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Captiva Community Panel discusses Captiva Code and coastal construction control lines

By Staff | Dec 20, 2017

The Captiva Code and the Captiva Plan, along with a plethora of other things, were under discussion during last Tuesday’s Captiva Community Panel meeting.

David Mintz, vice president of the Captiva Community Panel said that the county sent the Captiva Plan up to the state Nov. 29 for approval. He is expecting to hear back in a month.

Mintz noted that he hopes to submit the Captiva Code to the county for tentative adoption by the end of 2019.

“What we have told the county is that we want to do the code ourselves. We want to do the specifics to implement the plan ourselves,” Mintz said.

Mintz said that as of right now, there isn’t money in the budget for the code. However, there are a few ways that can be helped.

“There are two ways a community can make amendments. One is you can enter into a contract with the county to do this code process and then present it to the county through the negations like we did with the (Captiva Plan) and go from there. The other way you do it, is the community initiates a code amendment,” Mintz said.

As far as the wastewater study, Jay Brown, chair of the Wastewater Committee, said the panel has an obligation to inform the public about TKW’s scope study and their objectives. Three documents explaining the study are available on captivacommunitypanel.com.

“It’s designed to be fully transparent,” Brown said.

During next month’s meeting, Brown will give a brief summary of the work that’s been done so far.

Last month during a Captiva Community Panel meeting, Rae Ann Wessell, natural resources director at Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation brought to the panel’s attention that Lee County was considering permitting septic tanks seaward of the 1978 (Coastal Construction Control Line).

“There’s a 78 line which is right along the coast and we’ve never allowed septics seaward – close to the water than that line. There’s was a proposal and amendment to change that that the staff of Lee County has just made and that’s why Rae Ann (Wessel) came to us. In 1991, the state came up with another one which is called the 1991 Coastal Construction Control Line and that line is further landward. That is a line of jurisdiction for the state and that means if you want to build anything seaward of the 1991 line, you have to get a permit from the state, not just from the county. And anybody who builds anything knows that if you’re on the other side of that 1991 Coastal Construction Line, you go to the state to get a permit. The state permits you to build and place a septic between the 1991 and 1978 line,” Mintz said. “The reason this came up is because the state did approve a septic tank seaward of the 1978 (Coastal Construction Control) Line and the county basically refused to issue a permit because it was seaward of the 1978 (Coastal Construction Control) Line. So then, the county rather than telling the owner to seek a variance, the county said let’s just eliminate the 1978 (Coastal Construction Control) Line.”

After doing research, Mintz found that the language of the code was changed in 2005. During the meeting, Wessel said that it is the county’s duties, not the state’s, to deal with issues pertaining to the coastal construction lines.

“There should never be this dismissal of responsibility from the county,” Wessel said. “Face it, the state is not the one who is going to come in to pay for our water quality issues, the county is. The state is not the one who is going to come in to help property owners who’s property values are eroding because of conditions. The state is not going to come in and restore beaches.”

The panel unanimously decided to come up with a concept that would not allow changes seaward of the 1978 Coastal Construction Control Line.

On the topic of Captiva Drive, Mintz said that after meeting with LCEC Dec. 8, he learned that utility poles will need to be moved for construction of the road.

“To our happy surprise, we found out that only two poles need to be moved,” Mintz said.

During the meeting, Kathy Rooker, administrator of the Captiva Erosion District said that she will be leaving in March. She is currently helping the county to find someone else to fill her position. CEPD is looking to hire an economist.

Lastly, the panel announced a fundraiser that will be held at the Rauschenberg estate on Captiva in March. The event is limited to 50 tickets. For the fundraiser, Captiva Community Panel President Rene Miville will be donating one the photographs he took of Robert Rauschenberg.

A new panel president will be decided upon in January. Nominees are Dave Jensen and David Mintz. Peter Koury resigned from the panel and will be replaced by Jay Brown. Sandy Stilwell is termed out.