Letter to the editor:
I would like to respond to a letter written by Nancy Harwood concerning the Matlacha Overlay Plan, which was published in the May 2, 2012, issue of the Pine Island Eagle.
I disagree with some of her statements and most of the Matlacha Overlay Plan.
First she states that the plan was "designed to protect the property rights and property values of all Matlacha residents." This statement is simply not factual, as this plan would diminish the value of many existing homes and all vacant lots. Second, this plan does not apply to all of Matlacha. It applies to a specific area in Matlacha.
Further she states that "people have moved to Matlacha because they liked the old-Florida village atmosphere." She may be right in some instances, but she is wrong on many others. Most of the neighbors I have talked to moved here to enjoy the weather, the water, the incredible views, boating, fishing, etc.
She also states the overlay plan protects "the historical quaintness and character of our community by establishing building rules specific to Matlacha by putting the decision making into the hands of our residents who have a right to determine the future of our community."
I readily agree that the residents of the concerned area should be included in any decision making process that affects their property rights. However, the Matlacha Overlay Plan was not developed, discussed or voted on by the residents of the concerned area. It was conceived, developed and voted on by the Matlacha Civic Association (MAC) members, some who do not even reside in the concerned area. MAC also did not notify the residents that would be affected by these proposed changes nor did they provide them with copies of their plan.
During one recent MAC meeting that I attended, MAC officers agreed that each resident in the affected area would be provided a copy of the proposed plan via U.S. mail. However this did not happen.
My wife and I own one of the so-called "Mega Mansions" referred to and we have not infringed on any of the neighboring property rights. Rather than decrease property values as MAC members claim, I believe our home has increased adjoining property values.
Visitors to our community and also many residents of our community continually stop to talk and compliment us on our home. I wonder how many MAC members can say this.
In closing I would like to inform Nancy Harwood and the other Matlacha Civic Association members that they do not represent all residents of Matlacha. In fact they represent a minority of Matlacha residents. They fail to realize that they represent only those that are members of their association.