Captiva parking lot or not?
Many of you have read a recent news article about the Captiva Erosion Prevention District administration’s request to start a feasibility study on utilizing the lot at 15295 Captiva Drive for public parking. In addition to adding public parking, it was suggested the lot could house a permanent building for the CEPD offices, public restrooms, shower facilities, and possible shuttles for business and restaurants. As the article stated, the motion to move forward with the feasibility study did not pass; instead we were asked to find out what the community thinks about the project.
First, I want to thank those of you who have reached out to us. We are here to listen to your concerns. Please call our office at 239-472-2472 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you are thinking.
Second, rest assured that the CEPD will not move forward with any plan for a parking lot/building that would jeopardize our relationship with the residents of Captiva, the people we are here to serve.
Third, as a government entity, we are not legally permitted to have discussions with all the commissioners together outside of the noticed meetings. This means when we are brainstorming ideas to help increase the federal, state, and/or local funding for the upcoming renourishment projects, it is done at our board meetings or briefing meetings. Many times these ideas are just that – ideas – and not items that will be pursued formally. I believe that is what happened with this idea. While brainstorming to find ways to decrease the property owners’ cost for the renourishment, one way to increase funding is through additional public parking and beach access. So, staff was looking for ways to do that, saw the lot for sale, and an idea was born. We find out now that it was not an idea that will come to fruition, and that’s why we appreciate all your input.
And don’t forget, there will soon be an open seat on our board of commissioners. If you are a qualified elector residing on Captiva, you are eligible to fill the position. Send us your resume and we’ll throw your hat in the ring.
Lastly, if you want to get involved in a different way, we are looking into creating a subcommittee of our neighbors who can meet, brainstorm, and find solutions to the access issues that the CEPD is facing with the upcoming renourishment. As residents, you can provide much appreciated input regarding your concerns and what would work and wouldn’t work. You also may be privy to information that we are not, such as commercial property for sale that might work to increase public access – or even why that is not a valid solution. Please, send us an email or call the office and let us know if you are interested in serving on the subcommittee.
Above all else, please know that the CEPD is here to preserve the coastline within the tidal waters of Captiva Island. We appreciate your input; positive, negative, and constructive.
Carolyn Weaver is the administrator for the Captiva Erosion Prevention District, which is an independent special beach and shore preservation district. For more information, call 239-472-2472 or visit mycepd.com.