Fort Myers Beach LPA Approves 7-Eleven Rezoning Amid Varied Agenda

At the recent meeting of the Fort Myers Beach Local Planning Agency (LPA), a significant topic of discussion was the rezoning request for the property on Estero Boulevard, the site of the former 7-Eleven store. The property owner’s representative, Sarah Propes, sought to redevelop the site with a convenience store and gas pumps, necessitating a commercial plan development due to zoning restrictions. The LPA ultimately approved the project with certain conditions, including a recommendation to consider an artistic mural on the back entrance. This decision was among several issues addressed, including proposals for live music extensions, special exceptions for alcohol sales, and discussions on accessory structure regulations following recent natural disasters.

The rezoning for the 7-Eleven redevelopment was a focal point, with Sarah Propes detailing several deviation requests from the Land Development Code. These deviations aimed to facilitate the proposed redevelopment within the constraints of existing zoning regulations. The requests included deviations from the minimum separation distance on Estero Boulevard, the type C buffer width requirement, the build-to lines for Estero Boulevard, and access from Estero Boulevard and Vorhees Street. The applicant expressed agreement with the staff report’s recommendation for approval. After a thorough discussion, the LPA recommended approval of the project to the Town Council, with conditions recommended by staff.

Another notable agenda item was the request by the Pink Shell Vacation Villas for a special exception to repair structures damaged by Hurricane Ian. Kathy Schultz, the applicant, highlighted the minimal repairs needed to restore the damaged structures to their pre-storm condition. The key points of discussion centered on the extent of the repairs, the alignment with existing structures, and the repositioning of the grill area to avoid future storm damage. The motion to approve the request with special conditions was passed unanimously, despite an oversight in public comment procedures.

The LPA also reviewed a six-month special exception amendment for outdoor alcohol sales and live music at a local establishment. The discussion revolved around compliance with conditions set for outdoor music, alcohol sales, and the timeline for construction completion. Community members voiced diverse opinions, with some expressing support for the economic benefits of live music and others raising concerns about noise levels. The applicant requested a three-month extension, with the intention to remove the special exception post-construction.


A request for a special exception by Mr. Waves Island Bar to allow a bar and cocktail lounge as an accessory use to their existing restaurant was debated but concluded without a clear decision. The establishment sought to hedge against potential months when food sales might fall below the required 51% of receipts.

The meeting also touched on a request for a special exception to place an alcoholic beverage license in a local restaurant. The applicant’s attorney assured that the establishment would not transition into a nightclub or bar, and the restaurant’s partners and employees reiterated their commitment to maintaining food service.

Additional discussions at the meeting included a resolution regarding a special exception for a property under the post-disaster build-back ordinance, which allows for an increase in the number of residential bedrooms under certain conditions. Furthermore, the LPA debated the regulations surrounding accessory apartments, including owner occupancy, connectivity, setbacks, and distinctions between accessory units and accessory structures.


Issues of rebuilding in flood zones and canal areas were also considered, with the LPA discussing administrative variances for structures maintaining their original footprint and concerns over increasing density through lot subdivision.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Dan Allers
Planning Board Officials:
Douglas Eckmann, Jane Plummer, Don Sudduth, Anita Cereceda, Patrick Vanasse, James Boan

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