SOUTH FORT MYERS
Rats, snakes and vandalism.
A once beautiful home in south Fort Myers is now a hot spot for vermin and crime after a fire destroyed it. And neighbors don’t know what to do about it. It’s been an eyesore at the waterfront community for years.
A south Fort Myers home was destroyed by a fire in 2016, and it continues to be a plague to community members who live near it.
“I don’t know what to do,” neighbor Jolene Hardy said.
For Hardy and her neighbors, what was once a three-story home along the canal continues to drive them crazy.
“Homeless people were using it as a squatting house, and they were breaking all the windows,” Hardy said.
Neighbors are unhappy living near what is left of the structure and a cause for safety concerns.
“I don’t want little kids falling in the pool [because] it’s not secure,” Hardy said. “And there’s an elevator shaft or something that’s full of water, and it’s just a breeding ground for mosquitoes. It’s just a health hazard.”
And neighbors are worried about the disaster home bringing down the values of their own humble abodes.
“It’s bad for resale,” Hardy said. “Feedback is what’s the deal with the neighborhood trash pile?”
It leaves Hardy and other neighbors asking questions.
“Isn’t there anything we can do?” Hardy said. “I don’t know what to do.”
We called Lee County officials and asked them what can be done for neighbors near the destroyed home. They told us the first step is to reach out to code enforcement.
County officials say the process is underway to correct the “pain” the property has caused neighbors.
Anyone with concerns about a property in their neighborhood in unincorporated Lee County can send an email directly to CodeEnforcement@leegov.com or call 239-533-8895 to report a violation.
Hardy continues to remain cautiously optimistic. Until she sees the home cleaned up, she hopes no one gets hurt.
“It’s been four years,” Hardy said. “What do you do? You’re just stuck with it?”