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Community feedback sought as panel delves into Captiva Code

January 17, 2018
By TIFFANY REPECKI (trepecki@breezenewspapers.com) , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The Captiva Community Panel is seeking input from the community on what issues it believes are important as the members move forward with their work of updating the Captiva Code.

At its Jan. 9 meeting, the panel revealed a plan and timeline for reviewing the existing codes and providing opportunities for the public to share its thoughts on subjects ranging from beach issues, water quality and shoreline protection, to transportation, traffic, parking and development. Through February and March, four public workshops are set, with an online community survey to be made available.

The first workshop is on beach issues and will be held after the Feb. 13 panel meeting.

Article Photos

The Captiva Community Panel held its first meeting of 2018 on Jan. 9 at the South Seas Island Resort on Captiva. Shown are, from left, members Dave Jensen, Mike Kelly, Mike Boris, David Mintz and Jay Brown.

TIFFANY REPECKI

"We are about to embark on a multi-year project," newly-elected President David Mintz said.

Mintz and Ken Gooderham, the panel's administrator, explained that the process would involve bringing the issues before the public for feedback and allowing the community to suggest additional subject areas; using the summer to examine what other communities have done and determine what power the panel has in tackling the issues; and then deciding what to do in regards to the codes.

"We tried to put together a three-stage process," Mintz said.

Panel member Jay Brown voiced support for the plan.

"I reviewed this and I think a survey is a good idea," he said.

According to Gooderham, the last survey conducted by the panel was several years ago and it had a participation of approximately 15 percent to 20 percent. For the new code survey, postcards containing the survey link will be mailed to all of the property owners on Captiva, as well as emailed via a list.

Panel member Rene Miville suggested reaching out to island real estate agents, also.

As for funding the project, Mintz reported that Lee County staff agreed to work with the panel on the community code and assist as need be, but will not be providing any financial assistance as of now.

"The county no longer budgets for community planning. They're not giving money to anybody," he said, explaining that the panel is seeking an agreement again. "It makes us the official contractual representatives for Captiva."

Mintz said he has meetings set up with two county commissioners to discuss the matter.

"They've been supportive in the past," he said.

According to Gooderham, the county had provided up to $50,000 in the past for multi-year agreements. The costs were covered by the Captiva Community Panel, then later reimbursed under the agreement.

"The funding isn't gone - don't say that yet," he said. "We just haven't given them a good excuse."

The remaining public workshops on the Captiva Code are Feb. 28, March 13 and March 28.

The deadline for responses to the online community survey is March 30.

At the December meeting, Mintz reported that Lee County had sent its Captiva Plan up to the state for approval. The latest revisions are undergoing review, pending a final public hearing for adoption.

For more information on the code and plan, visit www.captivacommunitypanel.com.

Also at the meeting, the panel elected its new officers for 2018. Mintz was named president, while Mike Boris was elected to vice president, Tom Rathbone was made treasurer and Mike Mullins took up the position of secretary. It also welcomed in two new members, Mike Kelly and Antje Benjamin.

North Captiva land

development code amendment

Recently, Lee County was considering permitting septic tanks seaward of the 1978 (Coastal Construction Control Line). At the January meeting, Mintz reported that he had received a letter from the county attorney regarding the issue; the panel had passed a resolution opposing the move.

"The decision has been made to pull the proposed amendment until staff has more time to analyze the issue in a more comprehensive matter and communities have the opportunity to provide input," he read from the letter.

Mintz praised the move by county officials.

"We're going to have a lot more time to deal with this issue," he said. "It's a good thing, but we have to stay vigilant on it."

Invasive species

Panel member Dave Jensen reported that he had heard back from Florida Fish and Wildlife on the green iguanas. He said they are labeled as a "nuisance" because they eat vegetation and can burrow into seawalls, causing damage. Sanibel and Boca Grande have eradication programs in place for them.

Jensen said he did not believe Captiva was at that point, but he is monitoring the situation.

"If it's something the community wants - we need to pay for it," he said of an eradication program.

Captiva Drive speed, safety issues

Panel member Mike Lanigan reported that a review of Captiva Drive clocked the average speed of motorists at about 30 mph. Based off the results, he said there did not appear to be a problem.

"It doesn't seem like an awful traffic safety issue," he said.

He noted, however, that the Lee County Department of Transportation is coming out to do a site inspection and survey. One possible suggestion might be installing more signage for drivers.

Website redesign, communications effort

Lanigan reported that meetings with vendors are expected later this month.

"We should be able to proceed quickly after that," he said.

Lanigan noted that the improved website will help with the Captiva Code project.

Mintz suggested that the panel create a standing communications committee, which would be tasked with managing the panel's website and using social media to connect better with the community.

"I think it's important that we do that," he said.

The next meeting is Feb. 13 at 9 a.m. at South Seas Island Resort, at 5400 Plantation Road, Captiva.

 
 

 

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