It is another nice Sanibel Friday. Hurricanes aside, it really is no wonder that this area is considered to have the “best” year-round weather. Growing up in often foggy chilly New England and working in that sometimes-humid smoggy DC area, it still is a joy to wake up to blue skies and sunshine most of the year. Also, a plus is to rarely need a jacket or real shoes. Very little rain here this week, with most daytime temperatures in the high 80’s, often with a light breeze. Many more sea turtle nests on the beach have been staked, like the one in the picture above.
At my home on Anchor Dr, there was just a single brief evening shower, while during the day the resident osprey are ruling the neighborhood with loud squawking whenever a contractor vehicle goes up the street. With just three homeowners now coexisting with nature on the private beach end of the street, the peace and quiet is appreciated, as are those announcements from the birds.
After having spent eight months living in the real world of Ft Myers, it amused me when recently getting a haircut and talking about Sanibel, my hairdresser asked, “Would you ever move off the island?” My answer was an emphatic “heck, no”.
Recovery is slow. I know I am fortunate to be back living in my home, but it is tough to continue to hear folks say that they just cannot come back or stay. We do our best to dispel those feelings but also understand when some do not have the time or wherewithal to continue. Both teammate Dave and I worked with buyers this week, while I also had several conversations with owners.
It is a new world selling real estate here. Unlike off-island, Captiva, and after Hurricanes Charley and Irma, Ian has posed different challenges. Like us, owners, and prospective buyers also are working through these new issues.
It seems that every day we hear of another hiccup on the road to recovery. Thankfully our City leaders, citizens, and Realtors are strong and cooperative. Permitting requirements can be tough. Contractor, supply, & labor shortages can be real. Traffic can be unpredictable making scheduling hard, but progress is obvious and island lovers are persistent and flexible.
I talk daily with colleagues sharing information and sometimes solutions. Working together, helping each other, fostering progress while disclosing truths, and putting in the effort to always be nice, even when in disagreement, have pushed us to a standard even higher than before Ian. We are also thankful for that.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors
Wednesday, I attended the local Association of Realtors Professional Development Committee monthly meeting. Those continue to be held via Zoom as we await the recovery of the Association Offices at 2353 Periwinkle Way. This week, reconstruction of the damaged exterior wall began. Fall occupancy is the goal.
Meanwhile Finnemores Bike & Beach Rentals, our downstairs tenant, is open. Also doing a great job fixing up bikes damaged in the storm. Please use them if you can.
On the education front, our Committee now has speakers lined up for our monthly membership meetings through October and look forward to Sanibel Mayor Richard Johnson’s presentation at the June meeting next Thursday. The 14-hour Continuing Education that is required for Florida Realtors license renewal will be offered in September, while the local designation (Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist) classwork schedule is planned for late September/early October.
At The City
The big topic here this week is the upcoming June 20 meeting of Lee County Commissioners to discuss potential changes to sections of the Land Development Code that apply to Captiva, along with portions of the Captiva Community Plan within the Lee County Land Use Plan. These changes have been initiated by the new owners of South Seas Resort under the guise of supporting coastal resilience. The changes would only apply to the properties that are owned by South Seas Resort (not the many homes, condominiums, and timeshares within the confines of the resort, but not owned by the resort).
The suggested changes would raise height limits, remove restrictions that cap housing at two stories, exclude South Seas from the same height rules that apply to the rest of Captiva, and pave the way for increased density at the resort. These changes undercut the careful planning that both Sanibel and sister island Captiva have engaged in for decades to establish rules for the barrier islands to coexist with nature while fostering resiliency.
In that access to Captiva is through Sanibel, increasing Captiva density would likely increase evacuation time for both islands, placing more people in danger from future storms. Increased height and density also may jeopardize Captiva’s long-sought-after septic to sewer conversion project which has significant potential to improve water quality. More intense development will compromise the coverage and integrity of natural wetlands, dune systems, and other native vegetation that provide the islands and nearby mainland communities with important wind and wave protection.
Despite requirements within the Lee Plan to engage the public on any major changes, the Captiva community has not been consulted during this process.
With the June 20 meeting fast approaching, Sanibel City Council held an emergency meeting Wednesday night at BIG ARTS. The room was packed, but I got a front-row seat. Following presentations by leaders from both islands and SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation), the 2+hour meeting wrapped up with a unanimous motion for Sanibel to strongly oppose these changes. The meeting was recorded and may be viewed on The City of Sanibel Facebook page. A program provided two days earlier by the Captiva Civic Association also was recorded. It is on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HZLD3_wWpo.
Residents and island-lovers were asked to separately email or call the five county commissioners to similarly voice their opposition. Former Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane who sits on the commission as representative for our area has said that he likewise will not support these changes, but it is important that the other four commissioners also understand what future repercussions could be.
District 1: Kevin Ruane. 239-533-2224, firstname.lastname@example.org
District 2: Cecil Pendergrass. 239-533-2227, email@example.com
District 3: Ray Sandelli. 239-533-2223, firstname.lastname@example.org
District 4: Brian Hamman, Chairman. 239-533-2226, email@example.com
District 5: Mike Greenwell, Vice Chairman. 239-533-2225, firstname.lastname@example.org
Island resident Chauncey Goss, former Sanibel City Councilman, now Chairman of the Governing Board at South Florida Water Management District, wrote an excellent letter to the county commissioners. It is posted all over social media.
Lighthouse Beach – This morning was the ribbon cutting for the reopening of the Lighthouse Beach gulf side parking area. Well attended, Mayor Johnson asked the crowd how many came from off-island. Many hands went up, some coming from as far away as a 5-hour drive. It may be the most popular public-access beach.
There is no date yet for reopening of the bayside lot next to the damaged fishing pier. City Manager Souza said it may be next month.
Bowman’s Beach Kayak Launch – The City will begin construction of the Bowman’s Beach Park Kayak Launch Replacement Project on Monday, June 19 with the launch closed until August 2 or project completion. The beach park and restrooms will remain open during this time. The contractor will replace the existing structure with a new floating ADA-compliant launch system funded by the Lee County Tourist Development Council.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Real Estate
Below with data from the island MLS (Multiple Listing Service) are updated summary tables of the residential sales statistics. After that is the activity posted in the MLS since last Friday.
Again, there were no new condo sales on either island this week, while home sales continue to be “hot”.
|#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM|
|Sold 2023 to 6/16||62||940,000||52||159||1,204,584||55||12||997,416||76|
|#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM|
|Sold 2023 to 6/16||5||1,110,400||109||9||2,798,222||55||0||N/A||N/A|
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 9‑16
4 new listings: Captains Walk #D5 2/1 $529K, Loggerhead Cay #282 2/2 $849K, Sanddollar #B104 2/2 $1.15M, Sundial #N402 2/2 $1.225M.
No price changes.
No new sales.
3 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #592 2/2 $750K, Sundial #D201 2/2 $887K, Sanctuary Golf Village 1 #5-2 3/3 $1.1M.
4 new listings: 1143 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $899K, 3924 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $949K, 8995 Mockingbird Dr 3/3.5 $1.495M, 4681 Rue Belle Mer 3/3.5 $4.95M.
8 price changes: 9225 Belding Dr 3/2 now $550K, 2091 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 now $575K, 2042 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 now $899K, 1586 Century Ct 3/2.5 now $1.185M, 851 Angel Wing Dr 5/4 now $1.495M, 567 North Yachtsman 3/3 now $1.495M, 1720 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/3 now $1.749M, 915 Pecten Ct 4/5 now $2.389M.
8 new sales: 9421 Moonlight Dr 3/2 listed at $769K, 1326 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $895K, 719 Nerita St 3/3 listed at $899K, 228 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 listed at $995K, 997 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 listed at $1.125M, 9008 Mockingbird Dr 3/3 listed at $1.149M, 950 Cabbage Palm Ct 3/2 listed at $1.298M, 1306 Par View Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.55M.
6 closed sales: 470 Birdsong Pl 2/2 $500K, 442 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $575K, 241 Violet Dr 3/2.5 $984,630; 750 Sand Dollar Dr 2/2 $1M, 5294 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 $1.35M, 2643 Coconut Dr 3/2 $1.375M.
3 new listings: 972 Fitzhugh St $375K, 1246 Sand Castle Rd $385K, 4717 Rue Belle Mer $3.5M.
3 price changes: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $298K, 1331 Par View Dr now $549K, 4501 Waters Edge Ln now $2.995M.
2 new sales: 5116 Sea Bell Rd listed at $335K, 2651 Coconut Dr listed at $1.395M.
No closed sales.
3 new listings: Tennis Villas #3119 1/1 $481.5K, Tennis Villas #3210 1/1 $550K, Tennis Villas #3132 2/2 $759.5K.
No price changes, new or closed sales.
1 new listings: 11550 Paige Ct 4/4.5.5 $7.199M, 16632 Captiva Dr 5/4 $8.75M.
1 price change: 1101 Tallow Tree Ct 4/4 now $4.5M.
1 new sale: 11535 Murmond Ln 3/3.5 listed at $3.495M.
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.
Enjoy your weekend & Happy Fathers’ Day to all the Dads!