Reporting another sunny Friday on Sanibel following a week with mixed weather. After a cloudy Tuesday, Wednesday was mostly off-and-on showers. Rain needed by dry local vegetation, but probably not appreciated by visiting vacationers and Lee County kiddos on spring break this week.
When beautiful weather returned yesterday, the bike paths and roadways again were busy, with the City posting notice about heavy late afternoon/early evening traffic. I left the office at 6 p.m. after watching Periwinkle traffic at a crawl in front of the office since mid-afternoon. I took the favored “back way” and made it home on the east end in 17 minutes. Later, I read on social media that someone leaving the Shell Museum at the same time endured nearly 2 hours getting to the causeway via Periwinkle. Yikes! When in doubt, watch the traffic cams. (http://www.mysanibel.com/Live-Street-Cams)
The forecast for the next seven days, says mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid- to high-70’s, so we can expect to continue to share the islands with extra visitors. We hope they are coming to buy real estate too.
March Association of Realtors® Membership Meeting
Yesterday was the monthly membership meeting at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®. Membership meetings include a speaker in addition to the standard Thursday Caravan announcements.
Living with Island Animals – Holly Milbrandt, Sanibel’s Information Officer and an environmental biologist with the City’s Natural Resources Department, was the speaker. She is one of five biologists that work for the City. Her topic was “living with island animals including those that can be nuisance”.
Holly reminded attendees of the Sanibel Plan and its vision statement which says: “Sanibel is and shall remain a barrier island sanctuary, one in which a diverse population lives in harmony with the Island’s wildlife and natural habitats. The Sanibel community must be vigilant in the protection and enhancement of its sanctuary characteristics.” She talked about species that are native as well as ones that are exotic, which animals are here now and how the City deals with those that are a nuisance or safety issue.
The first critters discussed were the marsh rabbits that have increased in numbers in recent years. She explained why. They are able to reproduce when just two months old and can have up to seven litters a year with as many as seven young in each litter. Without a deterrent, that’s a lot of bunnies. She expects that natural evolution will take care of them, in the meantime she warned that young green shoots and grass are their favored snacks. She suggested using natural ground cover in landscaping to deter them.
Next, she spoke about coyotes. They were first noticed on wildlife cameras in the wildlife refuge in 2011. The worry with them, in addition to preying on small pets, is their interference with sea turtle nests. She said though they are noisy and sound like a huge pack when they howl, they have not documented more than four together. A University of Georgia study done here in 2015/2016 determined that there were 27 individual animals on the island. Based on that number, she said today that could be as many 29-64.
Exotic lizard control was her next subject. These are the critters that need to be trapped and removed. She showed pictures proving that Green Iguanas are not always green. She also noted that a Nile Monitor Lizard has not been documented here in many years. The non-emergency number to call for removal of exotics is to the Police Department at 239-472-3111. She said that though the City Iguana Control Office/Trapper is only on the island Wednesdays, if an iguana is in a neighborhood another day, chances are it will be nearby on Wednesday too. Please call to report them. Since 2015, the City has removed over 3,500 at a cost of nearly $100K. The way to keep the island safe is what she calls EDRR (Early Detection & Rapid Response).
She finished her talk with a fun photo quiz of what animals have been on Sanibel and which ones have not. Sanibel does not have and has not had any Burmese Pythons or Lemurs (though there are lemurs on display in Periwinkle Park). There was a black bear on Sanibel several years ago and today there are cane toads. These toads are dangerous to pets.
No venomous snakes have been confirmed on Sanibel in 40 years, though she said folks often mis-identify a Florida water snake which is native. Alligators are native too and found all over the island. They are removed when they are found to be a safety hazard. The two crocodiles on Sanibel today are thought to both be female.
Real Estate Announcements – It was another week of many announcements, mostly with new listings and price reductions, though a few sales were touted too. The activity posted this week in the Sanibel-Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.
Flood Insurance Overhaul Starts Next Year
The below article posted on FloridaRealtors® on-line Monday is sourced to a “Wall Street Journal” article of the same day.
“WASHINGTON – March 19, 2019 – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the rollout of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) updates that will become effective next year.
“While FEMA released few specific details about the new program, it appears to downplay the role of flood zones in determining a home’s cost of coverage in favor of other variables, such as the distance from a potential flooding source rather than an all-or-nothing “in a flood zone” or “not in a flood zone” test.
“As part of Monday’s announcement, FEMA noted important dates: The new program becomes effective on Oct. 1, 2020, and homeowners will find out how much their policy will go up or down on April 1, 2020.
“FEMA said the new plan would assess properties individually and consider multiple variables, such as the potential for hurricanes, the homes distance from a body of water and the risk from coastal surges. It would also consider new “loss-estimation technology” that can account for threats from climate change and a home’s replacement cost.
“Florida – home to about 35% of all NFIP policies – could see a big impact from the proposed changes. It’s likely that homeowners in current flood zones would see an increase in their flood insurance premiums, but the state already pays more into NFIP than it gets back in post-flood claims, so some homeowners should see their rates go down.
“NFIP currently expires on May 1, 2019, and Congress is working on a solution to extend it for at least a few years. Should lawmakers reach agreement, it’s unclear how a legislative fix might impact the just-announced FEMA regulatory fix. Under U.S. law, FEMA is limited in its ability to raise rates. It’s also unclear how those limitations might impact increases under NFIP’s new risk model.”
Tomorrow, Saturday, March 23, Annual Open House at Sanibel’s Fire House Station 171 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with fire apparatus and equipment on display. Great time for children and families to interact with firefighters, get on trucks, and experience a fire smoke simulation. There will be Sanibel Police Department, County Sheriff’s SWAT Team, and LCEC vehicles there too, as well as booths with info/animals from CROW, Ding Darling, and a local animal shelter.
New at Bailey’s Center – Spoondrift Bowls – Opened by same family that opened Malia Restaurant in Beachview Estates a few months ago, Spoondrift Bowls started at the Farmer’s Market and now is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Bailey’s Center. The bowls are healthy and can be create-your-own with a variety of protein, base, topping, sauce, and finish options. Or you can select a predesigned combination or daily special. They also offer healthy homemade desserts and beverages. (www.SanibelSpoondrift.com)
Shell Harbor Dredging
Work began last Friday dredging the entrance channel to Shell Harbor. The channel will remain open during the project which may take a few weeks, but boaters are advised to travel slowly and cautiously.
Kick-Off for Kevin Ruane’s County Commissioner Campaign
I attended this event on Tuesday night at The Community House. It was great to see a huge turnout including mayors from Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, and Fort Myers. Introduced by Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson, followed by Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, and Former Sanibel Mayor Marty Harrity, they offered insight into the experience and praised the accomplishments of Mayor Ruane, particularly in the areas of finance and water quality. The new Chairman of the South Florida Water Management District, Chauncey Goss, was at the event too. (During his first meeting, the contract was signed to construct the C43 Reservoir. It will take four years to complete but will be usable after two.) All positive steps in the right direction, having these champions representing islanders is important. Please give them your support too.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 15-22, 2019
1 new listing: Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 $699K.
8 price changes: Sundial #G205 1/1 now $455K; Sundial #C310 1/1 now $459,750; Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 now $468K; Sanctuary Golf Villages I #2-5 2/2.5 now $714.9K; Loggerhead Cay #133 2/2 now $929K; Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 now $995K (our listing); Bandy Beach #B101 3/2 now $1.359M; Wedgewood #203 3/3.5 now $2.595M.
5 new sales: Tennisplace #B22 2/1.5 listed at $309K, Sanibel Arms West #K5 2/2 listed at $579K, Island Beach Club #240F 2/2 listed at $749K, Sundial #E205 2/2 listed at $1.395M, Somerset #B202 3/2.5 listed at $1.995M.
2 closed sales: Cottage Colony West #116 1/1 $590K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-4 3/3 $905K.
3 new listings: 4737 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 $799,999; 5313 Punta Caloosa Ct 4/3 $899K; 500 Sawgrass Pl 8/8/3 $3.495M.
19 price changes: 693 Rabbit Rd 3/2 now $517.5K, 401 Raintree Pl 3/1.5 now $519K, 1805 Ibis Ln 2/2 now $519K, 945 S Yachtsman Dr 2/2 now $575K, 640 Oliva St 3/2 now $649K, 632 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $735K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $748K, 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 now $759K, 257 Daniel Dr 3/2 now $765K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $775K, 3013 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2.5 now $799K, 6033 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 now $799K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr #1F 3/3 half-duplex now 799K, 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 now $959K, 5411 Osprey Ct 3/2 now $999K, 982 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 now $1.175K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 now $1.249M, 599 Lake Murex Cir 3/3.5 now $1.399M, 4143 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 now $6.495M.
6 new sales: 974 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $509K, 1327 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $619K, 9248 Dimmick Dr 3/3 listed at $619.9K, 3832 Coquina Dr 4/4 listed at $995K, 297 Ferry Landing Dr 3/3 listed at $1.195M, 401 Bella Vista Way 4/4 listed at $2.75M.
5 closed sales: 1442 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 $395K; 4755 Ruelle 3/3 $734,630; 4760 Rue Helene 3/2 $750K; 1350 Middle Gulf Dr #2E 3/3 $825K (our buyer); 931 Snowberry Ln 4/4 $1.275M.
3 new listings: 3324 Saint Kilda Rd $449K, 976 Whelk Dr $660K, 4995 Joewood Dr $2.85M.
4 price changes: 3013 Poinciana Cir now $244K, 6411 Pine Ave now $341.7K, 1026 Fish Crow Rd now $425K, 1305 Seaspray Ln now $650K.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 2933 Wulfert Rd $315K.
3 new listings: Bayside Villas #4220 1/2 $425K, Lands End Village #1667 2/2 $1.199M, Lands End Village #1613 2/2 $1.7M.
4 price changes: Bayside Villas #5114 1/2 now $405K, Beach Villas #2426 1/1 now $537.5K, Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 now $849K, Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.5 now $1.398M.
No new or closed sales.
No new listings.
2 price changes: 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 now $2.295M, 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.995M.
1 new sale: 11535 Wightman Ln 4/4 listed at $1.849M.
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.
Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan