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Resident access to Sanibel Island begins ... with some caveats

NPR Selects 1457 Sanibel Beach Condos.jpg
Tom James
/
Special to WGCU
Aerial view of Sanibel Island


The City of Sanibel reiterated previously released information concerning the following points about access to the island post-Hurricane Ian:

  • Reentry begins Wednesday, October 5, for resident access.
  • Those who wish to travel to, from, or about the island must do so with their own resources and at their own risk. 
  • The boat ramps at Punta Rassa and Port Comfort are NOT available for launch. Individuals attempting to access those locations will be turned away.
  • The City of Sanibel has no information on other locations where residents/business owners may launch their watercraft from the mainland.
  • The Sanibel Boat Ramp and the ramp within the Ding Darling preserve (Tarpon Bay Explorers) are NOT available for landing and debarking. Individuals attempting to access those locations will be turned away.
  • There is no ground transportation on Sanibel.
  • Private barges may not access the island at this time, unless explicitly authorized by the City Manager. No motorized equipment or generators are permitted on island at this time.

A CURFEW IS IN EFFECT ON SANIBEL FROM 7 PM TO 7 AM, WITH NO EXCEPTION.

Requirements to obtain a Hurricane Reentry pass:

  • Residents – Must have a current Sanibel Hurricane Reentry pass or a valid Florida driver’s license showing a Sanibel address. Sanibel residents who do not have a Hurricane reentry pass may obtain one at Temporary City Hall (Crowne Plaza Hotel, 13051 Bell Tower Drive, Fort Myers)
  • Business Owners – Must have a current Sanibel Hurricane Reentry pass (commercial.) Sanibel business owners that do not have a Hurricane Reentry pass may obtain one at Temporary City Hall (Crowne Plaza Hotel, 13051 Bell Tower Drive, Fort Myers) A valid 2022 or 2023 Sanibel Business Tax Receipt (BTR) must be presented to receive a pass.
  • Property Owners – Owners of residential properties with a permanent Sanibel address or an out of state permanent address must have a current Sanibel Hurricane Reentry pass. Owners who do not have a Sanibel hurricane reentry pass may obtain a pass at Temporary City Hall (Crowne Plaza Hotel, 13051 Bell Tower Drive, Fort Myers) Proof of residency and a government-issued ID must be presented for staff to verify ownership of property with the Lee County Property Appraiser.
  • Renters – Renters of residential properties must provide a government-issued ID, as well as a rental agreement or utility bill verifying residency on island. 
  • Contractors – Must have a Sanibel Hurricane Reentry pass (commercial) or be accompanied at all times by a resident, property owner, or business owner with a Sanibel reentry pass. The City is not issuing new passes to contractors at this time, unless explicitly authorized by the City Manager or his designee.
  • Other individuals — Anyone who is on the island to assist City residents, property owners, or business owners must be accompanied at all times by a city resident, a property owner, or a business owner while on island.

Statement of dangerous conditions:

  • Navigating the waters around Sanibel and within its canals and other territorial waters is hazardous.
  • Traversing the island poses many dangers, including but not limited to, damaged or destroyed bridges, roadways, and other infrastructure; damaged or destroyed public and private structures; and displaced wildlife, including alligators. Those hazards exist on public property and rights of way.  
  • Individuals accessing any structures should assume those structures are unstable and dangerous.
  • Structures assessed by the Urban Search and Rescue Teams (USAR) as destroyed, with major damage, or inaccessible SHOULD BE CONSIDERED UNSAFE.
  • Irrespective of any USAR assessment information, individuals are HIGHLY DISCOURAGED from coming to and travelling within the territorial limits of the City of Sanibel at this time, and those who ignore those warnings DO SO AT THEIR OWN RISK. 

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