All’s well again this week on sunny Sanibel Island. After days of seemingly summer-like weather, Wednesday brought the first shower of the rainy season. After much-needed downpours for most of the afternoon, a low-humidity cool front arrived which resulted yesterday in plenty of sun, but temperatures into the low 70’s with a nice breeze. Today temps crept back up to the high 70’s, then it likely will bump back up into the low 80’s for the weekend, which should be perfect for those here celebrating Mothers’ Day.
Both phone and island traffic were light this week. With the end of the school spring breaks, visitor traffic likely will be off until these same schools are out for summer breaks. The locals look at this as the perfect time to again enjoy The Over Easy Café, Gramma Dot’s, and other island eateries that can have long lines “in season”.
Many agree that May and October are their favorite months – little hustle bustle and the best weather.
This week at SanibelSusan Realty, several of our listings had showings, with a few more scheduled this weekend, and we had two closings. Some post-season celebratory events are happening now too. A few tidbits about them and some news items are below, followed by a report of the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.
“Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament
Tonight and tomorrow are the 5th annual “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament. The weather couldn’t be better and the water quality is good, so hopefully the first tarpon of the season have arrived.
The event begins with a captains’ meeting, anglers’ dinner, and auction tonight (5-9 p.m.) with the actual fishing tomorrow from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. All sponsorships and gifts go to the “Ding” Darling Wildllife Society, while 100% of the entry fees go to tournament winners. Last year, it netted more than $50K for conservation and education at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
We have several friends and clients participating in the tournament. Here’s hoping that this year’s event brings more success and that our pals catch winners. (Note this is a “catch, release, & care” tournament. Tarpon weight/size is estimated by photo or video only, with all tarpon immediately released.)
Fifty boats participate, with four to six anglers per boat. These anglers come from all over.
This year, there again are a couple of teams from the UK, including one called “Fish & Chips” and some of the local teams advertise their sponsors in their team names, like “RS Walsh Landscaping”, “Florida Weekly”, and “Diversified Yacht Services”.
Jensen’s Marina/Operation Open Arms always dedicates their team to veterans.
Then, there is the team of gals, called “Fishin’ Divas”. Follow the tourney and their results at http://www.dingdarlingsociety.org/tarpon-tourney.
Sanibel & Captiva Island Association of Realtors®
Yesterday afternoon/evening was the 21st annual local association of Realtors® “after season” celebration which this year included a golf scramble, Cinco de Mayo party, and auction, all benefitting RPAC (Realtors® Political Action Committee).
Often held at The Sanctuary, this year because of their ongoing clubhouse remodel, it was moved to The Dunes where attendees, golfers particularly, were thankful that the deluge was the day before. It was a great day for golf – even with the cooling breezes.
The total amount raised has not been announced yet, but the Sanibel & Captiva Association of Realtors® takes great pride in garnering awards each year from Florida Realtors® for their RPAC participation.
RPAC contributions by island Realtors® are high as we have seen the results of these dollars used close-to-home to support Realtor®- friendly legislators who protect property rights, to protect against ordinances which could harm real estate and promote those with positive influence (like build-back), to clean waterways, to provide competitive/affordable flood insurance, to protect the environment, and for beach re-nourishment. Another grant currently is in the works for another water quality study too. We love to see RPAC dollars at work!
For the auction, SanibelSusan Realty donated a jumbo Maine lobster bake dinner for six (gotta honor those Maine roots). It sold for a pretty penny and I purchased a couple of items too, both at the live and silent auctions.
All-in-all, it was a fun time – super nice way to celebrate the end of “season”, and for a cause that helps us all.
The Dunes, our local RPAC committee, and our Association of Realtors staff, all did an excellent job.
Thanks to everyone involved, including fellow contributors!
Summer Hours at Sanibel Historical Village
Summer hours have begun at the Sanibel Historical Museum & Village. It is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and it will close from July 30 until October 18th when it will reopen again with full-time hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Wonder why? These buildings go back to pioneer days and are not air conditioned.
The Museum and Village were founded in 1984 to preserve, share, and celebrate Sanibel history. Its buildings and thousands of artifacts tell the story of the island from the Calusa and Spanish eras to the early pioneer families who settled on Sanibel in the 1800s.
Nine historic buildings have been moved from their original island sites and brought to the village with each building restored to its original state. More info at www.sanibelmuseum.org
Current Events Will Meet Through Summer
As posted in today’s “Island Sun”:
“For more than 34 years, men and women of Sanibel and Southwest Florida have met weekly to enjoy civil discourse on domestic and international news. The group meets every Monday year-‘round for two hours in Phillips Gallery at BIG ARTS starting at 10 a.m. Current Events will continue to meet during the summer months….”
City May Eliminate Cost Accumulation & 50% Restrictions
As reported in the “Santiva-Chronicle” on Wednesday:
“Sanibel took a step Tuesday, May 3, toward removing a pair of restrictions that will allow property owners to more easily make repairs without losing the city’s rating for flood insurance.
“The City Council directed the Planning Department to draft an ordinance that would remove the five-year cost accumulation period for improvements and what is known as the 50% rule for substantial improvements.
“The council sent the matter to the Planning Commission with a view toward an ordinance returning to the council for a first reading at the June 7 meeting followed by a public hearing and vote at one of two meetings in late July.
“Both the five-year cost accumulation period and the 50% rule were once part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements for flood insurance, which Sanibel has been a part of since 1979. Both have been removed and the city’s consultant has advised the city that it will not lose its Class 5 flood insurance rating with FEMA if it removes both restrictions.
““We anticipate that this will help homeowners in projects such as impact windows, shutters and other things to make structures more sound,” Planning Director Jim Jordan told the council. “It removes a lot of the obstacles for homeowners to make improvements.”
“Mayor Kevin Ruane made the motion to send the ordinance to the Planning Commission with the “enhancements” of removing the restrictions.”
Causeway Traffic Numbers About the Same As Last Year
Although we all did plenty of complaining about traffic this winter, the numbers published this week in the local papers say that causeway traffic was not much more than 2015. Here are a few excerpts from today’s “Santiva-Chronicle”:
“March is Sanibel’s busiest month, the month when the traffic is at its peak. It’s the month when, all else being equal, Sanibel can gauge how well it got through with its traffic campaign. The city has to like what it sees from the Sanibel Causeway.
“The causeway is a leading traffic indicator and numbers from Lee County for March show that traffic on the bridge during the busiest month showed only a slight increase over 2015. The numbers show that 356,633 vehicles used the causeway in March compared to 355,695 in March 2015. That’s an increase of 938 vehicles, a miniscule 0.26%.
“The three-month totals show a less than 1% increase in traffic for the year. Through three months last year, the causeway total was 963,446 and through March of this year it’s 965,586, an increase of 2,140 vehicles.
“Sanibel has taken several steps to calm the traffic on the island during the peak season. As it regards the causeway, the most important steps were the city’s messages to day-tripping tourists. Instead of coming here and driving around, come get a bicycle and stay awhile has been the crux of the city’s plea. It was delivered in a variety of ways, including a video with Mayor Kevin Ruane. The city also mounted three live traffic cameras that can be viewed at www.mysanibel.com. One of them is on the causeway.
“The causeway numbers aren’t perfect indicators through three months. January was plagued with 16” of rain and that put a damper on tourism on several days. Causeway traffic fell 2.53% in January. The numbers show 299,519 vehicles went through the toll plaza in January and that’s down from 307,302 in January, 2015. It was the first time in 22 months causeway traffic fell. But city officials were hesitant to celebrate that number because of all the rain.
“Figures from Lee County show that 309,434 vehicles used the causeway in February. That’s up 8,985 vehicles from 2015 and technically goes down as an increase of almost 3%. But 2016 is a leap year and the 29th day skews the numbers.”
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 29-May 6, 2016
6 new listings: Sundial West #F105 1/1 $399K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #A302 2/2 $485K, Loggerhead Cay #592 2/2 $549K, Tarpon Beach #201 2/2 $745K, Sandy Bend #6 2/2 $950K, Pine Cove #102 3/2 $1.495M.
1 price change: Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 now $589K.
2 new sales: Sanibel Arms #E2 1/1 listed at $375K, Lighthouse Point #325 listed at 2/2 $830K.
10 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #951 1/1 $410K, Sanibel Arms West #J4 2/2 $425K, Sundial West #B207 1/1 $470K, Sanibel Arms West #A6 2/2 $525K, Compass Point #203 2/2 $651K, Cottage Colony West #126 1/1 $620K (our buyer), Sanctuary Golf Village I #2-2 3/3 $650K, Nutmeg Village #309 2/2 $765K, Snug Harbor #113 2/2 $900K, Snug Harbor #121 3/2 $970K.
10 new listings: 2150 Egret Cir 3/2 $489K; 1439 Albatross Rd 3/2 $499,994; 3927 Coquina Dr 3/2 $599,995; 1585 Serenity Ln 3/3 $599K; 752/754 Cardium St 4/2 multi-family $639.9K; 5292 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 $669K; 726 Cardium St 3/3 $795K; 8995 Mockingbird Dr 3/3.5 $990K; 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 $1.3M; 1528 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3 $2.295M.
5 price changes: 9475 Beverly Ln 3/2 now $529.5K, 5749 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 now $699K, 760 Windlass Way 3/3 now $979K, 1326 Seaspray Ln 4/4.5 now $2.395M, 4190 Dingman Dr 4/3.5 now $2.5M.
4 new sales: 1717 Sand Pebble 3/2 listed at $449K, 2114 Egret Cir 3/2 listed at $498K, 1410 Causey Ct 3/2 listed at 599K, 1658 Sabal Palm 2/2 listed at $875K.
14 closed sales: 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $400K, 1125 Captains Walk St 3/3 $560K, 958 Cabbage Palm Ct 2/2 $590K, 1475 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $725K, 689 East Rocks Dr 3/3 $745K, 577 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $750K, 249 Daniel Dr 2/2.5 $755K, 236 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $845K, 3711 Agate Ct 3/2.5 $885K, 460 East Gulf Dr 2/2.5 $1.289M, 907 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 $1.95M, 2518 Tropical Way Ct 3/3.5 $2.15M, 1018 Whisperwood Way 3/5 $2.2M, 1196 Bay Dr 4/4.5 $2.59M.
No new listings.
2 price changes: 1311 Par View Dr now $294.9K, 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd now $299,555.
No new sales.
2 closed sales: 6159 Starling Way $608K, 837 Limpet Dr $725K (our listing).
No new listings.
1 price change: Bayside Villas #5316 3/3 now $599K.
No new sales.
2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5208 1/2 $280K, Lands End Village #1641 2/2 $1.3M.
No new listings.
3 price changes: 11526 Laika Ln 4/4 multi-family now $1.85M, 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 now $6.395M, 16151 Captiva Dr 4/3 now $8.8M.
1 new sales: 15 Seascape 3/2.5 listed at $995K.
1 closed sale: 11535 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 $2.225M.
Nothing to report.
(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)
’til next week…Happy Mothers’ Day!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan