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Fiddlesticks Gate is back in action

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The Fiddlesticks Gate fight is beginning again

LEE COUNTY — The fight for the Fiddlesticks gate has begun again.

Fiddlesticks Housing Community has filed another application for Briarcliff Rd. The last application was turned down last year.

Briarcliff Rd. homeowners are opposed. However, Briarcliff Road homeowners are opposed to the plan because it would cause too many people through their community.

When we arrived on Wednesday afternoon, the road was very quiet. It’s a peacefulness Ernesto Mentible is afraid might be destroyed if a new gate goes in.

“Yes I’m worried. My dog is my companion. My neighbors and their kids bike down this street, I notice,” Mentible stated. He lives near Briarcliff Rd.

Talking with Mentible and other neighbors, we also talked to them about their protest outside of the Lee County Commission meeting last December. The petition against the gate was created by them, and has attracted more than 2,800 signatures in the past one year.

Mantible stated that this is true.

“This would be number one an endangerment of us, number two a degrading of our, basically our quality of life, and number three a degrading of our property values,” said Mantible.

However, this gate is only for residents of Fiddlesticks. It will not be open to builders and work trucks.

Briarcliff Rd. says the plan was never brought up for public comment. Ron Edenfield, a resident of the area, pointed this out last week at the Commission meeting.

“I would simply ask that the Board, this Board recommend to staff that this go through a public hearing process,” said Edenfield during a time in the meeting when the public could comment about items not on the agenda.

Mentible said he’s worried that the gate could get approved without any public meeting, but he said he plans to write a letter to make his voice heard.

“We’re not mean people, but we will defend our best interest, and our best interest is not for a gate to be here,” said Mentible.

Because the project was in Cecil Pendergrass’s district, we reached out both to the County Chair Cecil Pendergrass and the Commission Chair. Although we learned Wednesday that there had been no hearing about the project, the County did not provide any information on when the County might review it in the future.

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