The Coconut Point Marina was part of the original Pelican Landing DRI (Development of Regional Impact). Upon completion or near completion of master planned communities, developers normally transfer these types of assets to the homeowners association. In this case, WCI has not transferred this asset to the Pelican Landing Community Association.
This narrative of the Coconut Point Marina begins in approximately 2006 when WCI petitioned Lee County to (privatize) vacate the public’s interest in the portion of Coconut Road that begins approximately where the road to Weeks Fish Camp turns off to the right. Many residents of Pelican Landing and the BOD opposed the vacation and it did not happen.
When the vacation of Coconut Road did not work out to their advantage, in July of 2007 WCI presented the PLCA Board with an 8 point agreement. That prompted concerned resident to form the Save Our Marina Group. This group was successful in persuading the PLCA BOD not to enter into an agreement that jeopardized established rights of use.
When PLCA would not sign this agreement, in October of 2007 WCI sent a letter to the association (effective immediately) denying residents the right to launch boats from the boat ramp into Estero Bay, terminating use by the sailing amenity, demanding removal of the sail boats and equipment, and restricting PLCA’s use of the boat ramp to renters of boat slips and the shuttle boats.
Around that time, the BOD established a task force to evaluate the purchase of the marina. The task force studied this issue, made recommendations, and determined that we probably have rights to the boat ramp based on the DRI submitted to the State by the original developer. Unfortunately, that BOD mothballed the very detailed and professional report and never acted on the recommendations of the task force.
When WCI went into bankruptcy, residents again urged the BOD to pursue our rights at the marina and to reestablish our rights to use the boat ramp. The BOD did not pursue this.
- It is difficult to imagine who else would be interested in the property with all the strings attached from the Settlement Agreement (docks for shuttle boats, guaranteed office space, etc.)
- The status of the state issued sovereign submerged land lease must be reviewed.
- The task force report should be resurrected and studied and members of that group should be asked to participate in this evaluation process.
- There must be complete transparency with every step of this decision process and residents must be informed of all details of the terms and conditions of the “conditional” contract.
- Let us be vigilant and thorough in our pursuit towards a final solution regarding the Coconut Point Marina.
- Although we currently have certain rights of use at the Coconut Point Marina, ownership of this asset would provide control by the PLCA. The devil is in the details … and the cost.
Respectfully submitted by Anne Cramer