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CCP frustrated with BOCC over building height amendment

By Staff | Jun 17, 2011

The Captiva Community Panel was frustrated to learn the Board of County Commissioners is requiring more community discussion on its proposed building height amendment in the Lee Plan. Although the proposal was voted 3-2 to transmit it to the state by the BOCC during its June meeting, three of the five commissioners felt there needed to me more clarity and a general community consensus on the matter.

“Get rid of the ‘they’ and ‘we’ and become an ‘us,'” Kathy Evaugh, principal planner with the Lee County Department of Community Development, told the panel. “(The BOCC) wants a full community discussion, with county staff involved, on the impact of this amendment.”

Since June 2009, the CCP has been investigating its options on the building height restrictions as part of its update of the Lee County Land Development Code. Current building height restrictions on Captiva, which were enacted in the 1990s, cap building heights at 42 feet above mean sea level or 35 feet above the average grade of the lot.

The proposed language would allow an alternative cap of 28 feet above the lowest horizontal member at or below the lawful base flood elevation, measured to the mean level of the roof. CCP member Rene Miville felt the BOCC was not getting the proper message and offered to meet with the BOCC and county staff to help clarify the issue.

“We will work to get a successful resolution,” Evaugh reassured the panel.

The state now has 45 days to review the amendment before it is returned to the BOCC, which has 180 days for a final vote. Despite the panel’s concern of few Captivans remaining on the island, there will be another community meeting scheduled to try and find common ground on the proposed building height restrictions amendment. CCP President Sandy Stillwell stated the panel would do what the BOCC has requested of it.

In other agenda items:

• Pumfey Steffens addressed the panel and crowd about a new environmental volunteer group looking to provide education on being green on Captiva.

• The panel decided to begin the nomination process early for the five seats that will become vacant at the end of the year.

• Dave Jensen discussed water quality on the island. Topic areas included identifying major sources of nitrogen and how to lower your contribution; how to lessen or slow runoff; how to increase vegetation and permeable surfaces; ways to improve the performance of your septic system; and why better water quality matters to the islands.

Jensen suggested implementations included inviting presentations to the panel by SCCF, Bob Walsh or other possible vendors; developing a web site as an educational tool; keeping focus on the day-to-day things islanders can do to improve water quality; and look for pilot projects, such setting up a filtration project at the east end of Andy Rosse Lane drain.

CCP Mike Mullins agreed the panel needed to keep water quality on the island in the forefront.

The next CCP meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 12 in the Wakefield Room at ‘Tween Waters Inn, located at 15951 Captiva Drive.