NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Residents in a North Fort Myers neighborhood want the county to help clean up their area, which has been plagued by drug activity and squatters.
The area surrounding Oak Street off Pondella has been subject to several drug raids and squatters over the last several years. Numerous units on Cypress Street remain boarded up and unoccupied, while other unoccupied dwellings attract drug users, neighbors said. Residents are fed up and feel Lee County Code Enforcement should step in. "When I first moved here, there were lots of children, it was a real family neighborhood," said one neighbor. "This is about as bad as I've ever seen it."
However, the resident said she sees potential in the area, especially because of the location. "Code enforcement and the Sheriff's office should have some teeth to get in here and get some of these constant problems solved," she said.
4 In Your Corner reached out to Commissioner Brian Hamman, who has been vocal about revitalizing the area. He said part of that is making sure structures are up to code. According to Hamman, the county has already started taking action on some streets, such as Cypress Street. "We have posted notices on the door that we will demolish those buildings in the next 60 days if they are not brought up to code."
Although change does not happen overnight, Commissioner Hamman said the first step residents can take to help is reporting to code enforcement. "If you feel like there is a house in your neighborhood breaking the codes, that's what code enforcement is for," he said. "And we're here to be responsive to you."