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Captiva Community Panel reaches consensus on planning survey

By Staff | Oct 15, 2013

The Captiva Community Panel is ready to move forward with a survey to receive input on future land and zoning topics.

During its Oct. 8 meeting, the panel reached consensus on the draft survey, which asks property owners their opinion on landscaping, historic preservation, lighting, The Village, pedestrian and bicycle safety, parking, and other island issues.

Within the next two weeks the panel will begin mailing postcards throughout Captiva Island asking residents to complete the online survey by Nov. 15, so the results can be discussed at the Dec. 10 meeting of the Captiva Community Panel. The postcard will also tell residents how to request a printed survey if they prefer a hardcopy.

Final changes made to the Captiva Plan will be forwarded to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners this Spring for possible inclusion in the county’s comprehensive plan.

Panelists and planning staff stressed that the survey wasn’t a definitive vote, instead it was an opportunity to hear from the public before the topics are discussed in-depth in a series of four workshops.

“That (the survey) is going to provide the talking points for the four workshops we will have between January and March, three of those will be held in tandem with this meeting,” said Max Forgey, planner for the Captiva Community Panel. “We aren’t limited to the topics in the survey, we can go beyond that, but we would like to cover those topics as much as we can.”

Kathie Ebaugh, principal planner for the Lee County Planning Division, said community planning surveys are intentionally kept open, broad-based, and engaging to involve the public.

“It’s an inquiry for the community to see where we should start from, and it’s not a vote,” said Ebaugh. “This is just about getting ideas on the table.”

Ken Gooderham, panel administrator, said the third draft represented a fair amount of change based on discussions among the panel and public. He presented the survey as it would appear online and panelists asked for slight adjustments to language or identified typing errors.

Lee County staff has also volunteered to provide Captiva Island with facilitators to further question the community based on the results of the survey, said Forgey.

The last update to the Captiva Plan was 10 years ago and new questions were designed to hear about topics that have surfaced in the last decade.

For more information, visit captivacommunitypanel.com.