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Boaters petition for expanded boat ramp access to Estero Bay

Posted at 7:49 PM, Aug 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-19 19:49:09-04

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — Boaters in Bonita Springs are pushing to get the boat ramp at the site of the old Weeks Fish Camp on Estero Bay they say that they were promised.

Jim Weeks said that his grandparents established Weeks Fish Camp in the 1930s, and sold his land a few years ago to a developer who planned to revitalize the area into a marina.

"Phase One was going to have 70 boat slips, a boat ramp, a marina and restaurant," Weeks said.

But after some initial construction of a seawall and some pilings, the developer abandoned the project. The land was then sold to another developer, London Bay Homes.

London Bay is still offering to build a boat ramp, but Weeks said there would only be about an acre of parking.

"There's no way that would be substantial for the growth since I've been here," he said.

A 300-unit retirement community would get the rest of the 30 acres - if London Bay's rezoning request is approved by the City of Bonita Springs.

London Bay Homes spokeswoman Tina Matte said that the marina they're planning will be better than some might think, and that they would expand the required number of boat slips from seven to twelve.

"The marina will include a kayak launch, which was not there previously, as well as bathrooms and a small park," Matte said.

Weeks has started an online petition to expand the boat ramp parking to at least five acres, and he would like to see more boat slips.

"It would be a win-win for the public and the city," he said. "The property owners would make a profit."