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Captiva Plan goes to county

August 19, 2015
BY MEGHAN McCOY (mmccoy@breezenewspapers.com) , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The Captiva Community Panel discussed portions of the Lee County Plan and Lee County Land Development Code for Captiva last week before it was submitted to Lee County staff to review.

"The purpose of this is to take all the information that we gathered in the past three or four years of evaluating Captiva Community Plan and that included the very extensive survey that Ken (Gooderham) conducted," Max Forgery, planner of the Captiva Community Panel, told the panel.

In 2013, the Captiva Plan, which is a community plan, was adopted as part of the Lee Plan, a comprehensive plan that was first adopted by the Board of Lee County Commissioners in 1984.

The Captiva Community Panel contracts with the Board of County Commissioners to update and maintain the plan, which has included three amendments since 2003. Those amendments addressed verbiage in the plan, as well as such topics as mixed-use development and building height.

The building heights policy touches upon such conditions as "elevation of the site above sea level and mandatory flood elevation requirements."

According to the policy, structure and building heights may not exceed "35 feet above the average grade of the lot in question, or 42 feet above mean sea level measured to the peak of the roof." The policy also states that buildings and structures must be "28 feet above the lowest horizontal member, at, or below the lawful base flood elevation measured to the mean level between eaves and ridge in the case of gable, hip, and gambrel roofs."

A policy dealing with underground utilities was further flushed out after Captiva Community Panel board member Jay Johnson shared his concerns. He said the way in which the verbiage was written it suggests that if he buries his power lines in front of his property it might make it more difficult to solve a power outage problem throughout the entire community.

"Therefore if I bury my power lines it might suggest that I need some sort of community assessment of that before I would do that," Johnson said. "I thought the language referred to, if we were going to have a massive underground burying of power lines that we had to consider the impact of that for the entire community. It never occurred to me that we were discussing this on an individual content."

Gooderham said if people want to bury their power lines they will pay the money to have it done.

After some discussion, he said it's almost guaranteed the Lee County staff will make some changes. Those changes will come back before the panel where further discussions will be had to address to the comments.

"They are trying to understand the intent because they weren't here for all of these meetings. The way I'm reading it could mean this (and) we will say that's not what was meant," Gooderham said.

He said if changes are requested, it's because the staff is most likely looking for clarification because they have to implement the plan.

"One of the advantages we have had is we have worked with Sharon (Jenkins-Owens, principal planner and liaison for the Captiva Community Panel). She's not surprised by anything here. I'm confident about this, but working with Lee County, they will get fussy about something, but we are willing to work it out," Forgery said. "This has been a very thorough and thoughtful process by the people of Captiva. I'm proud of what we got here to send to Lee County."

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