Paradise Isles plans hearing continued
A long-awaited hearing for the propose Paradise Isles development in North Fort Myers has once again been continued.
On June 5, Lee County staff requested a continuance for the potential game-changing project to the end of July so it can better prepare.
Chief Hearing Examiner Donna Marie Collins granted the continuance at the start of the scheduled hearing last Wednesday, for what was to be the first of a three-day “HEX” hearing in the County Commissioner Chambers.
The hearing now is scheduled to take place July 29-31, with public testimony set for Thursday, July 30, at 1 p.m., at the Old County Courthouse, 2120 Main St. in Fort Myers.
The hearing examiner will render a recommendation shortly after the completion of the hearing.
Only those who speak before the hearing examiner will be allowed to speak at the Lee County Board of County Commissioners meeting when the project comes up for consideration there.
The HEX hearing has been delayed multiple times, including in March, when the pandemic hit just a week before the scheduled date.
Paradise Isle is being proposed as a mixed-use resort along the Caloosahatchee, with homes, a marina, office space, a renewed golf course and much more.
The 271-acre project is expected to include 543 luxury hotel rooms, two 20-story residential towers overlooking the river, a refurbished 18-hole golf course, two 12-story towers adjacent to the golf course, three-story townhouses, a marina with 200 wet slips and 200 dry boat storage slips, 600 multi-family homes, a 25,000-square-foot clubhouse, a riverfront boardwalk, open space, walking paths and more.
The cost of the development, which would bring back the old Lochmoor golf course, could run over $1 billion.
At public workshops, the project has received strong support, including from those who live nearby, believing this is a project that is long overdue for North Fort Myers and that it will improve property values and revitalize the area.
However, there were some who have expressed concerns about the impact on their neighborhood.