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SCCF Urges Public to Oppose Eden Oak at Final Hearing

March 31, 2023

Come show your support for wildlife, mangrove wetlands, and public safety by attending the April 5 final hearing on a rezoning request for Eden Oak, a proposed development off Shell Point Boulevard.

“The current plan would destroy 36 acres of mangrove wetlands, put more people in the coastal high hazard area, create new sources of pollution from runoff, cause boat traffic in sensitive habitat used by threatened and endangered species, and add traffic to the evacuation and emergency access,” said SCCF Policy Associate Holly Schwartz. 

The Board of County Commissioners will be voting on a rezoning request to build 55 residential units and a 13-slip docking facility. Counter to the lessons from Hurricane Ian, approval would put human life, current property, and wildlife in jeopardy.

“The wetlands that we have protected in Lee County protected us during the storm, and the commissioners need to be aware that this is the wrong project in the wrong place at the wrong time for our community,” said Schwartz.

SCCF invites the public to show their opposition by attending the final hearing at 9:30 a.m. April 5 in the second-floor Commission Chambers of the old courthouse, located at 2120 Main Street, Fort Myers, FL.

Since 2016, SCCF has been actively opposing this zoning request and will present the many reasons that approving unwarranted entitlements in a designated coastal high hazard area would be ill-advised. 

“There is no stronger protection for our citizens, our property, and our wildlife than the mangroves and wetlands nature has provided,” said SCCF Environmental Policy Director Matt DePaolis.

SCCF encourages those that are eligible to testify at this scheduled final hearing to please do so. 

Because of local laws prohibiting ex-parte communication on zoning matters, unless you have previously spoken at the Hearing Examiner (HeX) level, you will not be allowed to address the commissioners on this item. 

However, members of the public that did not attend the original HeX meetings are still invited to attend the final hearing to show their support for the denial. 

For those who are eligible to speak, SCCF has prepared a list of talking points

“It is always helpful for the commissioners to hear personal accounts of how this rezoning request will impact you and your neighborhood — especially in light of the experience we’ve gained with flooding and storm surge from Hurricane Ian,” said DePaolis.

For more background, visit SCCF’s Eden Oak webpage.



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