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CCP reviews results of recent online survey

Depew contact approved

April 13, 2018
By TIFFANY REPECKI ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

At its recent meeting, the Captiva Community Panel received an overview of the results of its online survey tied to updating the island's code, as well as approved a contract for a consultant's services.

On April 10, panel administrator Ken Gooderham went over the recently completed survey.

"We have all this information captured," he said, noting that it is all available online.

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Colleen Barany, branch manager of the Captiva Memorial Library, reported that the Lee County Library System is installing new self checkouts systemwide. The Captiva branch got one April 5.

As part of the Captiva Code update, the panel scheduled four workshops in February and March to obtain input from the community on a range of potential island-related issues. All property owners on Captiva were also asked to take part in the survey in order for the panel to gain additional feedback.

Gooderham explained that 253 people filled out the survey, which asked participants to write-in particular issues of concern based on categories, followed by ranking lists of suggested issues.

The categories were beach-related issues; water quality and shoreline protection; transportation, road and parking issues; development pattern and ambiance; and native vegetation and invasive species.

Gooderham noted that the first step enabled participants to provide open-ended responses.

"That's what somebody said off the top of their head," he said.

Gooderham pointed out that the priority levels of the issues shifted after they were ranked.

"You'll notice there was a significant shift," he said, adding that it appears being able to rank a list of suggested concerns helped to better guide participants and help them focus on what was important.

Overall, dune vegetation protection, maintaining the 1978 Coastal Construction Control Line, beach cleanup, fertilizer use and nutrient runoff, and regulating existing septic systems ranked highest.

Under beach-related issues, dune vegetation protection, beach cleanup and proper disposal of fishing line came out on top. Prior to ranking, beach erosion and renourishment topped the open answers.

For water quality and shoreline protection, maintaining the 1978 CCCL, fertilizer use and nutrient runoff, and regulating existing septic systems to ensure proper operation came out on top. Prior to the ranking step, stopping water releases from Lake Okeechobee and red tide were the biggest answers.

Regarding transportation, road and parking issues, speeding on Captiva Drive, children driving golf carts and illegal parking problems in high season came out on top. Speed limits needing to be enforced and inadequate walking and biking paths were the top concerns noted for the open-ended responses.

On development pattern and ambiance, preserving the historic dark night sky, loud music after 10 p.m. and unauthorized fireworks came out on top. Houses that are too large being built setback to setback on too small of lots and keeping the height restrictions were the top answers before the suggested ranking.

As far as native vegetation and invasive species, the clear-cutting of lots, excessive removal of trees and monitor lizards and iguanas came out on top. Prior to ranking, rabbits and no opinion were it.

Gooderham is aiming to clean up the answers more, and by location, for the next meeting.

"A response may be very strong, but it may be geographic," he said.

For example, fishing off the bridge may be of no concern to South Seas residents.

Panel Member Rene Miville agreed.

"You're right," he said. "It has to be looked at geographically."

Many members responded positively to the results.

"I'm amazed at the level of response that we got," Panel Member Jay Brown.

With 1,100 property owners on-island, approximately 23 percent filled out the survey.

President David Mintz agreed.

"We had a wealth of information from people, pages and pages of comments," he said.

Miville noted that issues he thought might be a priority turned out not to be.

"It's a reality check to what's important to people," he said.

The panel will next focus on the most prevalent concerns, determining what it has the authority to change or not change in terms of making recommendations to Lee County on the Captiva Code.

Also at the meeting, the panel voted unanimously to approve a contract for David Depew.

Depew, a land planner, was sought out to review the new Captiva Community Plan and to assist the panel with its ongoing work of updating the island's code. The idea behind hiring Depew is for him to help the panel with bulletproofing it all, but the initial estimate provided by him came it at $33,200.

Mintz reiterated the basics of what the panel was looking for and Depew readjusted the figure.

"He came with a counterproposal of $9,750," Mintz said.

The panel voted in support of the contact, having approved $10,000 last month to retain him.

Mintz added that he has asked Depew to conduct a presentation for the panel on April 24.

"It is primarily so the panel is fully informed as to where our starting point is," he said.

Brown provided the panel with an update on the wastewater alternative study.

"TKW (Consulting Engineers) completed some revisions to their preliminary draft that had been suggested by Lee County," he said, noting that the Lee County Commissioners reviewed the revisions. "They are now developing additional information relative to the financial analysis of this project."

Brown explained that they examining the project in terms of 20 to 30 years out.

"They are completing a draft of that portion," he said.

Once it is completed, the county will review it again.

Afterward, the panel is expected to have access to the study and the chance to review it with TKW.

"I don't think there's going to be any issue with us having input into the study," Brown said.

Once the panel provides its feedback, a meeting for the public will be set.

"TKW is not going to make a recommendation," he added. "They are simply laying out the facts."


- Panel Members Mike Kelly and Mike Lanigan reported that the panel has received $5,000 for developing and launching its new website. Lanigan expects the site to be up within a month.

"It will be much more user-friendly, much more attractive," he said, adding that it will also be an improved source of information for the public. "Hopefully, it's a better resource for the community."

- Damon Grant was introduced as the new executive director of the Captiva Erosion Prevention District. An independent special district established in 1959, the CEPD provides erosion control and preservation activities for the protection, preservation and restoration of the beach and shoreline.

He reminded those in attendance about the public meeting on April 27 on the Blind Pass Inlet Management Study update. The Lee County Division of Natural Resources is conducting it.

- Captiva Fire Chief Jeff Pawul and Lee County Sheriff's Office Lt. Mike Sawicki reminded island homeowners to maintain driveway vegetation so emergency vehicles can access their residences.

Sawicki cited a recent home fire on Upper Captiva when a stone wall was an obstruction.

"They were unable to get the fire truck around the curb to access the fire," he said, noting that the house was a total loss, along with an adjacent residence.

Pawul added that there should be a clear 3-foot radius around every fire hydrant.

"Try not to plant a bunch of bushes and bougainvillea and hibiscus around them," he said.

- Sawicki reported that the LCSO had few criminal calls this season.

"We've actually had a pretty good season so far," he said. "It was not really busy."

Sawicki noted that Vice President Mike Pence's visit went off seamlessly.

- Colleen Barany, branch manager of the Captiva Memorial Library, explained that the Lee County Library System is installing new self checkouts systemwide. The Captiva branch got one April 5.

"It's pretty cool," she said. "It's fast and easy to do."

Barany encouraged patrons to stop by to see and learn about the new technology.

- Mintz provided an update on the Captiva Drive improvements. He voiced hope in meeting with CenturyLink in the coming days - the last on the list - before meeting with property owners.

"We're working on all of that and hopefully this thing keeps moving," Mintz said.

- Lisbeth Oden, with the Captiva Hurricane Preparation and Response Committee, reported that residents can fill out certain forms to allow caretakers and emergency personnel to have access to their property if they will not be around for the upcoming hurricane season. Details at

"Try to remember to prepared," she said. "Go through your notes."

Oden added that 2016 hurricane re-entry passes will be accepted again this year.

For more on the online survey, visit



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