by Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation
The Eden Oak nomination to Conservation 20/20 may not have been on the Lee County Conservation Lands and Stewardship Advisory Committee’s (CLASAC) agenda on Aug. 19, but it was asked about in public comment.
When Palm Acres resident and neighbor Mary Tracy Sigman inquired about the Shell Pointe Boulevard property’s status, county staff shared that the owner’s attorney requested to hire their own land appraiser three weeks ago. Staff added they are awaiting a response on the timing for completion of the appraisal, which will be used in purchase negotiations with the county.
At the CLASAC meeting in July, committee members confirmed that the county made an offer to the Eden Oak property owner to acquire the land for the 20/20 program. Nominated in late 2019, its acquisition process is running parallel to the zoning change requested by the owner to develop the land.
The proposed development is to dredge and fill 36 acres of mangrove wetlands to build 55 residential homesites with docks, excavate a new canal, and create a boat basin with additional docks. Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation has coordinated with neighborhood advocates and presented evidence to the Hearing Examiner to oppose the destruction of wetlands in the coastal high hazard zone.
The Lee County Hearing Examiner was scheduled to hear final arguments from staff and the property owner on June 24, but due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the examiner granted a continuance until Dec. 11.
Conservation 20/20 is a land acquisition and stewardship program to protect natural areas in Lee County for the benefit of present and future generations in Southwest Florida.
The next CLASAC meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 16, when another update on the timeframe of the Eden Oak nomination is anticipated. SCCF will post any updates prior to that under news at sccf.org.