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Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

Food Pantry at Risk of Closure?

Posted by admin On May 4th

Fort Myers food pantry at risk of closure over permits


• What: Fort Myers Planning Board Meeting
• When: 1 p.m today
• Where: Council Chambers, Oscar M. Corbin Jr. City Hall, 2200 Second St., Fort Myers

 A disgruntled neighbor of one of the most popular food pantries in Fort Myers wants it shut down.  Wilheim Verhoven has complained about St. Vincent de Paul’s food pantry for over a year, citing excessive noise, visual blight, declining property value, and inappropriate, anti-social and unsanitary behavior of some of the clients. 

The food pantry, which is run out of a small church, provides more than 1 million pounds of food annually to those in need.  Three mornings a week, a line of clients wrap around the church waiting to get bags of groceries or other services they may need such as money for utilities.

Verhoven and his attorney, William Uhle, will present their concerns at a Fort Myers Planning Board meeting at City Hall today.  “They should move to a more appropriate location,” he said of the pantry.

The pantry has operated at 2073 Lafayette St. for more than 4 years and is on commercially zoned land. 

Al Brislain, executive director of The Harry Chapin Food Bank, which provides the bulk of the food distributed by St. Vincent’s de Paul, understands why Verhoven might be upset.  “‘Not in my backyard’ is a real common problem that all social services have to deal with,” he said. “However, our concern is that thousands of people get food at Vincent de Paul, and if they shut down, I don’t know of any pantry in the area that has the capacity to serve those kinds of numbers.”

Although Verhoven has complained dozens of times about the food pantry, he is at a disadvantage, said Lynee Rodriguez, principal planner for Fort Myers. She will attend today’s meeting.  “The main problem with his complaint is that unfortunately he bought a home zoned commercial general,” she said. “There can be any kind of commercial properties around him.”

But Verhoven’s complaints flagged the problem that the food pantry did not have a conditional use permit.

The application costs $3,000, which amounts to two weeks of feeding the hungry, said Bernie Fettkether, president of St. Vincent de Paul, who oversees more than 100 volunteers.

“It’s very sad they had to pay fees,” Rodriguez said. “But it doesn’t matter if you are a nonprofit, you still have to pay the fees. I wish they could have kept the money for food distribution.”

The church also has to follow code enforcement issues such as establishing handicapped parking and fixing its Dumpster, she said.

The planning board will make a recommendation about the food pantry’s future, and then the board of adjustment will make a final ruling in a few months.

St. Vincent’s de Paul can continue to operate until a final decision has been made.

Please let us know your thoughts?

Check out the link below for more information:|newswell|text|Home|p

Rocket Docket Abuse?

Posted by admin On April 12th

Please check out the link below to an interesting story on the ACLU’s lawsuit alleging forclosure defendants are being illegally “abused” by Florida’s Rocket Docket and be sure to let us know your thoughts?

The Legend of Saint Patrick

Posted by admin On March 17th

Check out the link below to one of Code Man’s favorite legends.

It’s rumoured that Code Man has a bit of the Ole Irish in him; that’s why he’s so GREEN of course.

Fort Myers high-rise market shows signs of REVIVAL?

Posted by admin On November 17th

Please check out this recent article on the signs of improvement in the Fort Myers high rise market and let us know your thoughts?

The Cost of Blind Justice

Posted by admin On October 22nd

Here’s a link to a great story on why government needs to consider the total costs included in providing all the desired public services to insure maximum value is actually being received.             Let us know your thoughts?

“SHAME” used to Help Fight Blight?

Posted by admin On September 13th

Here’s a link to a very sad story of an individual unable to comply the unsafe structure violations existing on her property.  The City of Fort Myers has tried to help her obtain assistance since 2004.  However, not enough resources were available and Ms Miller did not want all the help she desperately needed.  The Slum Property sign has been a very useful tool in advising the neighbors that the City was aware and working on getting the problems corrected in the mean time.  Unsafe portions were removed for FREE by the City’s Rapid Response Team & FMPD Explorers last week.

Check it out and let Code Man know your thoughts?

Problems Not Being Fixed, Residents Say

Posted by admin On September 2nd

Here’s a link to a very common code enforcement story these days about apartment property managers not maintaining their complexes properly, and tenants refusing to pay rent. 

Check it out and leave us your thoughts and comments.

Inspectors Shut Down Girl’s Lemonade Stand

Posted by admin On August 6th

PORTLAND, Oregon, Aug. 6, 2010

Oregon Official Apologizes to Family after Overzealous Inspectors Threaten Girl, 7, with $500 Fine. 

Read More at link below and Add Comments for Code Man.;pop

Great article in today’s News Press – Homeowner & Condo Associations have a New Weapon  in their war against deadbeat owners, their tenants and the banks foreclosing on them.

Check it out and send us your comments. Read the rest of this entry »

St. Petersburg Illegal Yard Signs

Posted by admin On June 29th

There was an interesting article in the St. Petersburg Times recently about illegal yard signs.

Please check it out at the link above and let us know what you think? Read the rest of this entry »