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Panel gets first look at draft Code language

By Staff | May 21, 2019

TIFFANY REPECKI Panel Member Ante Baumgarten, fourth from right, shares her opinion on sharing the draft copy of the new Captive Code with the public prior to submitting the finalized approved version to Lee County.

At its recent meeting, the Captiva Community Panel had its initial review of what the new Captiva Code language may look like, as well as agreed to a proposal to address chapel service parking.

On May 14, President David Mintz presented the panel with a draft copy of the Code, which is the result of public workshops, an online community survey and multiple meetings to address an array of topics. It also looked at proposed suggestions to the Captiva Plan from a local planning consultant.

He explained that he wanted to go over the proposed changes in the document one-by-one with the panel, then have them provide feedback to Administrator Ken Gooderham for future discussion. Mintz added that the idea was to talk about and adjust the draft in the next few months based on the input.

Once the final document is agreed upon, the panel can present it to Lee County.

Some on the panel asked when the community would have a chance to see it and provide feedback.

Mintz said the intent was the beginning of next season or even the summer.

“We are going to make the final decisions, but the community should have a chance to review it in case we missed something,” he said. “I think the community should see it.”

Many voiced their support.

“I would like to have everybody see this,” Panel Member Mike Lanigan said.

Panel Member Ante Baumgarten agreed that the information needs to be shared with the community, and it is up to them if they read it or not. She noted that some do not even know there is a Code.

Panel Member Jay Brown suggested holding a community meeting to go over the draft.

“I think that’s a good suggestion,” Mintz said, adding that he would like the panel to go through its internal editing process first before setting one up. “So we have a consensus among ourselves.”

Prior to diving into the document, Mintz noted that some topics – gas or electric golf carts, gas or electric leaf blowers, mangroves, vegetative setbacks and Depew’s suggestions – were not included.

“There’s some things that are not in here,” he said. “We’re putting it in a future agenda.”

For most of the sections and articles, Mintz reiterated where the updated draft language came from and answered questions from the panel. However, he stopped to point out Sec. 33-161, Blind Pass Bridge.

“This is a placeholder,” Mintz said.

He explained that he is not sure if closing the bridge to fishing is a Code issue. Mintz added that meetings need to be set up with the Lee County Department of Transportation to figure it out.

Secretary Mike Mullins suggested sending the department a letter asking it to revoke the fishing.

Staff was directed to look into the process for closing fishing on the bridge.

After going over the draft, the panel members agreed to send Gooderham their feedback.

Vice President Mike Borris, speaking as a representative for the Captiva Chapel by the Sea, next presented the panel with a proposed plan to address overflow parking during Sunday services.

He explained that the chapel has been operating in its present form for 70 years and holds service on Sundays 25 weeks out of the year in-season. Parking on the street was once not an issue, but as the island developed and empty lots turned into houses, it has become a problem over the last few years.

Borris said the chapel puts out cones and has someone directing traffic.

“Still, there continues to be some noise, some concern,” he said.

Currently, street parking is not permitted on Captiva.

Borris presented a proposed change to the language of the island’s ordinances that would make an exemption on those 25 Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for the four side streets of the chapel.

After some discussion, the panel voted 10-0 to accept the proposal from the chapel, draft a letter for adjacent property owners and request their feedback, and then decide what to do after it received the owners’ input.