It is time to report another sunny Friday on Sanibel. Weather was not like this all week. Some much-needed rain was received Mon through Wed, followed yesterday by the highest recorded temperatures in the nation. The high today is expected to be 83 degrees F, followed by another week of the same sunny weather with maybe a passing thunderstorm Sunday morning. We sure are lucky to be here!
Sanibel’s State of Emergency
On Tuesday, Sanibel’s State of Emergency due to COVID-19 again was extended another week (until April 27). Masks remain required in all businesses and outside where social distancing is not possible. Just one more case reported on Sanibel this week with a total of 249 cases from Mar 26, 2020 through Apr 21, 2021. Still just 11 on Captiva during the same timeframe.
Sanibel & Captiva Farmers Markets
With Florida’s vegetable growing season winding down, visitors and locals who enjoy the local farmers markets have one more month to visit them on the islands. Sanibel Farmers Market at City Hall is OPEN Sundays, 8-1 through May 30. Captiva Island Farmers Market at South Seas Island Resort is OPEN Tuesdays, 9-1 through May 25.
The other Local Roots markets at the Sanibel Outlets and on Boca Grande have already finished their season, while the Wednesday markets at Lakes Park and Thursday markets at Coconut Point will finish up next week (Apr 28 and 29).
The Saturday morning Bonita Springs markets continue through May, while the River District markets in downtown Fort Myers are Thursday mornings year-‘round (except Thanksgiving).
Who knew when Betsy and Jean organized their first market nearly 15 years ago in the parking lot at Tahitian Gardens, that their business would expand into some of the largest fresh markets in Lee County. Congratulations, ladies! More details on http://buylocallee.com.
At SanibelSusan Realty
Here in the office, teammates Dave, Elise, and I got our monthly progress report letter in the mail. Those again illustrate how inventory is dwindling. Our three remaining listings all had inquiries and showings this week, with more showings scheduled tomorrow during guest turns-overs.
I was out showing homes most of Monday. With only 32 for sale on the entire island, it is difficult for buyers to find exactly what matches their desires. This week, Sanibel condo inventory also is down. There are just 36 units for sale. Owners looking to make a change, whether they are buying to upsize or downsize, will benefit from selling high but may struggle with limited buying options (which also will be high).
From the inventory action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday, which follows a couple of news items below, you will notice only two new listings (Sanibel & Captiva) during the 7-day period. With 30 new sales and 13 closings during that same window, inventory is further reduced.
There would have been one more closing, but we had a snafu with one that was to occur this week. The buyer was using her hometown bank for a mortgage. (When the property went under contract, I asked the buyer’s agent who would be doing the financing and warned her there always are problems with non-local banks. She assured me there would be no trouble with this one. Ha!)
The bank (where the buyer had done business for decades) provided written loan commitment weeks ago, but when it came time for them to issue loan documents to the title company, they denied the loan. I have never heard of this happening, but thankfully our seller is co-operative, is giving the embarrassed buyer more time, and the Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank has come to the rescue. David Wright and San-Cap Bank routinely lend all over the island and will get this one closed albeit with a bit of a delay.
Water Quality Update
As we continue to enjoy the bright blue waters viewed when crossing the causeway, it is important to remember what can happen after the rainy season. An article written by SCCF’s Environmental Policy Director, James Evans, and posted in this week’s “Island Reporter” has some news about that:
“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of developing a new Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule that will provide new guidance on how the Army Corps will manage water in Lake O for the different parts of South Florida’s complex water management system. The new schedule is called the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual, or LOSOM.
“LOSOM will consider additional infrastructure that will soon be operational, including rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike, Kissimmee River Restoration and Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERTP) projects, such as the C-43 Reservoir located within the Caloosahatchee watershed and the C-44 Reservoir location in the St. Lucie watershed. LOSOM is supposed to balance the various project purposes of the Central and South Florida Project (C&SF); flood control; navigation; water supply for agricultural irrigation, municipalities, industry and Everglades National Park; regional groundwater and salinity control; enhancement of fish and wildlife; and recreation.
“Extensive drainage work that has occurred in the Caloosahatchee watershed over the past century resulted in a system that drains very quickly with little to no treatment, resulting in water of poor quality being delivered to the estuary and the coast. Because of these hydrological changes, the Caloosahatchee currently receives the lion’s share of the harmful discharges from the lake during the rainy season and is often cut off from beneficial flows during the dry season. This has resulted in wide-ranging damage to the estuary and its ecosystems, including impacts to freshwater tape grass, oysters and sea grasses that depend on a balance of fresh and saltwater.
“CERP is the roadmap to restoring the ecosystem damage caused by the C&SF Project. The goal of CERP is to restore the quality, quantity, timing and distribution of freshwater flow to the Everglades and Florida Bay and the northern estuaries of the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie. The plan relies on massive infrastructure projects to store, treat and convey freshwater to the Everglades and reduce damaging discharges to the northern estuaries.
“While we wait for Everglades restoration to be completed, we have the opportunity to better balance the needs of our natural systems through development of the new lake regulation schedule. LOSOM is not designed to solve all our water management issues – although some stakeholders are using LOSOM to push for near-perfect water management conditions without the infrastructure to support such a request.
“The Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District will need to make challenging decisions about how best to balance the needs of the system. It is unacceptable to continue to operate the system to benefit private landowners at the expense of our public resources.
“During the LOSOM process, we need our West Coast stakeholders to be engaged and support plans that reduce the damaging high-flow discharges to the Caloosahatchee, while providing beneficial flows during the dry season. We also need to support plans that protect other natural systems that we depend on by maintaining water levels in Lake O that maintain a healthy ecosystem and deliver dry season flows to the Everglades. This can only be achieved by all stakeholders recognizing the need for truly balancing the needs of the entire system.
“To learn more about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s process for development LOSOM, visit the Lake Okeechobee System Operation Manual at https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/LOSM.”
More info at www.SCCF.org, too.
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Marine Lab Data to Help
From SCCF’s Wednesday update: “The SCCF Marine Laboratory recently uploaded its extensive water quality data from Gulf waters off our islands into the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (FDEP) Watershed Information Network database system. This is a major step forward so that the state can officially evaluate the Gulf of Mexico’s quality for management planning.
“Southwest Florida residents are likely to assure that the state already understands what’s happening in the Gulf due to repeated red tide and algae bloom events that impact humans and wildlife. However, not even one “waterbody unit” in the Gulf has ever been evaluated by FDEP due to a lack of enough water quality data.
“SCCF put forth a tremendous effort for this very purpose. The SCCF Water Quality Database was created in 2009 and it includes 88,000 samplings and analysis records from nearly 9,700 separate sampling events. Using the R/V Norma Campbell, The Marine Laboratory regularly collets water quality data in the Gulf of Mexico thanks to funding from the Vince Family through Goldman Sachs Cares.
“”That’s a lot of records,” said SCCF Research Associate Mark Thompson. “The FDEP requires each record go through a series of more than 100-quality assurance checks before it can be accepted. The data must be in the correct form and order, with the correct elements that fall within acceptable ranges. You can imagine how time-intensive this feat was to upload 88,000 records.”
“This massive undertaking will eventually be rewarded through improved state and federal management. The Impaired Water Rule requires the state to identify impaired waterbodies based upon existing water quality data – so now it has the data that show how and where the water is impaired and the sources of those problems.
“The FDEP’s Watershed Information Network (WIN) database evaluates and maps the state’s waters, each portioned into what the state calls a “waterbody ID unit” as indicated on this chart. A certain amount of data is needed before the unit is evaluated, and the information is used by researchers and reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“”SCCF has collected enough data to satisfy FDEP requirements for evaluating Gulf of Mexico waterbody segments near Sanibel and Captiva,” said Thompson. “This data is ready to be assessed by FDEP so it can get started on improving water quality in the Gulf.”
Thompson added, “This sounds dry and boring to most folks – even to the person who did it. But there was a warm and fuzzy feeling which transpired just after the deed was done.””
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 16-23, 2021
No new listings.
2 price changes: Sundial #C303 2/2 now $695K, Sanibel Arms West #C4 2/2 now $910,990.
13 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #242 1/1 listed at $409K, Sundial #I105 1/1 listed at $415K, Sundial #C409 1/1 listed at $469K, Sandpebble #1D 2/2 listed at $569.5K, Pointe Santo #C4 1/1 listed at $585K, Sanibel Arms West #E4 2/2 listed at $889K, Oceans Reach #1C1 2/2 listed at $899K, Pelicans Roost #102 2/2 listed at $930K, White Sands #13 2/2 listed at $949K, Sanddollar #B101 2/2 listed at $1.125M, Pointe Santo #E26 2/2 listed at $1.269M, Sanddollar #C202 3/2 listed at $1.3M, Pointe Santo #E24 3/2 listed at $1.495M.
5 closed sales: Tennisplace #C26 1/1 $350K, Mariner Pointe #241 2/2.5 $665K, Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 3/3.5 $850K, Sanddollar #C201 2/2 $1.18M, Tigua Cay #489 3/3.5 $2.325M.
1 new listing: 9456 Beverly Ln 3/2 $789K.
7 price changes: 1644 Bunting Ln 3/3 now $658K, 2011 Mitzi Ln 2/1 now $685K, 4619 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $862K, 5773 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $1.225M, 820 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 now $1.495M, 1761 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.899M, 486 Surf Sound Ct 3/3.5 now $1.295M
13 new sales: 2098 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 listed at $795K, 1560 Poinciana Cir 3/2 listed at $880K, 5186 Sea Bell Rd 3/3 listed at $998K, 2563 Coconut Rd 2/2 listed at $1.049M, 1350 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $1.199M, 5423 Shearwater Dr 3/3 listed at $1.245M, 812 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 listed at $1.249M, 9445 Beverly Ln 4/3 listed at $1.375M, 940 Whelk Dr 3/2 listed at $1.47M, 837 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3.5 $1.895M, 813 Angel Wing Dr 3/3.5 listed at $2.689M, 4601 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 listed at $3.395M, 4701 Rue Belle Mer 4/5 listed at $3.395M.
5 closed sales: 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $705K, 1421 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $905K, 1200 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 $905K, 249 Violet Dr 4/3 1.04M, 3744 West Gulf Dr 4/4 $1.95M.
1 new listing: 2299 Starfish Ln $549K.
No price changes.
2 new sales: 3013 Poinciana Cir listed at $259.9K, 0 West Gulf Dr listed at $3.895M.
1 closed sale: 6008 White Heron Ln $810K.
No new listings.
1 price change: Seabreeze #1251 3/3 now $2.05M.
1 new sale: Ventura Captiva #4A 3/3 listed at $1.1M.
1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #4322 3/3 $729K.
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 15155 Wiles Dr 3/2 listed at $1.975M.
1 closed sale: 15000 Binder Dr 3/2 $1.271M.
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.
Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.
Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan