Fort Myers proposes settlement for Luminary Hotel dispute

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The city of Fort Myers has released a proposed settlement that would allow construction on a downtown hotel to resume and uphold a family's request to keep a permanent park space in the city.

According to a deed, the Dean family gave the city the land for $100 back in the 1930s but required that the city never sell or lease the land for business purposes.

Now, the city said it would be willing to transfer those same deed restrictions to a separate, city-owned island and spend at least $500,000 to develop a park on the island.

The city said the new park would be named “Legacy Island Park” as a way to honor the families who generously sold their land to the city of Fort Myers in the 1930s.

In return, the city’s would also be allowed to move forward in construction of the Luminary Hotel.

“We are pleased that we reached an agreement with the city that recognizes our family’s contribution to Fort Myers and honors our family’s wishes to create waterfront parkland,” Charles C. Powell, a descendant of the Dean family said. “As outlined in the settlement agreement, the vision of the island park in the Caloosahatchee River includes public beach access, a nature trail, dockage for kayaks and other watercraft, picnic tables and pavilions, and a plaque commemorating those who gave the park its name. This park will benefit the public for generations to come.”

“This agreement is a win-win,” Arana said. “It honors the families and benefits Fort Myers’ residents and visitors. It is also a sensible solution because the new island park will truly be a place where the public can enjoy Southwest Florida’s natural beauty.”

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