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Fort Myers Beach bans commercial activity on beachfront, restricts beach access parking

By Staff | Mar 18, 2020

At an emergency meeting Wednesday, the Fort Myers Beach Council unanimously approved an emergency ban on beachfront commercial activity, closed public beach parking access on North Estero Boulevard, closing Bay Oaks, Newton Beach Park, and requests Lee County close off county parks including Lynn Hall Memorial Park, Crescent Beach Park, Lee County Pier and Bowditch Point Park effective March 19 at 6 p.m. through April 21.

The county issued an announcement soon after the meeting closing all county-owned beaches in the county.

Mayor Anita Cereceda said it’s a “heavy-hearted decision for us.”

Vice Mayor Ray Murphy said the ban on commercial activities along the beachfront would include rentals for chairs and watercraft.

Cereceda said the ban would also extend to any outdoor seating of a restaurant on the beach or any tiki bar on the sand.

Councilmember Bruce Butcher said “we’re just trying to keep people further away from each other.”

The town council is expecting to hold another emergency meeting on March 19.

The next town council, which was elected March 17, will not take office until April 6.

“To some people it appears to be drastic but it’s really not,” Murphy said. “We are trying to stop the spread of this virus.”