San Carlos Island residents concerned about 240-room hotel

Author: Jillian Haggerty Writer: Bryanna Sterzenbach
Published: Updated:

A 240-room resort is being proposed on Main Street on San Carlos Island, and residents aren’t happy.

The public weighed in on Thursday to voice their concerns about the resort that is part of the Bay Harbour Marina Village project.

Tensions were high during the public hearing, which featured some people mumbling under their breath, calling others liars, and some laughing at each other’s comments.

Some who lived nearby raised concerns over code violations and potential hazards with the annual hurricane season, as well as parking concerns.

One of these residents is Joanne Semmer, and she isn’t happy, saying they never asked for this.

“It’s the size of a football field, 100 feet high concrete building the size of a football field on Main Street, which is just a two-lane dead-end road,” said Semmer.

The hotel would be located at the former Southern Comfort Storage site, near the San Carlos Blvd. intersection right before the Matanzas Pass Bridge on Fort Myers Beach.

A State Administrative Law Judge overturned a previously approved mixed-use development project by the county due to its violation of hurricane evacuation zone requirements for being in a coastal high-hazards area.

Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Administration Commission voted to overturn the judge’s decision, which allows development in this area.

The developer of the hotel, however, is confident that the new building can withstand the elements.

“This building will be a 2024 design, so it will be about as best as you can get for being resistant to hurricanes,” they said.

Developers say it will take 4 to 6 weeks to prepare a recommendation for the Lee County Commissioners.

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