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Town considering mooring field service sites

Moss Marina pulls out of running

By Staff | May 11, 2021

Moss Marina, which was floated as a potential new site for the town’s mooring field services, is not currently considered a possibility.

“The time is not really right for them,” Town of Fort Myers Beach Manager Roger Hernstadt said Thursday about the prospect of utilizing Moss Marina for a facility with restrooms, showers and a laundry room for boaters docked at the town’s mooring field.

“The size and the amount of work it would take them to get to that level does not interest them right now,” Hernstadt told the town council at its recent planning and management session.

Hernstadt said town staff has been working with a consultant to explore additional sites, such as county property on San Carlos Island and land near the fire department’s property and town hall.

The town also has another right-of-way being considered off Virginia Ave, as well as possibly using

trailers under the Matanzas Pass Bridge which would require Florida Department of Transportation approval.

The town is expanding its mooring field for boaters at Matanzas Pass. The town currently utilizes the Matanzas Inn for such services. The owners of Matanzas Inn have plans to expand their lodging establishment on Crescent St.

As far as the county property, Hernstadt said the issue is “how to minimize our footprint so that if we approach them about using their land, we would use as little land as possible,” and to see if the county would engage in a long-term lease or property transfer.

Hernstadt said the issue at the Virginia Ave. right-of-way would be that “the public use is limited.” Vice Mayor Rexann Hosafros said previous proposals to use the canal at Virginia Ave. has brought up opposition form residents there.

Hernstadt said he also expected similar comments near other residential areas along the canal. Hosafros said that was also the drawback near the town hall property.

Councilmember Bill Veach said that site near the town hall and former Topps parking lot now owned by the fire department, also had positives. “There are some pitfalls for it,” he said. “The advantages are pretty significant,” Veach said. He said the town could build onto town hall which he said wouldn’t require the acquisition of private property.

There is some concern that private ownership of property on or around the canal could dampen the town’s plans. Town attorney John Herin Jr. said that could lead to legal issues for the town.

The town had been considering the Harbor House at the Inn, though that appeared to fall out of favor with town management and town councilmembers last month. Hernstadt had been in talks with the Harbor House at the Inn about potentially purchasing two condominium units on the first floor.

The board has ruled out the use of Bayside Park for such a facility. The original proposal for Bayside Park would have blocked the view of the bay from a side of Nervous Nellie’s.

“Every property has a problem,” Hernstadt said. “It’s just really which one has the smallest one that can be overcome.”

Hernstadt said the town council has to make a decision soon.

“We’re running out of time,” he said.