Lee County Hearing Examiner

1500 Monroe St., Room 218, Ft. Myers, FL 33902-0398

 

April 8, 2005

RE:   Zoning Case number: DCI 2004-00036

Harbour Pointe at South Seas Resort application from Mariner Properties Development Inc., Plantation Development

 

The Responsible Growth Management Coalition, Inc. (RGMC) supports the Captiva Civic Association in requesting that you recommend denial of the proposed development plans for Harbour Pointe.  We believe that this rezoning request, to locate 24 residential units on 3.95 ac of mangrove forest wetlands is inconsistent with many Lee Plan Goals and the relevant associated Objectives and Policies (e.g., Goals 71, 74, 77, 78, 83, and 84).

 

The proposed development would lead to the unnecessary destruction of old growth mangrove buffer, including red, black and white mangroves and buttonwood, all of which are protected in the Lee Plan, as is the mangrove wetland habitat. Although the mangroves in this development are reported to have been injured by Hurricane Charley, while providing protection to constructed buildings, there is apparently every reason to expect them to recover, as they have begun to, and as mangroves have in the past. The effects of our recent hurricane season illustrate vividly the value of mangroves to reduce the intensity of strong hurricane winds on man-made structures. It is a mystery to us how South Seas Plantation, which remains closed due to major destruction by Hurricane Charley, could seriously contemplate removing any more of the protective barrier rather than replanting mangroves in excess to create a stronger buffer.

 

Finally, the roots of mature mangroves provide habitat for crustaceans and mollusks, as well as securing the shoreline, while the leaf litter provides food for micro-organisms at the bottom of the estuarine food chain.  Thus the loss of mangroves is associated with adverse impacts to sport and commercial fisheries of economic value to Lee Co.

 

Again, we ask for a recommendation of denial of this rezoning.   

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Carol Newcomb-Jones member

Eleanor H. Boyd, PhD

President

 

www.rgmcswf.org