Community members voice opinions on proposed Fort Myers Beach hotel

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“I want to see us bring life back to the north end of the island,” said resident Gayle Crabtree-Pergoli.

It’s been the talk of the town for months. Fort Myers Beach could soon look very different. But not everyone is on board.

“We don’t want to be Miami Beach, we want to be Fort Myers Beach,” said resident Douglas Young.

Dozens of people took their praise for the proposal or their concerns to a meeting Monday over the controversial TPI development plan.

The plan would add hundreds of hotel rooms, as well as restaurants, shops and a water park to the north end of the island. It’s something supporters say is a long time coming since Hurricane Charley caused destruction in 2004.

“It’s time to change, it’s time to set fear aside, and it’s time to bring development to the island – 14 years is much too long to wait,” Crabtree-Pergoli said.

But others argue the development is too much for the island.

“The entire intensity of it is inappropriate for the area,” said Doug Speirn-Smith.

TPI says they scaled back their plan since being approved by the local planning agency in February.

They reduced the number of rooms from 290 to 254. TPI also reduced the height of the buildings by about 15 feet.

With nothing decided yet, the question remains, what’s next?

“It’s a huge issue for the town and a big decision,” Young said.

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