SanibelSusan reporting that it has been another beautiful week on sunny Sanibel with no evidence of a rainy season (other than a some predicted for Sunday into next week).
It also was quiet again on the real estate front. The action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows some news items below.
Follow-Up on Sanibel’s 81st Annual Shell Show
As a life-member of the Sanibel Shell Club, I got an email this morning about a cool article that was posted this week on the website “Earther – Nature for Nerds”. This past March, their Senior Reporter Brian Kahn and Cinematographer/Producer Raul Marrero came from New York City to cover the island’s 81st Annual Shell Show. They wanted to get insight into the world of shell collecting and Sanibel. They arrived early so they could experience the exhibitors setting up their exhibits. The next morning, they headed to the beach with a seasoned Shell Club member to learn about the “Sanibel stoop”. They also spent time visiting with Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum Curator Dr. José Leal. Their finished product was posted Wednesday. A video is part of the article and can be found after a few paragraphs. Here is the link to it “The Secret Science of Shell Seeking” – https://earther.com/the-secret-science-of-shell-seeking-1825860194 .
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®
This was an “off” week for the islands’ Thursday Caravan, but on Wednesday, the 23rd annual local Realtors® end-of-season golf outing and auction event was a big success with the proceeds this year going toward water quality efforts at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF).
The golfers said that the afternoon scramble was a little toasty with temperatures hitting 90 degrees F, but the breezes from Pine Island Sound and beauty of The Sanctuary Golf Course (not to mention their terrific food post-golf) made it all worthwhile.
Thank you to Rae Ann Wessel, SCCF Natural Resource Policy Director, for attending and acknowledging the Association for their many years of continued efforts toward keeping local beaches and waterways clean. Rae Ann recently was one of the local leaders in DC working to convince lawmakers to support funding for the Everglades restoration.
You can be sure that the Sanibel/Captiva Association of Realtors® leadership team again will be pushing for water quality when we attend our annual state convention in August.
It was a big deal this year for us not to provide our golf and auction proceeds to RPAC (Realtors® Political Action Committee). You may remember that for years, the islands Association has won many state RPAC awards for their percentage of participation and dollar amounts collected on Sanibel/Captiva.
But, our membership is disappointed that the state association is not doing more about water quality, so this year we decided to donate our money locally to the conservation foundation – ensure that it’s used where it’s needed most – or to a cause that is important to us.
Water quality certainly affects real estate values. Good water makes Southwest Florida, particularly the islands, desirable!
Collective Beach Camera Website Launches
From this week’s “business notes” section of “The Islander”:
“Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts has launched a combined live beach camera website at www.SanibelCaptivaBeachCams.com . It serves as a location to view all four of the Sanibel Captiva Beach Resort on-property cameras – ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa, Beachview Cottages, Castaways Cottages, and West Wind Inn. Each of the videos are located on the properties’ websites, as well as the new collective site. The videos are high-definition streaming video, without delay in feed.”
Real Estate Major Drive of U.S. Economy
Real estate is the foundation of wealth building for the middle class and a critical link in the flow of goods, services and income for millions of Americans. Accounting for 19% of the GDP, real estate is clearly a major driver of the U.S. economy. Here’s the latest Real Estate and the Economy infographic from NAR (National Association of Realtors®.)
“Groundcovers: No Bunnies Business”
The above is a headline of an article by the City of Sanibel Vegetation Committee, posted in today’s “Island Sun”. It gave me a giggle since I think the trio of marsh rabbits at my house last week were smiling as I pulled into my driveway one evening. Probably were licking their chops too as they eat every new plant that’s planted along my walkway border (except thorny beach roses & bougainvillea).
Those little rascals are cute, but they are taking over the east-end this spring. I have seen them everywhere. There are some plants, however, that they don’t like. So, if you too are challenged by Sanibel bunnies, read the article on-line at www.IslandSunNews.com or go to the National Resources Department section of the City’s website at www.MySanibel.com for more info.
Opposition Sought for New Development
Interesting article on the first page of the real estate section of today’s “Island Sun”. It’s long, but good info if you want to get involved.
“A major off-island residential development that has been in the works for the past six years is about to come before a Lee County hearing examiner next week, and environmental activists are rallying other concerned citizens to share their objections for the proposed development.
“An application for Eden Oak Preserve seeks to rezone 36 acres of jurisdictional, coastal mangrove wetlands and open water, from Agricultural (AG-2) to Residential Planned Development (RPD) to enable the development of 55 single family homes and 56 boat slips. The proposed development site is located on both sides of Shell Point Boulevard, which is surrounded by the Shell Point Retirement Community to the north, San Carlos Bay to the west, and the Estero Bay State Buffer Preserve to the south.
“Currently, the property is owned by Ontario, Canada-based Eden Oak LLC, a commercial developer responsible for the construction of more than 30 significant developments in the greater Toronto area.
“According to officials from the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), development on this property has been proposed and appropriately rejected repeatedly over the past 40 years beginning with The Estuaries development in the 1970’s. It was dismissed due to the critical location, services and functions of these wetlands, which include mangrove habitat that provides public projection from storm surges, flooding and designated critical habitat used by several endangered and listed species.
“”These critical functions are even more important today as over half of Lee County’s wetlands have been eliminated for development and sea level rise presents a progressive erosion of wetlands that will significantly increase the storm surge hazard in the next 20 years,” an April 13 letter from SCCF to Lee County Community Development representative Anthony Rodriguez reads in part. “This project is contrary to the public interest and does not meet the goals, policies, and objectives of the Lee County Comprehensive Plan or the Land Development Code that have been adopted to assure public safety and carefully plan for growth and its effects.”
“Rae Ann Wessel, SCCF natural resource policy director, said last week that plans to build Eden Oak Preserve in a critical wetland area have been downscaled by its developers over the years, however, it remains an undesirable project.
““We’ve been fighting it since 2012,” said Wessel. “The original plan called for 171 boat slips. The marina, clubhouse, multi-family and all but four single family units have been eliminated from the east side of Shell Point Boulevard. But this is all critical wetland habitat. When in this day and age, with concerns about sea level rise, would we want to put people in a wetland zone like this?”
“In a 13-page letter to Rodriguez, SCCF pointed out that the elimination of 36 acres of environmentally sensitive wetlands would have negative impacts on a number of animal species including the small-tooth sawfish, diamondback terrapin, manatee, mangrove cuckoo and American bald eagle.
“”At least three species of endangered sea turtles, both juvenile and adult, are known to use and forage in this area,” the letter stated. “Any time there is increased boat traffic in an area with sea turtles, there is a heightened concern for collisions. The heightened traffic activity resulting from the addition of 56 boats will push turtles out of the more protected areas into areas of higher boat traffic, increasing collision risks.”
“Wessel also noted that mangroves bordering the wetland zone would be affected. Mangroves represent some of the most important wetland habitat for coastal fish and wildlife resources, which are critical to the health of local aquatic systems and the specifically designated, publicly owned aquatic preserves and national wildlife refuges that surround this site that have been protected for their high resource values.
“In Southwest Florida, 80% of commercial and recreational marine species depend upon mangrove estuaries for a portion, if not all, of their lifecycle.
“There is also question about the density proposed for Eden Oak Preserve. The applicant’s calculation of 55 dwelling units is based on the assertion that there are eight acres of uplands on the 306 acres, and that a small portion of the northern property boundary is within the Suburban Land Use category. However, the property is currently identified on the Future Land Use Map as Environmentally Critical Wetlands.
“”We challenge the applicant’s characterization and assertion that isolated spoil piles created by the excavation of mosquito ditches through healthy mangroves meets the definition of wetlands,’ said Wessel. “The Future Lane Use Map shows the entirety of the property as Environmentally Critical Wetlands. Three sides of the applicant’s property are adjacent to wetlands zoned AG-2, thus the maximum calculation of units would not approach 55 units.”
“According to Wessel, a maximum of 15 dwelling units would meet current county requirements for that property.
“”The county would create a cancerous precedent by allowing increased density over current zoning by allowing the applicant to use the subdivision zoning along the northern boundary to calculate their unit count when that property was established before the comprehensive plan. Far more of the applicant’s property is wetlands on three sides of the property, which should be a stronger consideration for future zoning,” added Wessel.
“Another concern shared by SCCF is for public safety. Should Eden Oak Preserve be permitted to construct a major residential development off Shell Point Boulevard, traffic congestion for the lone evacuation route – affecting the residents of the retirement community along with people who live on Sanibel, Captiva and in South Fort Myers – could prove to be catastrophic.
“”This area is in the evacuation zone for the most minimal of storms so permitting additional development in wetlands in this flood prone region is in conflict with public safety,” Wessel said. “Evacuation and flooding risks are substantial before the addition of the proposed additional units.
“Late last week, the Lee County Department of Community Development submitted their staff report recommending denial of the rezoning application.
“”Regardless of the density proposed by the request, the request is inconsistent with Lee Plan goals, objectives and policies intended to limit density within the Coastal High Hazard Area,” the report reads, in part. “Moreover, the request, if approved, will adversely impact environmentally critical and sensitive areas and natural resources.”
“On Friday, May 18 at 9 a.m., the Lee County hearing examiner will be accepting public comment on the proposed Eden Oak Preserve development at their offices, located in Room 218 of 1800 Monroe Street in Fort Myers. Only the people who appear during the examiner’s public hearing will be permitted to speak during the Lee County Board of County Commissioners’ meeting on the topic, during which they will formally vote on the plan.
“The hearing examiner will either recommend approval, denial or approval of the project with certain conditions,” said Wessel. “But only the people who speak before the hearing examiner will be able to speak during the commissioners’ meeting. That’s why it’s important for people to get involved.”
“For additional information or to submit comments on the Eden Oak Preserve development, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, call 239-533-8100 or write to Lee County Community Development & Zoning, 1500 Monroe Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901.”
Borrow Passes to Local Attractions With a Sanibel Library Card
A library update from the “Islander”: “As Sanibel Public Library’s “Your Library Reimagined” project continues, the facility is open for business. Services include computers, printers, high speed Wi-Fi, newspapers, puzzles, and reference services are available. The other half of the library being renovated is expected to reopen in the fall. The children’s weekly program schedule has changed. For the full schedule, visit on line.
“The library offers passes to four of the area’s popular attractions, The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, Sanibel Historical Museum, and Village, Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, and CROW’s Visitor Education Center. Cultural passes may be reserved to check out for one week using a current Sanibel Public Library Card. To reserve a pass or for more info, call 239-472-2483.
“Sanibel Public Library cards are available to all residents of Sanibel and Lee County at no charge. Visitor library cards are available for a $10 annual fee. For more info, visit www.sanlib.org. The Sanibel Public Library is at 770 Dunlop Road.”
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 4-11, 2018
2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #463 2/2 $499K, Loggerhead Cay #483 2/2 $549K.
5 price changes: Mariner Pointe #122 1/1 now $384.9K, Pointe Santo #D6 2/2 now $679.9K, Pointe Santo #B21 2/2 now $729K, Atrium #201 3/3 now $1.349M, Poinciana #2B 3/2 now $1.35M.
5 new sales: Casa Blanca #2 2/1 listed at $379K, Blind Pass #A205 2/2 listed at $418.9K, Sundial West #F205 1/1 listed at $429K, Shorewood #1C 3/2 listed at $875K, Compass Point #192 2/2 listed at $1.175M.
1 closed sale: Sanibel Arms West #H2 2/2 $480K.
6 new listings: 1304 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $599K, 544 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 $1.25M, 5771 Baltusrol Ct 3/4 $1.598M, 243 Daniel Dr 4/3.5 $1.598M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 $1.95M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 $2.45M.
9 price changes: 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 now $649K, 3837 Coquina Dr 2/2 now $665K, 746 Cardium St 4/2 duplex now $699K, 1020 Bird Watch Way 3/2 now $739K, 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 now $899.9K, 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $1.149M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 now $1.195M, 784 Limpet Dr 4/3 now $1.895M, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 now $2.199M.
5 new sales: 6143 Henderson Rd 4/3 listed at $399K, 1338 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $565K, 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 listed at $574K, 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 duplex listed at $579K, 5739 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 listed at $809K.
5 closed sales: 970 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $565K, 225 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 $670K, 1057 Seahawk Ct 3/2.5 $625K, 3239 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $863K, 4115 West Gulf Dr 4/5 $5.2578M.
No new listings.
1 price change: 1820 Ardsley Way now $167.5K.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 4995 Joewood Dr $2.25M.
Nothing to report.
1 new listing: 15819 Captiva Dr 5/4 $12.5M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 listed at $2.495M.
No closed sales.
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Happy Mothers Day!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan