It’s Susan again with another weekly update. Here it is Friday the 13th with a cool front arriving in Florida. Before today, sunny Sanibel recovery continued with wonderful winter weather – dry, with bright blue skies, temperatures mostly 70’s. The cool front arrived following a big shower this morning – providing a much-needed dousing for our vegetation and wildlife. Forecasters say we likely with have more rare opportunities to wear jackets, from now through the long weekend, with daytime temperatures not expected to get out of the 60’s.
The nice weather certainly has made it more comfortable for the many remediation workers. With the causeway now open, traffic flows smoothly most of the time. Bridge work continues. It is encouraging to watch the progress and see the return of birds and dolphins during those overseas travels.
It was another “ouch” for me this week when another client reminded me that before they bought their property a couple of years ago, they asked about insurance. Most buyers do. Part of my answer was that the islands completely flooded back in the 1920’s and with them being in the 100-year major storm zone, time could be up for it to happen again. They followed up with “you were right.” Sometimes you don’t wanna be right.
Meanwhile on the home front, on Sanibel my house had more electrical work completed, while at teammate Dave’s, his new roof is being installed. Still awaiting word that the apartment I was to move into in late December is ready. Seems that many properties are just now discovering storm-related damage that took time to surface. We both continue to be on island every day and working from home too. I sure am looking forward to being permanently full-time back on Sanibel though. It won’t be soon enough!
City Update – The Sanibel Post-Ian 104-day Progress Update was a live Zoom from MacKenzie Hall on City grounds Tuesday night. As usual, I followed it and posted a recap on our business and my personal Facebook pages. It was excellent news to hear that opening the causeway for travel to anyone (except during curfew) has not caused problems, but rather has provided easier access for more contractors, owners, family, and volunteers.
Debris Pickup – Debris removal is expected to continue into February, but City Manager Souza reminded that this won’t go on forever. He thought it might end sometime next month.
Mail – The City has been working hard to get mail service back on the island. When USPS announced last week that it may be late summer before it returns to Sanibel (Captiva Post Office is open), a flurry of emails, letters, and calls followed. Mayor Smith advised that temporary locations on-island had been offered. She hoped to hear better news soon and last night posted the following Facebook message:
“Sanibelians- USPS Update for the 33957- MAIL IS COMING HOME – (But keep being loud!) Today I received a call from Richard Fermo USPS District Manager informing me that the City of Sanibel will have 2 mobile units (MRU) on island within 30 days for our citizens and business mail pick up. These will be located at the post office location on Tarpon Bay Road. USPS staff was on site yesterday to reevaluate the site. Senator Rick Scott has been instrumental in moving the dial with his direct and persistent communication with Postmaster General DeJoy. The Senator and his staff have been in direct communication with me daily. Congressman Byron Donalds penned a letter to the Postmaster General. Thank you, Byron and Jesse. Additionally, Senator Rubio’s office has contacted the PM General’s office with our needs.
“It was unacceptable to consider no mail service til late Summer 2023. I will continue to update as we all want to see this as action not words. Be assured we have been working on this. I appreciate the federal relationships and partnerships which are aiding in our mail service back where it belongs… In the 33957. I will be asking for daily updates from the USPS. Much work to be done. We are and will continue to make progress as our Sanibel community rebuilds. Please PM me with any questions.
“Thanks, Dave Elias, for making the trek to Jetport loop to help elevate our citizens voices …
“To our USPS Staff located WAY OUT there East. We are working to get you home. Sanibel Mayor Holly D. Smith”
She suggests that we keep the emails, letters, and calls going to USPS, Congressmen, and all who could assist – until this is finalized. In the meantime, it always is great to see our smiling familiar island postal workers at Jetport Loop. How they keep their spirits up in those working conditions is amazing. We look forward to having them back on island.
Farmers Market – On another positive note, the Sanibel Farmers Market is returning. This is its 15th season. It will be a smaller footprint, but a welcome addition to the return to normalcy. It will be Sundays, beginning this weekend, through May from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the parking lot in front of Jerry’s.
Other Openings – A little more news is that two more restaurants are reopening:
- Gulfshore Business reported yesterday that Captiva’s Mucky Duck will open soon with some limitations.
- On Sanibel, Tutti Pazzi Italian Kitchen is reopening Jan 15. It will be open from Wed thru Mon from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Closed Tuesdays)
Next City Progress Briefing – It is on the agenda as part of the upcoming City Council meeting on Tuesday Jan 17 at 9 a.m. at BIG ARTS Performance Hall. Live feed posted on MySanibel.com and The City of Sanibel Facebook page.
Sanibel Building Permits
It was announced during the Tuesday briefing that the City Building and Planning Departments are working from rented spaces in Ft Myers. Good news to also hear that they are keeping up with demand. I have complaints from owners that their projects are being held up because of permits or inspections. That may be what their contractors are telling them, but when I told them how to go on-line themselves to see where their projects stand, they found different answers.
To check on property record, go to www.MySanibel.com, click on the first round button “Sanibel Online”. On the resulting menu on the right-hand side, click on the first item: “On-line Permitting, Licenses, & Business Taxes”. On the next screen, is a red link that says, “Click Here”.
When you do, you are brought to the City on-line system for searching public records, applying for a permit, inspection, etc. Click on “Search Public Records” where you can search for your own address or any address and your can specify the type of record or select “All”. Items are displayed in ascending order, so if your property has had a lot of permits, you may want to change the search to descending so you see the latest one on the top. From that record, you can see the entire permit progress and status- when the application was submitted, issued, all the documents with it, inspections ordered, status of the inspections including resubmission requirements, completion.
Follow up on the every permit regarding your property. It sure will help to avoid a hold-up if you decide to sell and don’t discover until then that there is an open permit.
Governor Signs Ambitious Water Quality Order
Posted Tues by SCCF: “On Jan. 10, Gov. DeSantis signed the sweeping Executive Order 23-06 in support of improving water quality within Florida. The order directs the state to spend $3.5 billion over the next four years on Everglades restoration and water quality improvements. “Today’s order is an ambitious ask from the governor and seeks to improve our water quality around the state and our resiliency into the future,” said SCCF Environmental Policy Director Matt DePaolis. “As more funding is directed toward Everglades restoration, we expect to see fewer damaging discharges to the Caloosahatchee and improved water quality.”
‘Today’s order marks an increase of $1 billion from the executive order that was signed four years ago. It also directs additional funding to work to restore the Indian River Lagoon with $100 million earmarked for the creation of a protection program with enhanced water quality monitoring.
‘Beyond allocating funding, the order directs the agencies within Florida to continue their efforts to support water quality. The order directs the South Florida Water Management District to expedite Everglades restoration projects and focus on sending more clean water south to the Everglades.
‘It also directs the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to work with the Florida Legislature to expand the wastewater grant program to address impacts from non-point source pollution. Non-point source pollutants originate from agriculture runoff, stormwater, leaky septic systems, and similar sources and are major drivers of the nutrient pollution in our waterways.
‘“SCCF is excited to work with our partners and the DEP to tackle the issues of non-point source pollution, algal blooms, and resiliency and improve Florida’s waters for everyone,” said DePaolis. Additionally, the order provides guidance to the DEP to work with the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services to strengthen Basin Management Action Plans for our waterways and to improve best management practices for agriculture. “If enacted properly, this could result in less nutrient pollution entering our waters,” he added.
‘The order also seeks to reduce harmful algal blooms within the state. It creates grant funding to work on mitigating blue-green algal blooms. Finally, the order seeks to increase resiliency around the state and will create a coral reef restoration and recovery initiative to help with coral growth and storm surge protections. “The order is a good step on the path to restoration and resiliency, and it will be important to monitor that funds are directed to projects that will have the largest impact on the quality and quantity of our water,” said DePaolis.”
Island Real Estate
As Dave and I continue to assist owners thinking of selling vs restoring, we often are asked what is the market doing? On Sanibel, more and more homes are coming on the market every day. I told someone just this week that when I spoke to them in early December, there were only 21 homes for sale. Today, there are 83.
The properties are in various condition. Some say they had “no or little” damage. Others are emptied, remediated, with drywall down, mold treated, and power restored. Some have been repaired somewhat or have pools cleaned and operational. Others have not been touched. Some listings say the properties are livable but with no warranty or assurance of structural integrity. Many of those that are non-conforming (or ground-level) properties are situations where it is questionable whether they can be restored, complying with the 50% rule. So buyers need to do their homework.
Sellers also need to recognize that not everyone will want to restore a property like it was pre-Ian. There will be teardowns. There already are many. There will be new builds and there are new owners that may want to raise a home or pop-it-up.
Just driving through the island, changes are happening every day. Still heartbreaking for many just returning to see things for the first time. It was amazing Wednesday to see how quickly the Sweet Melissa’s restaurant building disappeared – taken down in minutes. (Their social media says they are rebuilding.)
Below is an update of island inventory today from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. It again is moving. Many changes daily. Then after a couple of news items is the action posted this week in the local MLS.
|#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM|
|Sold 2023 to 1/12||1||585,000||33||4||832,250||26||2||2,087,500||155|
|#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM|
|Sold 2023 to 1/12||0||N/A||N/A||1||6,950,000||14||0||N/A||N/A|
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Jan 6-13, 2023
4 new listings: Sundial #H111 1/1 $369K, Beach Road Villas #101 2/2 $649K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #3B 3/2.5 $995K, Tamarind #B302 3/2 $2.875M.
No price changes.
5 new sales: Sunset South #10B 2/2 $650K, Pointe Santo #D3 2/2 listed at $725K, Sunset South #4C 2/2 listed at $849K, Sundial #D302 2/2 listed at $975K, By-the-Sea #A102 3/2 listed at $1.325M.
No closed sales.
13 new listings: 1932 Roseate Ln 3/2 $625K, 450 Birdsong 2/2 $649K, 3760 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $849K, 1679 Serenity Ln 3/2 $849K, 3025 Poinciana Cir 3/2 $975K, 557 East Rocks Dr 4/3 $999K, 1667 Sabal Sands Rd 3/3 $1.089M, 1332 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $1.095M, 9027 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 $1.595M, 2276 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $1.7M, 851 Angel Wing Dr 5/4 $1.995M, 4781 Tradewinds Dr 3/2 $2M, 682 Pyrula Ave 5/4.5 $2.395M.
6 price changes: 2623 Tamarind R 2/2 now $400K, 9106 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $769K, 1230 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $859K, 1022 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 now $899.9K, 1002 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 now $1.1M, 526 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $1.495M,
8 new sales: 4044 Coquina Dr 2/2 listed at $525K, 1382 Tahiti Dr 3/2 listed at $599K, 1811 Ibis Ln 2/2 listed at $625K, 1153 Shell Basket Ln 3/2 listed at $625K, 1429 Jamaica Dr 4/2 listed at $739K, 4208 West Gulf Dr 2/2 listed at $849K, Moonshadows #1A 3/3 listed at $949K, 728 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.295M.
4 closed sales: 4738 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 $700K, 1221 Par View 3/2 $830K, 3860 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $899K, 440 Glory Cir 3/3 $900K.
3 new listings: 5116 Sea Belle Rd $350K, 355 Cowry Ct $690K, 1119 Seagrape Ln $1,199,992.
No price changes or new sales.
2 closed sales: 971 Main St $325K, West Gulf Dr #1 $4.25M.
Nothing to report.
1 new listing:16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 $3.995M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 11510 Chapin Ln 2/2 listed at $1.25M.
1 closed sale: 16778 Captiva Dr 4/4 $6.95M.
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,
the one always wearing flipflops