Water-Related News

Wetland or fire station? City of Fort Myers proposes to change Six Mile Cypress slough area land use

A new fire station might one day rise from a wetland where bromeliads cling to towering cypress as pileated woodpeckers drum on slash pines.

Within the Six Mile Cypress Slough watershed, and across from the popular county preserve that bears its name, the city of Fort Myers owns about six empty acres split into two parcels.

The site is on the west side of Six Mile Cypress/Ben C. Pratt Parkway, north of Penzance Road and south of Heritage Palms.

One piece's land-use classification is agriculture; the other is wetland/urban.

That could change as a result of Monday's Fort Myers City Council meeting.

Tucked deep into a 1,097-page agenda packet (fun fact: "War and Peace" is only 128 more pages) released less than two business days before Monday's meeting, is the notice of the city's intention to change the land use to neighborhood commercial and traditional community, respectively. It wants to build its seventh fire station on the heavily wooded site.

To be clear, the preserve itself is not in jeopardy. But the land the city wants to use to build on is within the slough's watershed, and home to many native wetland plant species.