Carl Melamet - email@example.com
Bunche Beach (canoe site)
COUNTY APPROVES 720-ACRE PURCHASE OF BUNCHE BEACH
FORT MYERS, Fla. (August 14, 2001) - The Board of Lee County Commissioners
today unanimously approved the $6.38-million purchase of Bunche
Beach, one of the most important native, natural, and pristine coastland
areas in the county that potentially could have been developed.
The 720-acre parcel near the Sanibel Causeway is located south
of Summerlin Road and east and west of John Morris Road running
to Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Closing of the sale, from
Summerlin Sands Limited Partnership, is expected on or before September
The property is being purchased through the county's Conservation
2020 program, with a temporary loan of $3 million from the county's
general fund until the program receives in more tax revenues next
fiscal year. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is expected to
reimburse half of the cost of the purchase.
Upon closing, the county will have purchased nearly 7,000 acres
through the Conservation 2020 program and set it aside for long-term
This will be the third largest tract purchased through the program.
In December, the county bought a 1,115-acre tract located on the
north side of the Caloosahatchee River just east and west of Interstate
75 that has 3.5 miles of river frontage. And in April, the county
purchased a 2,388-acre parcel of environmentally sensitive land
in North Fort Myers that is the largest parcel ever bought through
thee five-year-old Conservation 2020 program. That tract, costing
$6.35 million, is located just west of Interstate 75 from the Charlotte
County line to Del Prado Extension.
Lee County voters approved Conservation 2020 in November 1996 through
a referendum that increased property taxes for seven years by 50
cents for every $1,000 of taxable property value. The increase raises
about $12 million a year to buy environmentally sensitive lands.
In addition, 10 percent of the funds collected are set aside for
land stewardship activities such as exotic pest plant control and
provision of passive recreation facilities.
The Board of Lee County Commissioners appointed a 15-member citizen
advisory committee - the Lee County Conservation Land Acquisition
and Stewardship Advisory Committee (CLASAC) - to recommend appropriate
properties to be pursued for purchase.