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CCP covers Code changes, golf carts and more

By TIFFANY REPECKI / trepecki@breezenewspapers.com - | Oct 20, 2020

The Captiva Community Panel received an update at its meeting on its Captiva Code amendments presented to Lee County, as well as heard about golf cart safety and the Captiva Drive improvements.

On Oct. 13, President David Mintz reiterated that he and Administrator Ken Gooderham had a conference call at the end of August with six county staffers regarding the panel’s recommended Code changes and the recommendations that the staffers provided, in turn, in response to its changes.

He reported that the panel had initially proposed placing the amendments in Lee County’s Land Development Code. During the call, they learned the county has been working to move all land use-related regulations into the LDC and all other rules and regulations into the Code of Ordinances.

“So we tried to produce for the panel a second integration of what we want to present to the county based on our negotiations with county staff,” Mintz said, referring to the original amendments.

They proposed that the panel accept 10 of the staff’s recommendations, including using current county definitions of beach furniture or equipment, caretaker, litter, Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems (OSTDS) and lock-off units — which are almost identical to the panel’s definitions — and the staff’s minor but not substantive suggestions regarding the proposed LDC amendments to landscaping, heritage trees, prohibited signs, signs not requiring a permit and permanent signs in commercial areas.

He noted that six staff recommendations concerned definitions solely related to the RSC-2 district, which were never subject to notice, review nor community comment, so they declined to agree.

“They didn’t seem to have a problem with it,” Mintz said of the county’s response.

They also proposed that the panel accept the staff’s recommendations to move from the LDC to the Code of Ordinances all definitions and regulations regarding plastic straws, noise disturbances, septic system inspection and maintenance, fertilizer use, and parking. To accomplish that, the panel changes were redrafted as a package of amendments to appropriately-related current ordinances in the Code.

In addition, they proposed that the panel continue to offer amendments to the LDC to protect dune vegetation, to protect beaches in the Village area from abandoned beach paraphernalia outside of turtle season, to regulate outdoor lighting and to amend landscaping and signage provisions as proposed.

“We created an ordinance for each of the things that we need,” Mintz said.

As such, they presented the panel with six draft ordinances: five separate ones amending multiple chapters within the Code of Ordinances, and a LDC ordinance for the remaining amendments.

“We created shovel-ready ordinances for them,” he said of county staffers and, eventually, the county commission. “It’s everything we proposed from the beginning. It covers everything we wanted.”

Mintz asked the panel for its input.

“I’d like to go back to them with the changes and say, “Here’s where we are,'” he said.

Panel Member Mike Mullins voiced concern and suggested an attorney review.

Treasurer Antje Baumgarten agreed.

“I can’t see any risk,” Treasurer Antje Baumgarten said of an analysis.

Mintz reported that he does not object to a review.

“My only concern is we don’t lose a lot of time — not time so much as momentum,” he said.

Panel Member Jay Brown noted that he would hate to slow down the process.

“I have complete trust in what you’re doing here,” he told Mintz. “But if we can alleviate Mike’s concern, without delaying the process in any significant way — maybe we can do that.”

A motion was made to have attorney Ralf Brookes, who has done consulting work in the past for the panel, review the changes and submit an opinion by the next meeting. It passed unanimously.

GOLF CART SAFETY

Mintz reported that the Golf Cart Safety Committee sent its recommendations, which included improved signage along Captiva Drive, to the Lee County Department of Transportation.

“The DOT sent people out to take a look at it,” he said.

Based on what was observed, county staff agreed improvements are needed.

“They agreed that we need better signage,” Mintz said.

As a result, the DOT will create and install at the south end of the Golf Cart Zone — which runs from the north end to ‘Tween Waters — signs that indicate carts are prohibited from going beyond that.

CAPTIVA DRIVE IMPROVEMENTS

Mintz reported that Johnson Engineering provided a summary of the right-of-way contributions required to construct the new sidewalk, which will stretch from the post office to Andy Rosse Lane. It also provided an easement map, detailed design of the plan and letter going to property owners.

He has been in communications with all but one of the six impacted land owners.

“They’ve all been cooperative,” Mintz said.

PANEL NOMINATING COMMITTEE

Vice President Mike Boris, panel representative and chair of the Nominating Committee, shared that the committee unanimously nominated John Jensen for a second three-year term starting in January for one panel-appointed seat and Linda Laird for her first three-year term for a second panel-picked seat.

Laird will take up the seat occupied by Mintz, who is terming out.

“Both are highly qualified candidates,” Boris said. “Very committed to the island and our work.”

The panel does not have to accept the nominations. Also, anyone from the public interested in tossing in their name for consideration at the next meeting has until Nov. 1 to submit their information.

In addition, the Captiva Island Property Owners Association’s nominations for two additional seats opening up in January were announced. It nominated Baumgarten for a second three-year term for one CPOA-appointed seat and Bob Walter for his first three-year term for the other CPOA-picked seat.

In accordance with its bylaws, there are 11 seats on the panel. A certain number of appointments are reserved for the panel and its Nominating Committee, the CPOA and Captiva Civic Association.

IN OTHER NEWS

– Brown reported that he has been trying to get the county to fund two, comprehensive engineering studies from two different firms for a central sewer system — at a total cost of about $100,000. However, Lee County Utilities Director Pam Keyes has denied the panel’s request a couple of times.

Most recently, her supervisor suggested that the panel create a MSTU to fund the studies.

– Mintz provided an update on the proposed Roosevelt Channel slow speed zone. Lee County staff are in the process of compiling and analyzing manatee data, as well as have had a preliminary conversation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, but is it too soon to know how it will go.

However, staff has enough to keep the conservation moving forward.

“So still working on making an all-year manatee zone, slow speed zone,” he said.