The SanibelSusan Team and I hope that you all had happy healthy holidays. It has been hard to remember what day of the week it is with all these mid-week holidays, but our 2020 has started out with a bang.
The islands typically are their busiest the week between Christmas and New Year’s with traffic at its heaviest, particularly midday coming on island and late afternoon leaving. I showed a couple of condos on Saturday and don’t ever remember it being so busy on the beach in front of Pointe Santo, while further up West Gulf Dr at The Atrium, there was hardly anyone.
Sunday traffic was heavy and by Monday, Periwinkle Way was gridlock. Tuesday through yesterday morning were better, until VP Pence arrived about noon which added a few security and news vehicles to the mix. He is here until Sunday. Can’t blame him, the weather is wonderful – including mostly sunny warm days with temperatures from the mid 70’s into the 80’s.
The next cold front is due to arrive this weekend with Sunday temps not expected to get out of the 60’s. If that’s winter, we’ll take it!
With the island busy, there was plenty of real estate action here this week too. The SanibelSusan Team had one of the last sales in 2019, both our listing and sale. Then New Year’s, after showing just one home, our first deal of 2020 got done too! Now, to keep that string going!
After a couple of news items below is a report of the all action since last Friday in the Multiple Listing Service.
New Title Company In Town – Knight Barry Title
Many of you know that Barrier Island Title sold a few years ago to Fidelity National Title. As 20+year fans of the Barrier team, SanibelSusan Realty’s business continued with them until Fidelity closed their doors on Sanibel at the end of the year.
The good news is that Heidi Koch, island title and closing industry veteran, and her two closer colleagues, Michelle Landl and Jackie Martin, all formerly with Barrier, have moved right across the hall in the same building and now work for Knight Barry Title.
This week, Knight Barry Title opened their new office at 1456 Periwinkle Way, Suite C, to serve Sanibel and Captiva. Knight Barry Title is an independent family-owned company in the business for over 40 years and now with its 5th office in the Sunshine State. Other locations are in Destin, Crestview, Panama City Beach, and Pensacola. In addition to Florida, Knight Barry has 60 offices that service many small towns across the Midwest in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota.
Congratulations, Heidi, Jackie, and Michelle! We brought them our first 2020 sale and hope to bring them plenty more.
Condominium & HOA Boards, Beware of Holding “Executive Sessions”
Posted on-line, Dec 16, 2019 by Amanda Barritt, real estate attorney with Henderson-Franklin, Attorneys at Law, in Ft Myers:
“I am often asked by association boards if the board can meet in “executive session” to discuss a sensitive topic, such as a personnel matter or dispute with an owner or neighborhood association, without members present.
“Florida homeowners’ and condominium associations are subject to what many refer to as association “sunshine laws” (which are different than the sunshine laws the Florida government must follow). Under Florida Statutes Chapter 720, for HOA’s, and Chapter 718, for condominiums, Association board meetings are deemed to occur when a quorum of the board gathers to conduct association business. All board meetings must be properly noticed and open to the members, with the only exceptions being:
- Meetings between the board and its attorney with respect to proposed or pending litigation, or
- Meetings of the board to discuss personnel matters.
“Such “closed” meetings must still be properly noticed to the membership in accordance with the association bylaws.
“Take-Away – Boards should consult with their legal counsel prior to holding a closed meeting to confirm whether the particular meeting may legally be held behind closed doors and whether the Board has complied with the proper notice requirements.”
Why Do Some Water-Related Projects Take So Long?
Good article in the Dec 26, 2019, ““Ding” on The Wing”, News from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society, written by fellow Realtor® Sarah Ashton and her husband Jim Metzler who are DDWS Advocacy Committee Co-Chairs:
“Not long after the 2018 outbreaks of blue-green algae and red tide subsided, a newly elected Governor DeSantis issued an executive order that promised rapid improvement in the quality and quantity of Florida’s water. Soon thereafter, Governor DeSantis began overhauling the board of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) with the goal of making the board more responsive to south Florida’s water-related challenges. Given the urgency of eliminating future algae outbreaks combined with all the public statements that help is on the way, many members of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society have questioned why the projects to address our water-related issues are taking so long to implement.
“This report will provide insight into that question by discussing two such projects: controlling Florida red tide and building the C-43 reservoir.
“Controlling Florida Red Tide – Because red tide is a worldwide phenomenon, it’s reasonable to think that Florida can leverage the red tide research being done elsewhere to significantly shorten the time it takes to develop techniques to control red tide in Florida. Unfortunately, only in Florida is red tide caused by the species of phytoplankton called Karenia brevis, and because of that uniqueness, our version of red tide is often referred to as Florida red tide. Because Florida red tide has a unique cause, techniques that effectively control red tide somewhere else may not be effective here. As a result, we are not likely to be able to take any significant short cuts on the research that must be done to find solutions to control Florida red tide.
“A previous newsletter mentioned that in 1957, Florida tried to mitigate a red tide outbreak by using crop-dusting planes to drop copper sulfate on the bloom. That action did kill some of the red tide, but it also led to the release of toxins that killed marine life. The likely path forward for scientists is that once a solution is shown to work in a lab environment, it gets tried in a small body of water such as a pond. If that trial is successful, it gets repeated in increasingly larger bodies of water until the state feels comfortable that it can safely and effectively use the solution in the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, to avoid implementing a solution whose unintended consequences are more harmful than the Florida red tide it is intended to control, this path is inherently lengthy.
“Building the C-43 Reservoir – The C-43 reservoir is being built on 10,700 acres of former farmland in Hendry County, Florida, slightly west of Labelle and just south of Route 80. The SFWMD has identified the following as the goals and benefits of the reservoir:
- Capture and store stormwater runoff from the Caloosahatchee River basin, reducing excess water flow to the Caloosahatchee Estuary.
- Capture and store water that is released from Lake Okeechobee, reducing the discharges to the coastal estuaries.
- Improve the salinity balance for the Caloosahatchee estuary by controlling peak flows during the wet season and providing essential flows during the dry season.
“The reservoir was first envisioned in the early 2000s, but its construction was delayed in part by the economic downturn that occurred in the late 2000s. The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) began construction in 2015, and the expected completion date is December 2023. To get a sense of the scale of the reservoir, assume that a person in good physical health goes for a two-hour walk without stopping. That person would have walked one side of the C-43 reservoir which when completed will measure 6×3 miles. The water level will range from 15 feet to 25 feet and, as a result, the reservoir will hold approximately 170,000 acre-feet, or 55 billion gallons of water.
“In addition to storing water, the previously mentioned executive order signed by Governor DeSantis directed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to work with the SFWMD to add a stormwater treatment component to the C-43 reservoir. The goal of this component is to provide additional treatment and improve the quality of water leaving the reservoir. This initiative is being implemented through the C-43 reservoir Water Quality Feasibility Study.
One of the reasons that building the C-43 reservoir will take years is the massive scale of the reservoir and hence the huge amount of work that must be coordinated… However, the scale of the reservoir is not the only reason causing a lengthy construction process. To both ensure that they settle properly and to minimize the seepage of water out of the reservoir, as part of the construction process the dirt berms that surround the reservoir must sit in place for 16 to 18 months and nothing can be done to shorten that time frame.
“Not Every Project is Inherently Lengthy – As discussed in this report, many water-related projects are inherently lengthy. However, that is not true of all such projects. In the recommendations that they made to the Governor and to the Florida legislature, the Blue Green Algae task force stated that agricultural operations are one of the primary causes of increased nutrients flowing into Florida’s water bodies. The runoff from agricultural operations is supposed to be minimized by the use of Best Management Practices (BMPs). However, the effectiveness of these BMPs is often criticized because compliance with the BMPs is largely voluntary.
“Strengthening the BMPs to the point that they achieve the stated goal of reducing the nutrients that flow into Florida’s water bodies would have a significant impact on the quality of those water bodies. In contrast to projects such as controlling Florida red tide and building the C-43 reservoir, strengthening BMPs can happen in a relatively short period of time. Several organizations, including the SFWMD, have indicated their desire to move in that direction.
“In Case You Missed It: A recent article in Field & Stream documents some of the progress that has been made in the battle to improve water quality in Florida.”
2020 Ongoing Programs
The recent merger with Sanibel Sea School and Coastal Watch with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation results in some continued popular activities:
- Weeds & Seeds – Mondays at 8:40 a.m., Native Plant Field Trip at SCCF Nature Center, 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Rd.
- Making the Land Work Walking Tours – Mondays 10-11 a.m. & Thursdays 2-3 p.m. at Bailey Homestead Preserve, 1300 Periwinkle Way
- Bowman’s Beach Walk – Wednesdays 9-11 a.m., meet SCCF guide at bridge at 1700 Bowman’s Beach Rd.
- Interior Wetlands Trail Walks – Starts Jan 14 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays 11 a.m.-noon at SCCF Nature Center, 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Rd.
- After-School Survival Skills – Tuesdays, January 14, 21, 28 & February 4, 3:30-5:30 p.m., register at SanibelSeaSchool.org
- Discover Beachcombing – Thursdays 9-10:30 a.m., register at SanibelSeaSchool.org.
- New Moon Meditations – Thursday January 23 5:30 p.m. at Alison Hagerup Beach Park, 14790 Captiva Dr., info@AmbuYoga.com
- Community Bonfires on the Beach – Saturdays January 11 & 25, 5:30 p.m., RSVP to Nicole@SanibelSeaSchool.org.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 27-January 3, 2020
5 new listings: Island Beach Club #220B 2/2 $725K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #3A 3/2.5 $850K, Sundial #K103 2/2 $889K, Gulfside Place #121 2/2 $1.198M, Tigua Cay #485 3/3.5 $2.295M.
3 price changes: Blind Pass #F204 2/2.5 now $445K, Sanibel Arms West #B2 2/2 now $549.9K, Sand Pointe #137 2/2 now $1.149M.
4 new sales: Sundial #H210 1/1 listed at $379K, Sundial #F408 1/1 listed at $499K, Mariner Pointe #321 3/2 listed at $569K, Snug Harbor #312 3/2 listed at $619K.
3 closed sales: Tennisplace #A33 2/1.5 $315K, Sanibel Arms West #M1 2/2 $494K, Mariner Pointe #842 2/2 $555K.
7 new listings: 1085 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $725K, 1236 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $845K, 1414 Causey Ct 3/2 $850K, 1348 Eagle Run Dr 3/3 $998K, 1358 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 $1.1M, 5773 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 $1.19M, 1490 Angel Dr 4/3.5 $1.695M.
4 price changes: 513 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $688K, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 now $1.099M, 550 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 now $1.295M, 3757 West Gulf Dr 4/4 now $6.499M.
8 new sales: 1611 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $479K, 1558 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $599K (our listing & sale), 749 Cardium St 3/2 listed at $689K; 218 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 listed at $745K (our buyer); 238 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed at $777,126; 1414 Causey Ct 3/2 listed at $850K; 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 listed at $1.065M; 1730 Jewel Box Dr 4/3 listed at $1.499M.
2 closed sales: 632 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $697K, 1269 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $975K.
1 new listing: 978 Main St $169.9K.
1 price change: 9056 Mockingbird Dr now $380K.
No new or closed sales.
1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5304 3/3 $649K.
1 price change: Tennis Villas #3220 1/1 now $329.9K.
No new or closed sales.
No new listings.
1 price change: 11501 Laika Ln 3/3 now $1.275M.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 17041 Captiva Dr 2/2 $1.6M.
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, enjoy you weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan