Restoration Planning Survey Results

This page contains the results of a Hurricane Restoration Planning Survey that was provided electronically to all residents at the end of November 2022. 86 responses were received, which represents approximately 75% of all households.

Using a stack ranking system where High = 3 points, Medium = 2, and Low =1, respondents prioritized the foregoing resources in the following order:
  1. Beach path: 242 points
  2. Large pool: 219
  3. Vegetation: 198
  4. Small pool: 178
  5. Clubhouse deck: 177
  6. Tennis courts: 140
  7. Walking bridges: 126
  8. Clubhouse interior: 124
38 thoughtful comments were received. They are provided verbatim below. The survey was anonymous, so except where respondents chose to identify themselves, they are not attributed to individuals.

The roads. They are in terrible shape now,especially after rain.

Roads and Road Bridges

Signage for the road names and house numbers

Road mud removal and resurfacing to prevent a major problem with dust from the clay deposited by Hurricane Ian.

Cleanup and re-seeding dog walk area


Important to keep foot bridges as a good deal of properties along the road bridges are in fact islands. To keep the interest in nature, it is important to maintain greenways and to have bridges for escape from preditory animals. Developed to enhance and encourage wildlife, it is important to remember why this community is so unique. The clubhouse, common pools and tennis courts is what makes this community pull together. I would think with the guidance in planning from the vegetation committee individual road circles could be supported and provided by neighbors.

promoting wildlife, revitalizing lagoons (? after city dredging), vegetation after seeing what comes back naturally, clubhouse and small pool bathrooms are both high priority

A consideration for me on this is timing. How many of us can occupy our homes and will make use of these facilities in 23? If not many, it seems like the repairs could be prioritized with this in mind as well. We usually stay Jan to May but can’t this year due to damage.

Need help figuring out how to fill in sink hole/erosion in the beach in front Smith House. We use the private path to access the beach.

Clean up edges of the roads where remnants of trash are and please add gravel to all roads after they are smoothed out. Roads are critical.

Landscaping for all public areas....bring back our beautiful neighborhood.
The clubhouse could be reimagined as an open air, perhaps screened, pavilion.
The tennis courts could be restored as paved surfaces with pickle ball lines painted on the courts to increase their usage.
The greenway bridges should be limited to community property locations only. (2-3)
Thanks to all for our thoughtful work in moving forward.

Keep the roads eminently passable -- for autos, bicycles, and for walkers.

Water incursions along the beach are a concern, because they might channel water into Gulf Pines.

Swimming would help so much! I would also like to propose for investigation that we pave/tar our road from the Y split to our neighborhood sign. That would leave the "old FL charm" intact but make that long, wide stretch so much easier to navigate on bikes, etc. Easier for pot-hole maintenance and dust mitigation as well.

Our house is For Sale

Our vote is to slowly take on projects and not increase the yearly fee to do these projects all at once.
Our biggest concern is the lack of understanding of the damage wheeled vehicles and beach traffic has on the dunes we are trying to build. Those of us who took the biggest blow live directly or nearest yo the beach. We have planted sea oats, dragged palm fronds etc to build natural dunes. The dune in front of our house grew over 25 years by planting natural vegetation and roping off the end of the beach path. We know everyone was upset by the rope however our neighbors recently said we’re it not for it we would have lost the property. Without erosion guards and education regarding the natural sand holding plants we continuously lose beach to storms. We are hoping to work very hard to guards this natural planting in the future by asking our neighborhood to Latin what they can do to save our beach for us and the animals and birds who live there.

Given the damage to the tennis courts and the minority of residents who use them now is the time to convert at least one into pickle ball. The tennis courts aren’t used frequently as is clear by simple observation. Pickle ball would open up opportunities for many more residents rather than the select few that monopolize decisions.

Residents who are in GP during low times and summer are NEVER seen using the tennis courts while pools are used every day.

Thank you for polling our priorities!

Consider one tennis court and one pickleball court in the same space
Foot bridges are not needed and are expense .. walking the road is safer

Is it time to consider paving the roads?

1. ROADS, ROADS, ROADS!!! They are a mess and dangerous when wet from the mud. 2. Pick up mud from right of way.

restoring greenway walking paths

Restoring the banks of lagoon and creek, if damaged. Thank you for all your hard work. Bo Smith and Alexia Kniska

Swimming pools and beach path as a minimum. No Ped bridges; (maybe 5 & 6). It is strongly recommended that the Board retains licensed ( within the state of Florida) professionals to determine the need and scope of repairs.

We are concerned about the water incursions along the beach. They should be filled in to prevent storm surge waters from funnelling inland to Gulf Pines homes.

Other high priority: 1. Clearing and maintaining greenway paths. 2. Cleaning/clearing waterways. 3. Make clubhouse a pavilion.

Pave roads or resurface them

Re: safety: If the old signs were destroyed, place larger stop signs at Gulf Pines Dr and Old Banyon Way. Pre-Ian, they were often disregarded. I have a Bird's Eye view of the intersection.

Plantings and general ambiance of Gulf Pines to look like itself is my highest priority.

Phased Approach Plan
A plan of a phased approach, which may proceed over a few years, to repair facilities and regrow vegetation needs to be developed. (Assume this was one of the reasons for the survey.) This would help spread the cost over several years to avoid a high special assessment to the property owners. Thank you for organizing the cleanup of the roads to permit safe ingress/egress.

We care a lot about what happens to Gulf Pines as we move forward and we look forward to helping maintain the natural environment in Gulf Pines. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

We only set the Small Pool at a lower priority because we rarely use that pool. However, we understand that it may be important to many people that live near that pool. If costs need to be spread over several years, deferring the small pool restoration could help since another pool is available.

Beach Cleanup
Beach Cleanup was not listed as an item in the survey. Perhaps this is because the City may have the responsibility for this. We suggest that Gulf Pines have a neighborhood beach cleanup day to clean up debris along the beach path and the Gulf Pines edge of the beach. The city would need to help with the dead fish since they should have appropriate protective equipment and resources to handle that cleanup as well as means for disposal.

Vegetation, Lagoons, and Greenway Renewal
Freddie should not be hired to bulldoze planted areas as was done behind the pool and clubhouse, without very close supervision. We should wait to see what grows back. Unfortunately, it appears that much was destroyed behind the pool and clubhouse areas by the bulldozing.

Vegetation: The natural setting of Gulf Pines was THE main attraction for our purchase of a home in Gulf Pines. Gulf Pines is a secret Sanibel gem in that respect. It is important to regrow the vegetation in a planned way. This includes the common islands in the roadways that have suffered damage. Trees take the longest time to grow and should be the first purchase, if needed, but planted according to the appropriate growing seasons. Using only natives will be a big help. We are curious if there are any Florida monetary grants available for planting of native vegetation. Other states have these types of grants and are planned with the government foresters in the state. These programs have been quite successful. We would be happy to look into the availability of grants if Gulf Pines would like to pursue this.

Greenways: The greenways were also one of the main attractions for our purchase of a home in Gulf Pines. They were not specifically mentioned in the survey. The hurricane presents an opportunity to regain the greenways that became overgrown through the years. These beautiful paths through lush native vegetation should be re-established and maintained on an ongoing basis. We rate this as High so that competing vegetation does not overtake the greenways. The vegetation committee could develop a prioritized plan for planting of the greenways as required. Many neighbors will be happy to help with the planting and watering as needed during the regrowth. It would also be an opportunity to “fix” any of the greenways that are encroaching on home owner property.

Lagoons: The lagoons were not one of the choices for prioritization. Perhaps it should be considered, and we would rate it High depending on the results of an inspection of the lagoons. The lagoons may need to be dredged if they are full of debris like our properties. If they become stagnant, they could have a bad smell from the debris and wildlife depending on the lagoons may die. Typically, the lagoon water evaporates over the Summer months and that may be a good time to proceed with dredging, if needed, and if the appropriate equipment can access the lagoons without damaging owners’ property. It would be useful to consult with experts on these types of waterways to ensure we do the best thing for the wildlife and surrounding vegetation as well as future water flow to and from the lagoons.

Tennis Courts
The tennis courts provide a source of community spirit to many of the Gulf Pines Residents so we would support repair of these even though we rarely use them. We have heard that some people are interested in converting one of the tennis courts to Pickle Ball Courts. We do not currently support this. While we would be interested in a Pickle Ball Court, finding another location for new Pickle Ball Courts with appropriate noise mitigation would be a better solution. Perhaps there is a joint solution for Pickle Ball Courts with Gulf Shores on some of the shared land. We need to maintain the natural quiet environment in Gulf Pines.

Lower Priority Phases
Foot Bridges: While we previously used the foot bridges a lot, we think it is better to move repair of the foot bridges to a lower priority phase because we can walk carefully on the roads during the early phases of the restoration.

Clubhouse: In the past, the community rarely used the Clubhouse (except for the outside bathroom for pool users) during a typical year, although the social committee was making good plans for increased Clubhouse use following COVID. Therefore, repair of the Clubhouse could be phased to initially provide mold mitigation, fix the air conditioning to maintain a clean environment as needed and repair the deck ramp for safe ingress/egress for those unable to use steps. This deferment of the clubhouse refurbishment could free up funds for high priority items with a positive plan for clubhouse refurbishment at a later date.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Replanting vegetation and the beach path do the most to restore GP to what it was, need time to grow (do it first), and best preserve/restore property values. Pools and tennis contribute to people's exercise and health and are important. I do not think the clubhouse contributes as much to quality of life or marketability as the other items do. Thank you for asking and for everyone's efforts.

Restore tennis courts with asphalt or clay and include pickleball courts.

The inside of the clubhouse is rarely used so clearly not a priority. It would be nice to have bocce courts added. The pool is a great asset but should be much larger for a community of this size. A larger pool should include permanent lap lanes and perhaps a kiddie pool. We should focus on one nice facility rather than 2 very small ones.
We would have expected to have included to the whole community the cost factor for all estimated expenses prior to issuing this survey. Also the survey does not inquire about utilization of the so called greenways which incurs an expense to maintain. As you know the bridges are a separate item from the so called greenway. Approval of one does not mean approval of the other.

Lastly there is no emergency here so no need for board to utilize “Emergency Power”. We would like to vote on these expenditures and have a transparent process throughout. Of course we expect this survey results to be published to all.

It is my experience that some of our walking bridges are never used because of their location or their access is restricted or blocked. Priority should be given to the ones that are used to access club house/pool and beach path.

Potholes and mud

What work is required at the beach path now that it has been mostly cleared.
1. Beach
2. Both pools
3. Greenways
4. Tennis Court
5. Clubhouse

Paula and I also play tennis during the summer and fall in Falmouth, MA which is a beautiful ocean-side town with a lot of shoreline.  Pickle Ball has grown in popularity over the last 5 years and the Recreation Department has assigned it priority every other day of the week on the several public tennis courts throughout Falmouth.  There are two-tennis courts in 4 different locations and 6 courts at the high school. There is an existing lawsuit between the neighbors surrounding one location with tennis courts being used for pickleball courts every other day.  It is a popular sport among the seniors; however, it is noisy and that is the basis for the lawsuit.  The result has been that Pickle Ball has been stopped at that location. Cape Coral and Venice have had similar lawsuits over Pickle-Ball noise. Paula and I have tried Pickle Ball and it is a fun sport to play. However, it is noisy, it does not belong in a residential neighborhood.