Members of North Fort Myers gated community to push back against further development

Reporter: Emma Heaton Writer: Joey Pellegrino
An overhead view of Pine Lakes Country Club. Credit: WINK News

Hundreds of families who live in a North Fort Myers gated community are concerned their neighborhood is going to get too crowded, and they plan to stop further building at a meeting Wednesday morning.

Many people who live in Pine Lakes Country Club, a gated, 55-and-older community just west of US-41, are worried this transition would cause traffic issues and hurt the value of their homes. They say the company that owns their neighborhood, Equity Lifestyles, wants to buy the property right across the street and plans to connect that new development with the one that already exists here. But some claim the company would be violating a county ordinance, which is a point they plan to bring up at Wednesday’s meeting.

Some residents also claim they are angry because they don’t want to share their private roads and amenities with the new owners. Equity Lifestyles and the residents will present both sides of this argument before the Lee County Hearing Examiner.

Ronald Thoresom, one of the Pine Lakes Citizen Group organizers, says his concerns are unrelated to the purchase itself and all to do with the connection of properties.

“It’s connecting three roads into our existing property of Pine Lakes Country Club, using the roads for in-and-out access, also using the roads to share our amenities and Pine Lakes Country Club’s property,” Thoresom said. “The issue isn’t as much rezoning as it is connecting the two properties. And that’s what our complaint is.”

The hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the Lee County Commissioners’ Board chambers.
WINK News reached out to Equity Lifestyles for the company’s side of the issue but never received a response.

“Neighbors here are not happy with it,” Thoresom said. “It’s a huge impact. Retirement community. We like the lifestyle, but you know, they’re gonna put a new community with sidewalks and everything else. People walk on the sidewalks, and then come in here and have to walk on the roads to get to use the amenities that they’re paying new rent for.”

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