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Captiva community responds to planning survey

By Staff | Dec 23, 2013

Twenty percent of the Captiva Island community responded to a survey created by the Captiva Community Panel to help with the drafting of the land use plan.

While some people asked for a hard copy of the survey, the majority of respondents completed it online through a link released to the community last month. Ken Gooderham, an administrator for the panel, said the breakdown of respondents mirrored the island population almost to the percentage point and the results were informative.

“I think if you go through the individual issues there are things people brought up that are expected and some that are surprises,” said Gooderham.

Issues on the draft survey included landscaping, historic preservation, lighting, The Village, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and beach access parking, which became a major issue since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rescinded funding for the beach renourishment project.

Gooderham said there isn’t a strong push to make more rules on Captiva, but instead educate the public about why the rules are in place.

For example, 65.7 percent of respondents said a landscaping plan should encourage the use of native or low-water species, but rather than focusing on greater enforcement or just hoping people will do the right thing, 53.6 percent said the best way to encourage the use of native plants would be through a public education campaign.

Residents were also interested in more local biking or walking, he said, with 61.1 percent saying they wanted to see wider shoulders.

One of the most interesting responses had to do with increased public parking and beach access points, cited as two of the main reasons the Army Corps pulled out of the beach renourishment project.

“There was a strong response that, no, they don’t want more access and parking. They felt there is enough,” said Gooderham.

Over half or 55.6 percent said they do not support additional public parking or beach access on Captiva Island, while 27.3 percent said they would only support it to get more funding for beach management. Only 11.1 percent said they generally supported it.

The Captiva Community Panel will spend the next month sifting through the survey data before the next meeting on Jan. 14. They will focus on a number of specific issues that will be scheduled for a series of workshops this Spring where the public can make comment and experts will be available.

For more information, visit captivacommunitypanel.com.