Eden Oak

14 Sep 2020

The Lee County Conservation Land Acquisition and Stewardship Advisory Committee (CLASAC) has been canceled for September. The next meeting is scheduled for October 21.

The status of the nomination to purchase the Eden Oak parcel for preservation has not changed since the last update which is that the landowner has asked to secure their own appraisal to compare to the appraisals already completed by the county for use in the negotiation process.

The County is waiting to hear back from the landowner. SCCF will post an update as soon as there is any new information.

The Lee County Hearing Examiner was scheduled to hear final arguments from staff and the property owner on June 24, but due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the examiner granted a continuance. The closing statements have been rescheduled for December 11, 2020, at 9 am. Click here for the Hearing Examiners order.

Conservation 20/20 is a land acquisition and stewardship program to protect natural areas in Lee County for the benefit of present and future generations in Southwest Florida. 

The next CLASAC meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 16, where we anticipate receiving another update on the timeframe of the Eden Oak nomination.  If we learn of any updates prior to that, we will post them under News at sccf.org and here on our Eden Oak webpage.  

We will continue to advocate for the preservation of this valuable mangrove habitat and we thank the many supporters, residents, and advocates that have participated with us on this long Eden Oak journey.  

Background

The current proposal is to dredge and fill 36 acres of mangrove wetlands to build 55 residential homesites with docks, excavate a new canal and create a boat basin with additional docks. Our advocacy has made a difference.  However the current plan still destroys 36 acres of mangrove wetlands, will put more people in the coastal high hazard area, creates new sources of pollution from runoff, will create boat traffic in sensitive habitat used by a number of threatened and endangered species, and adds traffic to the evacuation and emergency access on Shell Pointe Blvd. 

The original application for development targeted 158 acres of mangrove wetland and open water to build 252 multi-family units, 54 single-family units, and a 171-slip marina with a clubhouse and community pool. In addition to mangrove habitat destruction and water quality impacts from runoff, the project will impact a number of protected species that live in or utilize the area, including the Florida manatee, Smalltooth sawfish, and the ornate diamondback terrapin. SCCF will continue to track this project through the permit review process. The project is currently under zoning review by Lee County.

The applicant has requested their South Florida Water Management District Application be put on hold for a year.

Please contact our Natural Resources Policy Assistant Holly Schwartz at hschwartz@sccf.org with further questions.