Pine Islanders still need permitting? What to know as operations transfer to Fort Myers

Pine Islanders still needing to get permits for any rebuilding and repairs due to Hurricane Ian will no longer be able to go to the Pine Island Library on Wednesdays.

Due to a decline in demand for permitting services, Lee County officials announced Wednesday that the Lee County Department of Community Development will streamline its operations to its main office in downtown Fort Myers.

With this change, officials said that the county will begin a new, temporary transportation weekly service for islanders who aren't able to make the 40-minute trek to downtown. This service will start next week.

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Residents acting as their own contractor who still need to submit permit applications now will need to visit the downtown permitting office, as will residents seeking a full demolition or complete replacement of a structure.

Here's what Pine Islanders need to know as permitting changes are made:

When do services stop at the Pine Island Public Library?

DCD staff will conclude the final day at the library at 5 p.m. March 29.

This service has been offered every Wednesday since Jan. 4 to assist islanders who are rebuilding and repairing their homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. DCD said they have assisted more than 490 residents who were obtaining permits for repairs to existing buildings.

Where is the office located and what are its hours?

The address is 1500 Monroe St., Fort Myers. They are open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If I don't have transportation, how can I get there?

For those islanders who do not have transportation, the county is setting up a temporary LeeTran service beginning April 6.

Here’s how it will work and what to be aware of:

  • Permit applicants must schedule a Thursday appointment online through the Community Development website. The appointment must be between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

  • Applicants must then request transportation by calling LeeTran at 239-533-8726 at least 24-hours in advance of their scheduled Thursday appointment.

  • The LeeTran shuttle will leave from the Pine Island Public Library, 10701 Russell Road, Bokeelia, with service beginning at 9 a.m. The shuttle service will run every 90 minutes for residents with appointments to and from the DCD permitting office.

  • Parking at the library and the shuttle roundtrip ride are free.

  • LeeTran will continue the shuttle service until the last scheduled customer is returned.

  • Continuation of the service will be contingent on demand.

What do I need to bring with me?

Applicants for rebuilding and repairing need only a description of the work and their address, and staff will walk them through the process, which might include obtaining additional documents.

For example, engineered plans or Florida Product Approvals may be necessary to issue permits. Hired contractors are asked to continue to use the existing electronic permitting process.

I already submitted a permit, how can I track the status of it?

Residents with active permits who need to check their status can now use the county's online services, as well as send DCD an email or call DCD staff.

To check your status online, residents can register with eConnect through the county's website at Users can find their case or record number and it can be used to track the progress of their application through the review/approval process.

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: What We Know: Pine Island permitting operation to move to Fort Myers