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CCP addresses Land Development Code

By Staff | Dec 14, 2011

At the Tuesday meeting of the Captiva Community Panel, members addressed the Lee Development Code language a project that began in June 2009. Since the building height amendment to the Lee County Comprehensive Plan was adopted by the Board of County Commissioners in September, the CCP can now concentrate on updating the code in three areas mangrove protection, rentals and signage.

“This is a proposed revision based on county comments,” said Panel Planner Max Forgey about the 17-page document based on version submitted by the Panel in October.

County proposed changes to the code include removing “purpose and intent” language on grounds that it’s in the Lee Plan; changing the definition of family and lock-off accommodations, which is a portion of a main house or accessory unit typically without a kitchen that is separated from the unit and made available for long or short-term rental.

County staff also recommended changes in the mangrove protection language to include a minimum setback of 50 feet from the Gulf or 10 feet from mean high water in the case of properties without a seawall. This would ensure protection of mangroves or provide some standard for retention, according to county staff.

The May 2010 draft stated, “mangroves on Captiva Island will be protected to the greatest extent possible in a manner consistent with Florida law and policy.” According to county staff, the term “greatest extent possiblewould not be enforceable under the comprehensive plan.

“A setback may be more appropriate to ensure mangrove protection,” the document by Forgey stated. “Currently mangrove protection is regulated by the state and Lee County has not sought delegation to allow enforcement in the manner proposed by the LDC.”

Forgey and Panel Administrator Ken Gooderham led the panel through all of the comments and suggestions proposed by county staff, and ultimately the panel decided there was language it felt strongly about keeping in the code.

“RSC 2 zoning or estate zoning is an issue,” said Gooderham. “The panel wants to clarify the language to be sure it’s clear on how multiple structures can be rented.”

While county staff feels purpose and intent language doesn’t belong in the code, the CCP believes it does matter in the case of estate zoning. For more than two years the Panel has struggled with the controversial issue of the rental principal and accessory units. Language in the October draft, that Forgey recommended retaining, represents a compromise between two strongly-held viewpoints on Captiva property rights advocates who wanted few limitations and those who contended the existing language was too lenient.

The next step in amending the LDC will be a meeting in January with Nettie Richardson, who is the principal planner, followed by a meeting with the Executive Regulatory Oversight Committee, which is tasked with assessing the impact of all new regulations on the local economy in accordance with the Lee Plan. After EROC, the amendments will be taken to the Local Planning Agency before it goes before the BOCC for final adoption.

“We want to make sure the final result is something the Captivans want and that the language meets county standards,” Gooderham said.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the Panel’s nominating committee presented four new candidates to the Panel in January. The Panel approved of the new additions unanimously. Jack Cunningham and David Rohn will fill the seats appointed by the Captiva Civic Association; and Jerry McClure, Jerry Brown and Mike Kelly will fill the seats appointed by the Captiva Property Owners Association.

They will be replacing outgoing members Rene Miville, Gordon Hullar and CCP President Sandy Stilwell. Mike Kelly, whose term under the CCA is up this month, will continue to serve on the Panel appointed by the CPOA. The Panel also unanimously voted Rick Hayduk as president with Mike Mullins serving as vice-president; Kelly was appointed as treasurer and Susan Stewart as secretary.

The next CCP meeting is slated for 9 a.m. Jan. 10 at ‘Tween Waters Inn.