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Fort Myers Beach residents frustrated with restrictive access to properties

Posted at 10:14 PM, Oct 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-25 22:14:53-04

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — Fort Myers Beach town council meeting tonight with plenty of second-guessing.

Some who went to the meeting aren’t happy with the rules the town has in place for power, water and debris cleanup from one Hurricane Ian’s hardest-hit areas.

"It’s hard because this has pushed people past their breaking points.”

Inside the former SkipOne seafood restaurant, the future of Fort Myers Beach is aired. As dozens of its survivors turned out to talk of their struggles.

“That’s when contractors and people with their homes and their businesses want to be on their property," said one resident. "75% of a week is denied to them. It has to change.”

Frustration over the city’s rule of not allowing residents access to the beach on Mondays and Tuesdays.

“I think what we need to concentrate on are the residents that live here and that are our town and let them get back in their houses,” said another.

The rule came days after access to the beach was restored, allowing emergency personnel to move more swiftly with less traffic.

“This is your home, this is your castle," said Jacki Liszak, President/CEO of Fort Myers Beach Chamber. "It’s our unalienable right as an American to protect our property and to be on our property.”

Jacki Liszak is the President and CEO of the beach chamber. Also one of those addressing the council tonight.

"In the effort to rebuild people want to protect their property, they want to keep an eye on it while there are contractors there working.”

While there’s been some division one thing that did please people was the council approving RVs and trailers as temporary housing on their properties. Passing it unanimously.

"Being able to pull an RV or trailer up and being able to stay right on your land, I applaud them on that decision," said Liszak. "I think it’s incredibly important.”

Council is also allowing the use of storage pods for rebuilding. Also, an update on water services with 62 streets on the island having water restored. That’s just more than 50%.

It remains to be seen if property owners will be allowed access on Mondays and Tuesdays. But until then, belief in Fort Myers Beach’s revival is holding strong.

"This is our chance to regrow and to take on that renaissance that we look forward to," said Liszak. "Go grab it and let’s do it together.”