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Panel reviews draft survey for community as part of Captiva Code update

By Staff | Feb 16, 2018

TIFFANY REPECKI At its Feb. 13 meeting, the Captiva Community Plan deadlocked in a 5-5 vote over filing financial disclosure forms. Secretary Mike Mullins, right, sitting beside panel member Mike Lanigan, was one of those who disagreed with the practice. The panel agreed to revisit the issue at its next meeting.

After announcing that the county had approved the new Captiva Community Plan, the Captiva Community Panel reviewed a proposed survey that will be used to help update the existing codes.

At the Feb. 13 meeting, the panel examined the draft of an online community survey, which island homeowners and property owners will be asked to fill out, so the panel can determine what issues are important to the public. The survey is part of a multi-prong approach to revising the Captiva Code.

Prior to discussing the questionnaire, panel President David Mintz reported that the updated plan had received “unanimous approval” from the Lee County Board of County Commissioners on Feb. 7.

He explained that the plan “governs the day-to-day public and private activities on Captiva.” Mintz added that it will be used as a source for future land development and other discretionary actions.

“It represents the community’s vision of what Captiva should look like,” he said.

With the plan complete, the members turned to the draft questionnaire.

Panel member Jay Brown voiced concern about the language used – and lack of.

“It focuses everyone’s attention on a set of possible issues that we have described for them,” he said.

At last month’s meeting, the panel outlined a plan and timeline for reviewing the existing codes and providing opportunities for the public to share its thoughts on subjects ranging from beach issues, water quality and shoreline protection, to transportation, traffic, parking and development. In addition to the survey, four public workshops are scheduled through February and March to collect more feedback.

Brown called the language of the survey broad in some areas, but specific in other areas, such as maintaining the Coastal Construction Control Line compared with beach cleanup and plastic straws.

He also suggested adding a “no opinion” box to the rankings of importance.

“So we’re not forcing people to write something they don’t understand,” Brown said.

He also recommended putting the fill-in-the-blank boxes ahead of asking the issue rankings.

“So we encourage people to focus on what they think the key issues are,” Brown said.

Others members echoed support and the panel voted to move forward with the survey.

During committee reports, the panel voted 9-1 to spend up to $10,000 on updating its website and improving communication related to the site. Treasurer Tom Rathbone was the dissenting vote.

“What we’re really focusing on right now is the website,” panel member Mike Lanigan, a sitting member of the communications committee, said.

Mintz noted that the funds will provide for a redesigned website, plus cover maintenance and upkeep. It could be used for announcements and emergencies, possibly later expanding to include social media.

The panel also discussed hiring land planner David Depew to:

– Review the new Captiva plan and supporting data and analysis, as well as current code

– Review deliverables for Captiva Code review

– Prepare a presentation on current zoning, ordinances and codes regarding density and intensity

– Help the panel prepare options for code amendments, ordinances and regulations, as well as any bullet-proofing of the plan or code

– Review and revise code amendments, ordinances and regulations as requested

Mintz explained that the island contains a patchwork of different zones with different rules. With the conflicting ordinances and zoning, the aim is to figure out what properties can be used for later on.

Panel member Mike Kelly pointed to counties overturning what was believed to be perfect zoning.

“That’s the kind of protection that I hope he’ll provide for us,” he said of Depew.

Mintz provided an update on meeting with Lee County Commissioners Cecil Pendergrass and John Manning and county staff regarding the Coastal Construction Control Line LDC amendment. He reported that the proposal was withdrawn after it was found the 1978 line was actually the 1991 line.

A new proposal requires a variance for seaward development using the 1991 line.

“The staff has responded to our resolution,” he said.

It will go before some committees before final approval and adoption, which is expected in April.

The panel also locked horns in a 5-5 vote over filing financial disclosure forms.

Secretary Mike Mullins and others disagreed with the practice.

“It is invasive. People here volunteer their time, money,” he said, adding that the bylaws already require any member with a conflict of interest to disclaim it to the panel. “I just feel like why put a burden on people who want to join this group.”

Mintz recommended that the panel continue to fill out the forms for Lee County.

“Because we’re seeking money from the county,” he said, adding that the members have used them in the past. “They’re looking for conflicts – property we own, things we have investments in.”

Mintz made a motion to continue the practice, which died with the tie.

The panel agreed to revisit the issue at its next meeting.

Also during the committee reports, Brown reported that the wastewater committee had a meeting with TKW Consulting Engineers a few weeks ago and the firm provided an update on the work to date.

“I’ve received status communications from them in the meantime,” he added.

Brown said TKW expects to have a rough draft ready of its principal findings in about two or three weeks. The firm was hired to review and evaluate alternative long-term wastewater strategies.

“That will give us an opportunity to give them additional input on things we think they should be looking at,” he said.

Brown pointed out that TKW may not be able to conduct public meetings until May.

Once the study is complete, the findings will be presented to the community via the public meetings. The panel will then formulate a wastewater strategy, which will go before the voters for a decision.

In other news

– Lee County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Mike Sawicki reported nearly 6,000 calls for service in 2017. There were nearly 400 citations and 25 traffic crashes, most of which were “private property” accidents.

“We made 19 custodial arrests,” he said, adding there were two felony drug cases.

With more than 80 false alarm calls, Sawicki recommended that residents check their equipment.

– Mintz provided an update on the Captiva Drive improvements. He reported that Lee County Electric Cooperative estimated it will cost $17,000 to move the poles, with Comcast at $3,000 to $5,000.

Contact still has to be made with Century Link and Island Water.

“We’re making progress, slowly by surely,” Mintz said.

– Lanigan announced that Monday after the Masters is seeking sponsorships. The fundraiser, which benefits the panel, will be held April 9 at 3 p.m. at the Captiva Course at the South Seas Island Resort.

The next meeting is March 13 at 9 a.m. at South Seas Island Resort, at 5400 Plantation Road, Captiva.

For more information on the Captiva code and plan, visitwww.captivacommunitypanel.com.