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Gated North Fort Myers residents livid over access to private roads for future community development

Posted at 8:56 PM, May 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-03 05:02:32-04

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. — On Tuesday, a community meeting hosted by Equity LifeStyle Properties told people living in Pine Lakes Country Club that their private roads will be used to access an adjacent future-developed community called Pine Lakes 2.

Homeowners like Ron Thoreson told Fox 4 that the use of two private roads inside the community, Pine Lakes Boulevard and Circle Pine Road, by developers and future homeowners, would overcrowd an already tight space.

"In the morning between 7 and 10 a.m. there are bikers and walkers and dog walkers and elderly citizens on the roads — and this is a busy road just for me as a single vehicle,” said Thoreson.

The developer Equity Lifestyle Properties owns Pine Lakes Country Club.

A public informational meeting was held at the North Fort Myers recreation center to update the many upset community members that showed up dressed in green.

Fox 4 was allowed in the lobby but denied by Lee County to bring cameras inside the meeting where residents like Ron said they would ask developers one simple question.

“We are asking simply who owns the roads,” said Thoreson.

Anna Sutton, the Land Development Manager for Equity Lifestyle Properties declined to go on camera but said Equity Lifestyle Properties does own the roads that would be used.

Sutton showed Fox 4 a map which she said shows the three entrances that were approved by the Lee County Board of Commissioners during a zoning meeting, which Sutton said are accessed by driving through Pine Lakes Country Club.

Sutton says her company was still in the conceptual phase of development and is considering other access points.

On Tuesday, Sutton said the developer still has to work with local and state departments like FDOT before any work can begin.