Hurricane Ian Updates From The Town of Fort Myers Beach
From The Town of Fort Myers Beach
Curbside debris pickup to stop on May 30
Debris must be pushed to the curb by May 30 to be picked up through the State’s program that has been operating since Hurricane Ian. (This deadline does not include properties that are signed up through www.iandebriscleanup.com for debris removal on personal property.)
After May 30, the Town could start to enact code compliance violations for debris that remains curbside.
PLEASE NOTE: This pertains only to the Town’s side streets and Estero Boulevard north of the Matanzas Pass Bridge. Estero Boulevard from the Matanzas Pass Bridge south is the responsibility of Lee County.
Property owners are asked to please help make this process quick and efficient by:
- Combining debris into one large pile rather than several small ones
- Using trash cans for a small amount of debris that is allowable to be picked up with household waste
Town receives $10 million State grant for stormwater system repair
Governor Ron DeSantis announced on April 28, 2023, that the Town of Fort Myers Beach has received $10 million as part of a Hurricane Stormwater and Wastewater Assistance Grant Program created during the Florida legislature’s special session in December 2022.
Curbside debris removal service extended until further notice
Although applications for private property debris removal are no longer accepted, at today’s Town Council meeting, it was announced that the right of way removal service for hurricane-related debris has been extended until further notice. This service has been provided by the State of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management (FDEM).
This means that property owners who live on the Town’s side streets (not Estero Boulevard) can continue to place heavy storm-related debris curbside in the right of way for free pick up until notice is given otherwise. Contractors with FDEM will continue to collect this debris. Lee County was responsible for debris pick up on Estero Boulevard and that service ended on March 1.
Permitting Department hours changed
The Town’s Permitting Department has returned to regular operational hours and days. These hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
This change is occurring because the additional personnel provided for permitting services through the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) ended March 28. Six months after the date of the storm is the regulatory limit for state and federal programs to provide additional support. The Town requested an extension up to and including from the White House and was denied.
Town participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
The Town of Fort Myers Beach is a participating community in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP works with communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations that help mitigate flooding effects. Property owners, renters, and businesses in NFIP participating communities are eligible to purchase flood insurance, helping them recover faster when floodwaters recede. The Town has earned a class 5 rating in the program, providing all property owners in Fort Myers Beach a 25% discount on flood insurance rates.
Property owners might be eligible for FEMA mitigation grants
Financial assistance through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) might be available for interested property owners in the Town of Fort Myers Beach. This program helps property owners rebuild homes or businesses stronger than they were before Hurricane Ian.
IMPORTANT Steps to Register RV on Your Property
STEPS TO FOLLOW:
Step 1: A “Temporary Use Permit” must be issued prior to placement of these vehicles. For more information and to apply for Temporary Use Permit, visit the Temporary Use Permit page by clicking on the orange sand dollar icon at the Town homepage (www.fmbgov.com), or by visiting the following direct link: https://www.fortmyersbeachfl.gov/1253/Temporary-Use-Permit
When applying for a temporary use permit you must provide a simple site sketch showing the proposed location and orientation on the site.
Step 2: Temporary electric and plumbing connections must be secured within 14 calendar days of being issued a Temporary Use Permit. After verifying the availability of temporary power with FPL, and prior to installing a temporary power pole or plumbing connections, your contractor must obtain a “trade permit” for the electrical and plumbing connections through the IWorQ online permitting system at https://portal.iworq.net/FORTMYERSBEACH/new-request/701/3343. Enter “temporary electric pole” in the “Scope of Work” line of the trade permit application.
Step 3: After having been issued both the Temporary Use Permit and the Trade Permit, arrange with your contractor(s) to have the temporary electric and plumbing connections completed. To finalize and close the trade permit, a building code inspection of the electrical and plumbing connections must be completed by the Town. After the electrical and plumbing connections are completed, request a building code inspection for your trade permit through the IWorQ online permitting system at https://portal.iworq.net/FORTMYERSBEACH/permits/600
Upon passing the electrical and plumbing inspections, Florida Power & Light (FPL) will be notified to activate electrical service to the temporary power pole.
Matanzas Pass Mooring Field reopened for wet WET STORAGE ONLY
The Town reopened Matanzas Pass Mooring Field starting with wet storage using the 19 new mooring systems that are west of Matanzas Pass Bridge.
Construction of these additional moorings was completed after Hurricane Ian because the closure of the field provided the opportunity. These moorings can accommodate vessels up to 85 feet in length.
Any vessel that is in the Town’s Mooring Field must register through the Town’s online Dockwa system to provide required registration information and payment.
Many of the docks on the island were damaged, including the Town’s public dinghy docks. The Town’s upland services facilities were damaged and are not yet repaired.
To ask questions, contact the Harbor Master at 239-224-4118.
The residential/business parking permits have arrived
Prior year resident parking passes will be honored. Residents who no longer have a prior year parking pass will be able to receive a new one. Residents who need a new parking pass can come to Town Hall temporary complex at 2545 Estero Boulevard to receive new pass. Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cost: Residential – $25; Business – $50 (tax included)
If a property’s water is not being used at this time, water and sewer base fees can be waived and the meter can be locked to prevent further billing. Property owners should email the Utilities Department at [email protected] with their name and service address. PLEASE NOTE – All residents are required to pay stormwater fees. If property owners pay their water bill at www.eonlinebill.com/ftmyers with a credit card, there is a 3.5 percent credit card processing fee added. This fee was approved by Town Council in the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget which began on October 1, 2022. The credit card fee can be avoided if bills are paid by one of the following methods:
- Change payment method in the online account to withdraw the payment directly from a bank account;
- Mail a check to the Town at 2525 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931;
- Deliver check to the Town Hall temporary complex at 2545 Estero Boulevard and leave it in the receptionist’s area in the designated drop box. The receptionist’s area is in a modular building at the Town Hall complex. Hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Pool owners please note: safety barriers required
Property owners in Fort Myers Beach need to be aware that their water-filled swimming pools require effective barriers around them. State law requires property owners to maintain barriers if there is water in the pool.
The Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act (Chapter 515, Florida Statutes) requires pool safety measures. It is the intent of the Legislature that all new residential swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs be equipped with at least one pool safety feature. Town ordinance Sec. 34-1176 also applies to swimming pool safety in the Town.
Note also that Florida has an “attractive nuisance” doctrine (Florida Statute 823.08) that holds property owners responsible for a child’s injuries if the child suffered an injury by a feature or object on the owner’s premises that is likely to attract children.
According to Florida Statute 823.08, attractive nuisances to children include the following types of abandoned or discarded items:
- Other airtight units that still have the doors intact
Other potential attractive nuisances include swimming pools, trampolines, lawn owners, and even plugged-in power tools.
Mail Service Is Back On The Beach
Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mail and package pickup, as well as Post Office Box service, will also be available on Saturday from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. Post Office Box customers who had a box at the original Post Office can pick up their new key by showing a photo ID during retail hours. Their Post Office Box numbers will remain the same. As a reminder, customers must show a picture ID when picking up mail and packages
Contacting the Town
The Town’s main phone line 239-765-0202 is back up and running though transferring calls to extensions is not possible at this time. If there is no answer, you can leave a message by pressing “O” when prompted. The extensions of staff are not operational at this time so it is not possible to leave messages at any other extension than “O”. Email contacts are best:
- Building Services – [email protected]
- Debris – [email protected]
- Drinking water, sewer, stormwater – [email protected]
- General – [email protected]
- Visit http://ow.ly/RUKE50MuXWk and read the news items on the homepage, as well as the other info
- Follow the Town of Fort Myers Beach, FL on Facebook, Twitter, Instgram, LinkedIn, YouTube
- Sign up for text or email alerts – enter your email and cell phone number –https://www.fortmyersbeachfl.gov/list.aspx
How to apply for a temporary electric service pole
If you need temporary electric service for a temporary trailer/RV or for re-construction or renovations, follow these steps to get started:
- Visit FPL.com/construction to request a temporary electric service (a Florida-licensed electrical contractor can complete this step for you). Refer to: Creating Project Application One-Pager for Temporary Service Only and upload your W2 form for billing and invoice purposes.
- An FP&L representative will assess the power requirements and provide you or your contractor with the requirements and the cost of installation. You can then make payment for the installation on fpl.com/construction. Refer to Project Portal Paying Construction Invoices Online for more information.
- Obtain a trade permit from the Town of Fort Myers Beach. Before service can be run, a Florida-licensed electrical contractor must acquire a trade permit through the IWorQ online permitting system at http://www.fmbgov.com/building. The trade permit application form is located at the Town of Fort Myers Beach Applications & Forms page at https://www.fortmyersbeachfl.gov/1069/Building-Services-Applications-Forms. After the permit application is approved and the permit is issued, the contractor may install the temporary electric service pole. The contractor must then request a building code inspection from the Town, using their contractor code, through the IWorQ request portal at https://portal.iworq.net/FORTMYERSBEACH/permits/600. Once the inspection is passed, the Town will notify FP&L with authorization to energize the service.
- For more details on constructing a temporary electric service, see also the following FPL electric service standards: FPL electric service standards for underground service and FPL electric service standards for overhead service
- Once FPL is notified of approval from the Town of Fort Myers Beach work request to install temporary service will be completed within 10 business days.
If you have questions on either this info or any other restoration related concerns, please call 833-FPL-4IAN
Curfew hours for Matanzas Pass Bridge on the north end of Estero Island have been changed to 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. For the Big Carlos Pass Bridge on the south end, residents can use the new 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, but contractors need to adhere to the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew.
Starting on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, the Town will adjust its curfew hours for residents to Midnight to 6 a.m. on the Matanzas Pass Bridge and the Big Carlos Pass Bridge.
Residents need to be prepared to show proof of residency and visitors need to be prepared to show proof of reservations if they are traveling during the curfew hours. For the Big Carlos Pass Bridge on the south end, contractors need to continue to adhere to the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew.
COUNCIL APPROVES PERMITTING FOR TEMPORARY STRUCTURES
To expedite the rebuilding process for residents impacted by Hurricane Ian and invest back into the local economy, property and business owners can now register to have recreational vehicles, mobile homes, trailers, and restaurant and retail structures.
Requirements to receive a permit:
- The applicant must be the property owner/commercial tenant of the lot and the vendor must have a Lee County Tax-ID; or with the Town’s consent, have the permission of the property owner to operate at that location (permission must be supplied with registration form).
- All vehicles and structures must be completely on the lot and may not extend into the public right-of-way. Vehicles/structures must be oriented to be parallel to the right-of-way and there must be sufficient separation so that all commercial activity takes place entirely on the applicant’s lot. A site sketch must be provided as part of the application.
- Vehicles and structures must be setback by no less than the width of the vehicle/structure (i.e. track width) from any property line and not protrude into the right of way.
- Food Service Kitchens are permitted on their brick-and-mortar commercial site that is zoned for that type of activity. Other retail stores may not accommodate food trucks.
- Must be placed on a solid concrete slab, pavers or similar hard surface, stabilized surface or a tarp placed under the vehicle/ structure.
- Temp power/utilities must be properly installed within 14 calendar days of application.
- Vehicle and mobile home must be on wheels and be able to quickly disconnect utility connections and be removed from the property after a hurricane watch has been issued.
PRECAUTIONARY SWIM ADVISORY
At this time, swimming is not recommended.
HOUSEHOLD WASTE PICKUP
For any questions, a new recycle bin, pick-up or holiday information, contact Waste Management at (239) 334-1224. If possible, place household waste in a trash can. Bagged material will be picked up if separated from debris. Please put bagged household waste in a separate pile at the end of your driveway away from storm debris. Household waste is picked every Thursday morning , recycling Wednesday morning.
PERMITS AND INSPECTIONS
A structural inspection and an electrical inspection must be completed prior to occupying a structure, or proceeding with building, renovating, or adding to a structure.
The structural inspection must be performed by a professional engineer with structural experience licensed in the State of Florida. Upon completing the inspection, the structural engineer must offer their findings and expert opinion in the form of a post-inspection report.
If you have questions about the inspection, permitting, and rebuilding processes, FEMA’s 50% rule, or other building and permitting topics, contact the Town’s Building Services & Permitting Services via email.
Permitting fees began being charged again as of Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023
Daphnie Bercher, Community Development Director
Steven Poposki , Building Official | 50% Rule
Andrew Garry, Permit Supervisor
Kristin Schumacher, Floodplain Manager
Staff will respond to all emails as time allows
For additional Information visit: FMB Building Services & Permitting Service web. page:
You can also read this document ‘Can I occupy a structure and/or connect electric service?’ for additional information.
In addition this FAQ contains a wealth of useful information.
Building Services Division
The Building Services Division is currently receiving a high volume of permit applications and questions and our team is working diligently to help everyone as quickly as possible.
To help us serve you and all customers more effectively, we are requesting that all those with questions first review the answers to our most frequently asked questions.
Read them here: https://www.fortmyersbeachfl.gov/Faq.aspx?QID=82
If you have questions about the inspection, permitting, and rebuilding processes, FEMA’s 50% rule, or other building and permitting topics, please visit the Building Services page at www.fmbgov.com.
If your question is not answered after reading the FAQs, Building Services staff can be contacted by email at [email protected], by telephone at 239-765-0202 choose option 2 or in-person at the east gate of the temporary Town government camp at 2545 Estero Blvd (located just south of the damaged Town Hall).
A demolition (demo) permit must be obtained before any structure is demolished/removed. A demo permit is secured through the Town by the demolition contractor. The demo permit application is at this link: https://www.fortmyersbeachfl.gov/DocumentCenter/View/19924/App-Demolition-Permit-Application-2022
After issuance of a demo permit, the contractor must request and pass inspections from the Lee County Utilities Department, the Town of Fort Myers Beach (FMB) Utilities Department, and the FMB Building Services Division. The purpose is to ensure that the sewer lateral and water meter are properly capped off before demolition begins.
After obtaining a demolition permit, the following steps must be completed by the demolition contractor:
- A copy of the permit inspection board and all approved permitting documents must remain posted in a weather-protected condition at the job site, visible from the street.
- The existing sewer lateral must be capped off and the Lee County Utilities Department must conduct an inspection before it is covered. Email the Lee County Sewer Disconnect Form, found at the link below, to [email protected]; https://www.fortmyersbeachfl.gov/DocumentCenter/View/16454/LEE-COUNTY-FORM-Fort-Myers-Beach-Demo-App-Revised–1-31-20
- The capping of the existing sewer lateral and the associated inspection is to be requested by the contractor and passed by Town Utilities prior to commencing demolition work on the structure. A copy of an approval letter from Lee County Utilities must be received by the Town Building Services Division at [email protected] prior to commencing demolition work on the structure. For additional questions contact Lee County Utilities at 239-533-8399.
- The existing water meter must be capped off on the customer’s side of right of way. The FMB Utilities Department must conduct an inspection before it is covered. Email the Town of Fort Myers Beach Utilities Department at [email protected] or call 239-463-9914 to request an inspection and approval. The capping of the existing water meter and the associated inspection is to be requested by the contractor and passed by FMB Utilities prior to covering the work and commencing demolition work on the structure.
- It is the contractor’s responsibility to request and pass all inspections from Lee County Utilities, FMB Utilities, and the FMB Building Services Division when the associated work steps are complete. The contractor is solely responsible for any damages to sewer or water systems.
Residents must have an inspection from a Florida-licensed structural engineer and a Florida-licensed electrician for power to be turned on. Email inspection reports along with the property address and their Florida license number to [email protected]. Florida Power & Light reports 904 FMB properties have been restored with power.
According to Fort Myers Beach Utilities personnel, side streets on the bay side have water utilities restored with the exception of the Red Coconut area. Gulfside water remains limited. There are no issues with the sewer system. To have water service restored to your home, contact Beach Utilities at [email protected].
TEMPORARY TOWN HALL COMPLEX
A temporary town hall complex is set up in trailers next to the damaged town hall. Other Town facilities and programs including Matanzas Pass Mooring Field, Bay Oaks Campus, the FMB Pool, Mound House and Newton Beach Park are closed until further notice.
Access, complete and submit roof permits on the Town’s website at www.fmbgov.com. Send questions to [email protected] and find more information on the website. On the homepage, scroll down and click the Building Services sand dollar which will open the Building Services page. If you need an internet connection or if you are having difficulties with the internet, there is a Verizon trailer on the Town Hall compound that provides internet and device charging services as well as technical support.
Please check the credentials of any contractor you are considering hiring. It is a felony in Florida to conduct unlicensed contracting during a State of Emergency. Don’t become a victim. Visit MyFloridaLicense.com. You should also read this article from Henderson Franklin Starnes & Holt PA. about unlicensed contractors. The town recommends property owners use locally licensed contractors.