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Fort Myers Beach residents voice concerns over sea turtle ordinance

Posted at 6:29 PM, Mar 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 06:01:57-05

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — Some people living on Fort Myers Beach say saving the sea turtles is proving to be a little expensive.

Almost one year ago, the Fort Myers Beach Town Council made changes to the Sea Turtle Conservation Ordinance.

“We want a safe nesting season, but there needs to be a better way to do it," said Dave Nussbaum the President of the Island Winds Condo Association.

He was one of many people who voiced a similar concern during the four-hour meeting.

Since the ordinance was modified, people living along the beach pointed out there have been some roadblocks with enforcing the rules.

The ordinance requires windows with a light transmittance to be changed to 15% even though the state requires 45%. Nussbaum said finding the material has been difficult.

"The glass industry today doesn't have products that would match the .15. During your meeting, it was asked if there were a lot of alternatives. There are not."

Nussbaum said they’re in the middle of a 10-year construction project and something like this will set them back to square one because there is no way to be grandfathered into the ordinance.

Other residents mentioned concerns over the price and their condos being extremely dark because of the heavier tint.

Protecting our wildlife was the goal of the ordinance, and people visiting the beach said it's what attracts them to Southwest Florida.

“I love the ocean. I would love to come out here and see turtles everywhere," said vacationer Katie Wilson.

“I think the turtles are great for Florida itself. It brings money to the mom-and-pop shops that need it. And I think it brings jobs to Florida." said local Noah Gruner.

Even though vacationers love our slice of paradise, Dean Hunter mentioned he can understand how something like this would frustrate those who live here.

“As a visitor from the Midwest, I think it’s great. As a business owner, I wouldn’t be too happy about it. But what do you do it's a balancing act. “

The town council commended everyone for their passion for the topic while remaining respectful during the public comments. Fox 4 did reach out to Mayor Ray Murphy to see if there will be any changes to the ordinance.