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County staff to conduct workshop on proposed building height amendment

By Staff | Aug 12, 2011

Members of the Lee County staff will be conducting a workshop regarding the building height amendment to the Lee Plan proposed by the Captiva Community Panel. The community is welcome to provide input on the amendment, which seeks to alter how building heights are regulated on the island.

The current height restrictions, which were enacted in the 1990s, capped building heights at 42 feet above mean sea level or 35 feet above the average grade of the lot. The proposed language allows property owners to build or rebuild under the least restrictive of the following options:

35 feet above the average grade of the lot or 42 feet above the mean sea level to the peak of the roof.

28 feet above the lowest horizontal member at or below the lawful base flood elevation, measured to the mean level of the roof.

The idea was to match the Lee Plan, which has the same legal status as the county’s build-back policy, to help avoid administrative conflict in the event of a structure-damaging storm.

The Lee County Local Planning Agency approved the amendment in May, and the Board of County Commissioners voted 3-2 in June to transmit it for state review. The amendment is currently waiting on a final vote from the BOCC.

“We have been asking for input from the community all along,” said CCP President Sandy Stilwell. “But this (workshop) is one last effort to hear the community before it goes to vote.”

If anyone is interested in attending the workshop to voice his or her opinion, it will be held at 9 a.m. on Aug. 17 at the Captiva Island Yacht Club, located at 15903 Captiva Drive.

In addition, planner Max Forgey presented the panel with an 11-page report on the growth management rewrite (HB 7207) recently signed by Gov. Rick Scott. The bill dissolved the Department of Community Affairs, the state’s land planning and community development agency, and eliminated state oversight of local planning except when proposals with statewide impact are involved.

“We need to help the state know what are important state resources, like beaches,” Forgey said.

Panel member Mike Mullins urged the audience to attend Captiva Erosion Prevention District’s monthly meetings and become more involved with the management of Captiva’s award-winning beaches.

“It would be a great loss to the State of Florida if it lost its beaches,” Mullins noted.

The next CCP meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Sept. 7 in the Wakefield Room at ‘Tween Waters Inn, located at 15951 Captiva Drive.

The CEPD commissioners meet the second Wednesday of each month at noon in the Wakefield Room of ‘Tween Waters Inn. The next meeting will be Sept. 14.