CAPTIVA COMMUNITY PANEL

Minutes
January 13, 2004


Panel Members in Attendance: Dave Jensen, Gordon Hullar, Ron Gibson, Peter Koury, Rene Miville, Harry Silverglide

Panel Members Absent: Chris van der Baars, Hal Miller, John Madden

Audience: 11

1. Roll call was taken at 9:00 AM.

2. The minutes of the November 11 meeting were approved, with corrections. Motion by Silverglide, second by Gibson. Approved 6-0.

3. Gibson summarized the meeting held about Blind Pass as a good meeting, with approximately 100 people in attendance. There were many agencies represented, as well as a number of Sanibel residents. Gibson maintained that all groups will try to keep both Sanibel and Captiva residents informed on an ongoing basis as to progress of the Blind Pass Project. Currently, the target date for reopening the Pass is January, 2005. There is a possibility of another open meeting to take place this spring.

4. David Felton, president of Communication Development Services, Inc., was present to make a presentation concerning a Lee Plan amendment to permit replacement of the communications tower located on Captiva Island at South Seas Resort. The current tower at South Seas is approximately 125-150 feet tall, and the proposed replacement would be 170 feet tall. The tower would be owned by CDS, Inc., and would provide access to private wireless companies, as well as Lee County Emergency Services.

The first draft of the Lee Plan proposed language amendment states for Policy 21.2: "No building or structure may be erected or altered so that the peak of the roof exceeds 35 feet about the average grade of the lot in question or 42 fee above mean sea level, whichever is lower. However, the existing telecommunications facility located in maintenance and engineering area of South Seas Resort may be replaced in such area to a height not to exceed 170 feet. (Proposed revisions are underlined.) Jerry Murphy, a planner with Lee County, was present to answer questions, as was planner Jim Mudd. The proposed amendment will be submitted for adoption at a public hearing by the county commission as part of the current text amendment submitted by the panel. Once approved, CDS would then have to apply for a variance for a wireless facility at that location. Questions were presented by both the panel and the audience as to whether the structure is necessary for emergency services and wireless communication, and whether the new tower proposed for the Sanctuary would be sufficient for improved communication. Murphy cautioned that the language needs to be carefully crafted to allow for future growth on Captiva. Mudd noted that the language needs to be submitted by the end of February 2004, to be included for the comprehensive plan amendment.
The proposed tower, which would be built by CDS, would be erected on land leased from SSR, and a second story would be added to the old fire station building to house a radio room. Felton emphasized that there would be no impact to wild life or mangroves, and the new tower should not be visible outside SSR property. Gibson made a motion to publicize the tower issue immediately, discuss it again at February's meeting, and call for a vote at that meeting. Second by Hullar. Passed 6-0. Silverglide requested information from Felton regarding the possible impact on wildlife and vegetation, and what types of technology could be included on the proposed tower. Felton will provide this at the February meeting.

5. Ken Gooderham presented an update on the text amendment submission and some possible revisions. The amendments were submitted to Lee County in September 2003, and Gooderham's revisions were based on his response to a discussion with County Attorney Tim Jones regarding same. The amendments were also renumbered due to the revised insertion of the first amendments into the Lee Plan.
Policy 13.1.10. New requests for residential re-zoning that would increase density on said property above current zoning will not be permitted.

The panel agreed to take no action on a change to this proposed amendment.

Policy 13.1.11. Due to the seasonal nature of the population inhabiting Captiva, and due to the county's desire to encourage the broadest possible public participation, zoning or rezoning requests, and all variance, special exception and special permit applications for parcels located on Captiva Island shall only be scheduled for public hearing between November 1 and May 1 of any year. For applications received during other months, the first available hearing date after November 1 shall be provided, subject to a determination that the application is sufficient and in accordance with all applicable regulations concerning application requirements. In the event of a hurricane, fire, flood or other natural disaster, the Lee County Board of Commissioners may suspend this requirement by finding the extraordinary circumstances apply.

The panel agreed to take no action on a change to this proposed amendment.

Policy 13.1.12. Variances should be limited to unique, specifically authorized circumstances and will be allowed only in situations where unnecessary hardship would otherwise occur, i.e.,

  • Where the hardship cannot be corrected by other means allowed in the ordinances;
  • Where the variance, if issued, will be corrective and not beneficial;
  • Where the applicant did not cause the need for the variance;
  • Where the variance would not diminish the property value of others; and
  • Where the variance is not contrary to the spirit of the ordinance.

Koury made a motion to add the following statement to the policy, to be inserted after "otherwise occur," "where all of the following are met." Second by Silverglide. Passed 6-0.

Policy 13.1.13. Mangroves on Captiva Island will be protected to the greatest extent possible, and county discretionary acts involving development on Captiva Island shall not encourage the destruction or alteration of mangroves. Within one year of adoption of this plan amendment, Captivans working in conjunction with county planning staff shall amend the Lee County Land Development Code to establish a sufficient setback requirement to place fill near existing mangroves or require development designs that address the interface of fill areas with existing mangroves to eliminate impacts from fill sloughing or washing into mangrove areas. Development designs in this context include setbacks, stabilized slopes, retaining walls, rip rap revetments, etc.

The panel agreed to take no action on a change to this proposed amendment.

Policy 13.1.14. The canopy on Captiva Drive between the Blind Pass Bridge and the first s-curve will be protected to the greatest extent possible. Trees that are part of the canopy will only be removed if deemed necessary for public health, safety or storm damage. If Australian Pines (or other trees that contribute to the canopy) are removed, they will be replaced by trees that will preserve the policy.

Hullar made motion to change the policy to the proposed wording, as follows. Second by Miville. Passed 6-0.

The canopy on Captiva Drive between the Blind Pass Bridge and the first s-curve will be protected from destruction or alteration caused by humans to the greatest extent possible. Trees that are part of the canopy over and adjacent to Captiva Drive will only be removed if deemed necessary for public health, safety or storm damage. If Australian pines or other trees that contribute to the canopy are removed, they will be replaced by trees that will preserve the road canopy. Trees that are removed for safety reasons will not be replaced in their exact location but in one that is safer for the general public but that will still contribute to the overall road canopy.

6. Miville initiated a discussion about the monthly fee paid to Gooderham & Associates Inc, and suggested that the organizations sponsor just one fund raiser this spring, eliminating "Spring Fling" in favor of the ABC Sale. He suggested that the panel ask CCA to continue this funding to G&A with the $10,000 they have committed to this. Hullar will approach CCA with this request, and bring the information back to this panel in February.

7. Meeting was adjourned at 11:05 AM. The next CCP meeting will be Feb. 10, 2004, at 9:00 AM at the CCA Building, 11550 Chapin Lane, Captiva Island, Florida.

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