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Beach leaders maintain certain requirements as properties rebuild on Fort Myers Beach

Posted at 8:28 PM, Mar 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-23 05:18:53-04

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — On Wednesday, almost half a year since Hurricane Ian, the future of rebuilding Fort Myers Beach became clearer.

Since the storm, the fear from island residents was that big corporations and high-rise properties would soon fill what locals have called their "traditional" beach town.

During a joint meeting between the Fort Myers Beach town council and Local Planning agency, beach leaders decided to keep what they call the island's "floor area ratio" or FAR the same as it was before the storm for newly built houses and commercial properties.

“Is there really a need to change the floor area ratio?” — A question asked by Fort Myers Beach Mayor Dan Allers during the joint meeting on Monday.

The unanimous answer from the town council was... no.

The FAR means the lower your home or building is to the ground, the wider and denser it can be, but as the building or home gets taller it loses density and becomes narrower.

The decision helped eliminate the fear Fox 4 had heard from locals who said they don't want to see high-rise buildings destroy what the town calls its “traditional feel."

During the meeting, beach leaders used the island's mega-resort, Margaritaville as an example of how big commercial properties could get moving forward.

The Fort Myers Town Council said there is still a lot that needs to be discussed, saying this is just the beginning of the overall process to rebuild.