PAC formed in South Fort Myers rehab facility controversy


LEE COUNTY, Fla.-  The battle continues over a controversial drug rehab facility, proposed for South Fort Myers.

Neighbors have now brought in the big guns, forming a political action committee to fight the proposal.

The proposed facility would be at an abandoned million dollar home off Winkler Road, within a mile of the Canterbury School.

Neighbors are calling the PAC, Protect our Community. So far, they’ve raised $100,000, to make sure the proposed facility never gets passed.

Michelle and Morgan Barnes are 10 year olds.

For a little over a year now, they’ve been living with their parents, at a home off Winkler Road.

The best thing about their house? They say, it’s all the space they have to do their favorite things.

“It’s really nice to run around and play,” said Michelle. “I love that I get to have my goats here to do 4H with, and I love my favorite horse in the world here, Fancy,” said Morgan.

But their mom Amy, is worried that will change, if a proposed rehab facility goes in two houses down the road.

So far, a rezoning hearing for the property was held in March, but no decision has been made.

Barnes wants the area to stay agricultural.

“We are all farmers, we all have animals. we’ve chosen to live this lifestyle. Once you commercialize one portion of it, it’s just a domino effect for the rest of us to turn into that,” said Amy.

Amy and her husband, along with another neighbor, are part of a new PAC, just formed.

Fort Myers Attorney Sawyer Smith is the chairman.

“It’s preserving their quality of life that matters,” said Smith.

The home under question, is a single family home right now. Smith and Barnes say, they want to keep it that way.

“Once something is gone, it’s gone forever. You don’t get it back,” said Smith.

The county’s rezoning committee still has not made their decision.

If approved, the proposal will go before Lee County commissioners. Commissioners will get the final say if the facility is approved or not.

WINK News spoke with the man who proposed the facility. He says, if the PAC was created to preserve the community, then he would love to help in that effort. He is willing to meet with any residents one on one, if they have any concerns.


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