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Panel to discuss building height amendment

By Staff | Sep 2, 2011

When the Captiva Community Panel gathers next week, their agenda is scheduled to include discussions involving the Lee Plan amendment on height restrictions on the island as well as updates from the Captiva Erosion Prevention District and Hurricane Preparedness & Response Committee.

Last month, officials from Lee County visited Captiva to conduct a workshop where residents were given an opportunity to voice their opinion on the proposed building height amendment.

For more than two years, the panel has worked on establishing new building height restrictions as part of its planned update to the Lee County Land Development Code. The idea was to match the Lee Plan, which has the same legal standing as the county’s build-back policy to help avoid any administrative conflict in the event of a structure-damaging storm.

The 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 allows island property owners the least restrictive of the following options:

35 feet above the average grade of the lot or 42 feet above mean sea level measured to the peak of the roof, whichever is lower

28 feet above the lowest horizontal member at or below the lawful base flood elevation measured to the mean level between eaves and ridge in the case of gable, hip and gambrel roofs. If the lowest horizontal member is set above the base flood elevation the 28-foot measurement will be measured starting from the base flood elevation.

“Due to the nature of the barrier island, the height of buildings and structures is dependent on conditions such as elevation of the site above sea level and flood elevation requirement,” the proposed modification states.

It goes on to state purely ornamental structural appurtenances necessary for mechanical or structural functions may extend an additional 4 feet above the roof peak or 8 feet above the lowest mean height level, so long as the elements equal 20 percent or less of the total roof area.

The final step in the Lee Plan amendment process to change Captiva’s building heights regulations is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 28 beginning at 9:30 a.m. when Lee County Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing to adopt all the Lee Plan amendment in this cycle. The meeting will be held at the Lee County Courthouse, located at 2115 Second Street in Fort Myers.

“The hearing agenda has not been issued, so we do not know when Captiva’s amendment will be heard from among the more than ?? amendments in the cycle,” Ken Gooderham wrote in his e-mail notification to island citizens last week. “This is a public hearing, so public comment will be accepted as each amendment is discussed by the board. Should a second hearing be necessary, it will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 19 beginning at 9:30 a.m.”

Also, the next meeting of the Captiva Erosion Prevention District will take place on Thursday, Sept. 8 starting at 3 p.m. at ‘Tween Waters Inn, a shift from the usual

Wednesday noon district meeting. This will be followed by the district’s first public hearing on the 2012 budget at 5:01 p.m. The second budget hearing is set for Thursday, Sept. 22 also at 5:01 p.m. at Tween Waters Inn.

For more information, call the CEPD 472-2472

In addition, the Captiva Island Fire Control District will hold a public hearing on its 2012 budget on Friday, Sept. 9 starting at 5:01 p.m. The meeting will be held at

the Captiva Fire Station, located at 14981 Captiva Drive. Call 472-9494 for more details.

(Editor Shannen Hayes contributed to this report.)