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Outcome of November 8 Lee County’s Meeting Regarding 50% Rule for Hurricane Ian Repairs


Lee County 50% Rule Changes To follow-up on my previous post, on November 8, the Lee County Commissioners considered several changes to facilitate repairs to buildings damaged by Hurricane Ian. The most significant changes involve how the “50% Rule” will be calculated.

The calculations for the 50% Rule along with other guidelines relating to the 50% rule are based on local regulation. Lee County Board of Commissioners were presented with and approved the following changes:

  • Allowing for a “permit-by-permit” valuation of the cost of repairs. The past County regulations required a cumulative consideration of improvements made over the previous 5 years. This change would not apply to “repetitive loss” properties that have received two or more NFIP payouts in excess of $1000 over a 10-year period.
  • Amending cumulative period for “repetitive loss” properties from 5 years to 1 year for 50% calculation.
  • Updating elevation requirements for manufactured homes in special flood hazard areas and coastal high hazard areas.
  • Amendment reflecting that the newest version of FEMA flood insurance rate maps for Lee County take effect November, 17, 2022.

All the approved changes can be found at the following link:


Further, the board also considered allowing for the pre-disaster value of the structure to be increase by 15% above the Lee County Property Appraiser’s value. But just as the board was about to discuss the percentage increase, the board was presented with a letter from the Florida Office of Floodplain management. The letter stated that the following points:

  • Having a fixed adjustment factor be applied to current market value of homes is inconsistent with FEMA policies.
  • The County Property appraiser is the appropriate government entity to determine the adjustment factor, not the board of the county commissioners.

Based on the letter from Floodplain management the County Commissioners did not approve or deny this resolution, but instead chose to delay their discussion until their next meeting, November 15th.

The final determination on Property value adjustments will be up for discussion at the next meeting of the County Commission. The Commission’s meeting on November 15th starts at 9:30 a.m. and is open to public comment. The meeting will be held in the Commission Chambers, 2120 Main Street, Fort Myers.

If you should have any questions or concerns regarding the 50% rule, please contact me by email at Taylor.bollt@henlaw.com or phone, 239-344-1361.


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