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One permit gets OK for project at Turner Beach

By Staff | Oct 22, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED The design for the Turner Beach shoreline stabilization project has been finalized and permit applications to proceed with the work have been submitted to the necessary agencies.

One of the permits for the Turner Beach shoreline stabilization project was recently approved.

Sanibel Community Services Department Director Keith Williams reported on Oct. 18 that the permit application submitted to the South Florida Water Management District was approved last week following its review by the district. The project aims to re-enforce or stabilize the shoreline in the area.

The final design for the project had been completed a few months ago by Coastal Engineering Consultants, which was hired by the city of Sanibel, in partnership with Lee County, to address two main issues at the site: erosion within the beach parking lot and the riprap along the shoreline.

Williams previously explained that a portion of the shoreline and parts of the lot are washed out in extreme high tides or waves or during storm events, including the guardrail that protects the lot.

In addition to the SFWMD, permit applications were submitted to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in relation to the project.

As of Oct. 18, the city was still waiting on approval for the remaining permits.

“We haven’t gotten all of the permits we need,” he said.

Williams noted that the city is hoping to receive the green light before the end of October.

“We’re just waiting for the final review and, hopefully, approval,” he said.

Williams previously explained that in reviewing the applications, each agency looks at the aspects of the project that fall under their scope or jurisdiction. The DEP is reviewing the Coastal Construction Control Line, and the Corps is looking at sawfish habitat and such; the district reviewed the shoreline.

The agencies could request clarifications or changes.

Williams reported that none of agencies had done so as of Oct. 18.

After receiving the necessary permits, the project would be submitted to the county to begin the construction. It also will be brought before the city council for approval and to go out to bid.

Williams estimated the council could see it during the first quarter of next year.

“If so, construction could start just after season,” he said.

As for the final design, it is similar to what representatives from Coastal Engineering Consultants presented to the Captiva Erosion Prevention District’s board at a meeting held earlier this year.

At the CEPD meeting, the firm’s representatives reported that the areas targeted for improvement include the asphalt curtain at the entrance to the parking lot and the catch basins at the entrance and south end. The draft design also entailed closing off pedestrian access to the beach through the dunes by building them up about 4 feet, extending the fence to the riprap, and putting in new vegetation.

The representatives noted that most of the work is landward, except for the riprap.

At the time, they reported that the riprap on the shoreline would be approximately 300 feet and raised to an elevation of 6 feet. It would tie into where the CEPD had done rehabilitation work in the past.

As the city manages the Turner Beach site as part of an interlocal agreement, the project is being funded through the Lee County Tourist Development Council. The city is requesting $580,000 to cover the design and construction. It already secured $280,000 and planned to submit a request for the remaining $300,000 at the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.