Dozens of people are living on edge as the future of their private neighborhood is undecided. A hearing examiner is deciding if hundreds of new manufactured homes will be allowed next to Pine Lakes in North Fort Myers.
The people inside the homes inside Pine Lakes Country club adore their neighborhood, but they loathe the company that owns it.
On Wednesday, around 100 Pine Lakes neighbors took aim at the Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS). They called the company selfish and sneaky as ELS pushed its plan to build on empty land next to Pine Lakes and then connect the two.
ELS has its turn to talk about the project on Thursday.
“We appreciate the feedback from the residents and want to make this as harmonious as possible,” said a representative for ELS.
Company representatives assured a Lee County hearing examiner they considered all the concerns about amenities, traffic and safety.
The company’s engineers doubled down and argued their traffic plan complies with ordinances designed for safety. “Level of service, delay, volume to capacity ratio, queue storage, all of the above, so a very deep dive into each movement”
Even with the engineer’s reassurances, Pine Lakes residents disagree.
Mary Tivnan, a resident of Pine Lakes said, “for people who like me who love to walk her dog people that we have one lady in the community who is blind. Many people have hearing loss, few elderly living there. It would be very, very difficult and certainly not what I bargained for and paid good money for.”
That anxiety only builds as they wait and watch if the examiner recommends approving the proposal.
The hearing examiner expects to make her recommendation in or around four weeks. Then the Lee County Commissioners will vote on project approval.