From time to time a City of Fort Myers politician will bring up the idea of annexing the Gateway community in to their city. It’s unlikely they’ll ever annex the entire town, but Fort Myers recently did annex approximately 185 acres of Gateway.
The annexed land is located west of Gateway Boulevard and north of the Gateway Greens community.
The process began in the middle of 2014 and was approved by Fort Myers City Council on December 1, 2014. Real estate developer WCI requested that Fort Myers annex the land and make it part of the Pelican Preserve community. That way, WCI could build additional homes in Pelican Preserve. The land was owned by WCI both before and after the annexing.
Technically, the land was part of what’s called the Gateway DRI (Gateway Community Development of Regional Impact) and was managed by Lee County. Now it is part of the Pelican Preserve DRI and is managed by the City of Fort Myers.
I went through all of the GSCDD meeting minutes and other documents from that period and it seems like everybody got what they wanted. Nobody from the CDD seemed concerned that they were losing land that was supposed to be a part of Gateway.
The only wrinkle from the Gateway CDD’s point of view seemed to be that the original annexation plan didn’t specify that water and sewer service would remain as part of the GSCDD’s responsibilities. Even though Pelican Preserve is in the City of Fort Myers, they get their water from Gateway. The GSCDD wanted to make sure they provided the newly built homes with water and sewer service as well.
Once that got cleared up, everyone seemed on board.
I spoke with some construction workers and they were unsure if an entrance to Pelican Preserve will be added on to Gateway Boulevard. They said their priority was to clear the land along Gateway Boulevard because that’s where the model units were going to be built.
Pelican Preserve is a 55 and older community with 1,400 homes, according to an article in GulfReturns.com. This new development would see over 300 new homes added to Pelican Preserve.