the council meeting on Monday.

He says he's owned his lot for 25 years and was not aware that an ordinance had been passed making these lots non-conforming and ultimately unbuildable.

"It's really unfair. We weren't really informed in any manner, oh no, we weren't aware, and they're trying to market these lots for sale," Lawrence said.

The complaints about the lot dimensions go back to a city code change that was made last year.

Now each of the residents who spoke at that city council was asked to be at the local planning agency meeting on Tuesday.

Alexandra Rangel and digital staff at WFTX first reported this story.