New Fort Myers proposal would fine rundown, neglected properties


Mattie Shoemaker-Young owns a flower shop off Veronica Shoemaker in Fort Myers.

She’s lived in the area her entire life and has seen properties deteriorate with little consequence.

“Been a lot of promises, a lot of talk but no real action,” she said.

The City of Fort Myers says that right now, it doesn’t have a formal foreclosure process that is clear and cost efficient.

They suspended such programs after the housing collapse in 2009, leaving some neighbors stuck living next to rundown buildings.

But under a new proposal, the city can fine properties that pose a threat to the health or safety of people living nearby. If nothing is done after three months, code enforcement can then order a foreclosure.

Local realtor Denny Grimes says improving these rundown buildings will help the area as a whole.

“Increasing property value attracts good businesses and good residents and that helps the local economy, and that’s what downtown needs to grow,” Grimes said.

That’s something neighbors are looking forward to.

Under the proposal, city staff will have to submit foreclosure requests to code enforcement. If approved, there would then be a formal assessment.

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