The Captiva Plan was the main topic of interest during the Captiva Community Panel meeting that was held April 11. After months of waiting for a response from Lee County, their proposal was sent back with quite a few changes.
The Captiva Plan was originally proposed in 2011. Last February, the panel revised the original plan. In the document the county sent back to the panel, there were no comments, just strikethroughs. The county went off the original plan from 2011 instead of looking at the revision.
"What we got back was changes to the original plan," said David Mintz, panel member. "It's virtually a complete restructuring of our plan as it currently exists."
Density, sewer and rezoning were among the major changes to the Captiva Plan.
"What they did was they looked at our existing plan and worked off that old document and put forth what they thought is consistent with their new view of what a plan should be," Mintz said. "A plan is generally generic, it's basically the same in many communities and it doesn't have the same specificity to each community as it did in the past. Whether that specificity gets included in code or that specificity disappears altogether, we don't know. And the reason we don't know is because when the county gave us back this amended plan, there were no comments with it. There was no explanation of it."
After the panel received the plan back, Mintz did some revisions.
"I looked at the current county plan, what they're proposing, and I said 'What do we have to put back in it accepting their structure, accepting their formulation of what a plan should be? What do we have to put back in there to make it is somewhat reflective of the concerns of Captiva?' We have three choices. One: we can do nothing and leave our existing plan. Our existing plan is better than what the county sent us. The second thing we can do is talk to our county commissioners and we can explain this is what community planning is all about. Or, we can sit down with the county and say 'Look, we looked at what you're proposing and say it doesn't work for us. We can accept the structure but we have to put in key elements you left out," Mintz said.
Lee County Principle Planner Sharon Jenkins said that the changes to the revised plan are not directed towards just Captiva. She said the changes encompass the entire Lee Plan.
The panel plans to present Mintz's updated with the added changes to rezoning, density and sewer to the county.
In other news, the Charitable Foundation of the Islands granted the panel $5,000 for planning projects.
Dave Jensen, a panel member said that iguanas, coyotes and rabbits are becoming a problem on the island. He plans to bring a representative from Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to discuss what the community needs to do. A new link on their website gives residents tips on how to deal with invasive species, captivacommunitypanel.com/news.htm.
The wastewater study was approved by Lee County commissioners March 21. The study will take approximately 120 days to complete.
Dave Jensen and Lisa Riordan came together to write a rental letter that Realtors will hand out to renters that address over-crowding and noise concerns.
The next panel meeting will be May 9 in the Cone Room at South Seas Island Resort at 9 a.m. The public is welcomed.