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City continues efforts to prove FEMA compliance

By MEGHAN BRADBURY - | May 3, 2024

Progress continues to be made by the city of Cape Coral in providing FEMA the documentation needed for code enforcement cases.

City Manager Mike Ilczyszyn said Tuesday started the series of code enforcement cases on properties that FEMA alleged unpermitted work.

“We have had just about every outcome possible in those hearings,” he said during Wednesday’s Cape Coral City Council meeting.

Some of the cases were dismissed as there was no work done at the house, and so no violations of permit requirements; some pulled permits but had not turned in a FEMA packet; and some had work without permits and without FEMA packets before and after Hurricane Ian.

Ilczyszyn said city staff has seen a mixed bag of the results of the hearings and have seen about every example possible. He said they have turned in the 206 properties needed documentation and submitted two batches to FEMA.

One of those batches had no significant indication of any problem.

“That was promising to us,” Ilczyszyn said.

Another meeting with FEMA was scheduled for Thursday to turn in another batch.

All the documentation will be turned in by the original timeline of May 9.

“We are working towards having everything in under the original timeline to show our commitment,” Ilczyszyn said.

FEMA announced in March that it had “retrograded” the Community Rating System class from a 5 to a 10 — the lowest rating — in unincorporated Lee County, Cape Coral, Fort Myers Beach, Estero and Bonita Springs. The new rating would have eliminated the 25% discount property owners currently receive for the National Flood Insurance Program policies as of Oct. 1.