Pine Island residents don’t want “the plan” dumped

PINE ISLAND, Fla. – Some residents on Pine Island are concerned that a plan that limits development, may be done away with. They say this would congest the island and change the place they’ve called home for decades.

For more than 20 years, Rachi Farrow has lived on Pine Island.

“Even though I feel like this could be a lost cause, I’m a fighter and I’ll fight anything to end.”

She along with a handful of people who live on the island came together Saturday morning to show support for the plan.

“My fear is that we’re going to be overwhelmed,” said resident Daniel Palma. “That we are going to have highrises, we’re going to have all kids of gated communities.”

The Pine Island plan restricts development. Residents say that allows them to live in a place that doesn’t feel congested, and gives the island a quirky way of life.

“I mean this is the only place I ever seen where you actually see a Rolls-Royce pulling a trailer full of garbage,” said Palma.

But the same plan that protects their island is also the same one that has brought forth eight lawsuits and about 50 other claims against Lee County. Some residents say the plan violates their property rights.

The agriculture giant, King Ranch of Texas, owns land on the island.

“Again this is a land owner issue, not specifically a King Ranch issue. We are ready to collaborate with Lee County to re-evaluate the plan and put new policies in place.”

But these resident’s don’t want to see the plan dumped, they want to see it enforced as it has been for so many years.

“If you want highrises and big developments, go down to Sanibel, or Marco, or Fort Myers,” said resident Pat Johnsen. “Leave this place alone.”

6 Responses

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  1. Louis A. Carliner
    Apr 12, 2015 - 12:19 PM

    The county commissioners should be prepared to put into place in case the plan is dumped or severely crippled a very stiff impact fee on the owners of the properties newly benefiting disproportionately on any plan changes to pay for the construction of any additional bridges and causeways needed to handed the newly generated crushing load of traffic!

  2. cesar
    Apr 12, 2015 - 02:42 PM

    We have to fight to keep our Pine Island plan because this is our homes.

  3. Clarence Weir
    Apr 13, 2015 - 01:45 PM

    My daughter Susan lives on the island and I am a frequent visitor. It is an absolute Oasis and a trip into the past. Lee County should fight to protect such a treasure. King Ranch and their contemporaries should take their game plan somewhere else….it is a classic example of “American Greed”.
    I wonder how long King Ranch has owned their land. Did they buy it for agricultural purposes or was this a conspiracy to buy and switch?

  4. Rebecca Rowell
    Apr 28, 2015 - 03:05 PM

    I wonder what happens if you need to evacuate, it is already hard to get off the island.
    I wonder what the water and sewer situation would be
    I wonder if you pull up anymore trees the island is going to sink when it rains.
    I wonder why big companies want to come in and ruin the island worse than it
    is now with all the new influence of owners.

  5. bob robards
    May 03, 2015 - 05:54 PM

    Dump the plan and build 2 new bridges…in the event of a hurricane…pine island is a disaster just waiting to happen…since they rebuilt an obsolete bridge with an equally obsolete bridge…and what’s a matter….property values will rise and that’s a good thing…right ?

  6. John Dee
    May 19, 2015 - 09:35 AM

    Pine Island borders on squalid in most parts, just run-down trailers, forest, and cheap buildings atleast 60 years old. What good is all that nature if no one can appreciate it? Some development would enhance the island. What are they trying to preserve, the ramshackle development that took place in the ’50s?


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