Miromar Development receives code violation for clearing land without permit

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Miromar Development Corporation removed native trees without a permit earlier this year from a 110-acre lot near Estero. 

The Estero-based development company received two Lee County code violations and a pause button on the project. 

Crews cleared the northwest corner of Estero Parkway and Ben Hill Griffin Road for what’s supposed to become Phase 2 of University Village. 

Phase 1, just across the street, is full of restaurants, including a Mellow Mushroom pizzeria. 

Miromar planned Phase 2 to have 11, 24-unit apartment buildings, a 31,000-square-foot, non-fast-food restaurant (without a drive-thru), and a 5,500-square foot, drive-thru fast-food restaurant. 

Miromar Development, which owns Miromar Outlet Mall, the Miromar Lakes subdivision and other area real estate projects, did not return calls or emails seeking an explanation. 

The Lee County government declined an interview request. 

Lee County director of communications Betsy Clayton released a statement via email. 

“The goal of Code Enforcement is to bring the property into compliance, which would require obtaining the required permits in this case,” the statement said. “The code requires a property owner to be given a ‘reasonable time’ after receiving the Certified Notice to bring the property into compliance. That amount of time may vary according to the type of property and the type of violation. 

“Occasionally, a property isn’t brought into compliance, and the violation eventually goes before the Hearing Examiner, who may file a lien against a property after other efforts to bring it into compliance are exhausted.” 

Just to the north of that site, Miromar also recently cleared another lot on the west side of Ben Hill Griffin Road, just across from the main entrance to Florida Gulf Coast University. 

That project will be called Miromar Lakes Messina. The plans include 25 single-family home lots and 13, six-unit apartment buildings. 

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