January 18, 2005

Panel Members in Attendance: Hal Miller, Chris van der Baars, Gordon Hullar, Rene Miville, John Madden, Dave Jensen

Absent: Ron Gibson, Peter Koury, and Harry Silverglide

Audience: 29

1. The meeting was called to order at 9:05 AM.

2. Introductions and roll call were made by Hal Miller. The minutes of the January 18, 2005, meeting were unanimously approved as presented. Motion by van der Baars, second by Hullar.

3. Update on Underground Utilities Plans.
Van der Baars explained that guidelines for establishing an MSBU have changed, and permits may now be required to use the right of way along the roadside. Criteria must be met, i.e., is there sufficient public benefit from the project? Currently there is an estimated 50% financing and administrative charge from the county for an MSBU. At least 51% of all Captiva property owners in the benefiting area must agree, by signed and notarized petition, that they support and will pay for the project.
Gooderham announced that there will be a meeting on February 23 for all parties concerned in this issue. He shared the tentative costs for the project: $3,112 per connection, or $4,846.58 by strap number/property. An owner would then still have to pay to bring the connection to his home.
Sprint lines are already underground. Comcast lines would be easier to move underground, and if the project is approved, could be laid separate from LCEC lines.

4. Discussion of Expansion of Sewer Service to Captiva.
Gooderham announced that Sanibel has opened bids for the final phase of their project, and costs are already over budget. He received a letter from the city regarding Captiva's request to be included in the project as it nears Blind Pass. Costs for the first phase of the project would not exceed $56,966, and would require that Sanibel's sewer consultants meet with Captiva representatives to draft a feasibility plan for the connection. This phase would also establish costs, as well as funding and revenue options.
The second phase would involve public hearings, a final impact fee and assessment formulation, negotiating with state funding sources, and the actual application. Costs for this phase would not exceed $125,000.
Miville presented a motion , seconded by Hullar, that the panel vigorously pursue alternatives to improve water quality on Captiva and to table the sewer connection to Sanibel for now. Motion approved, 5-1, with Jensen dissenting. Gooderham will draft a letter to this effect to the City of Sanibel.
Two officials from the Lee County Health Department, Kevin Kamay and Dustin Sabins, talked about various types of septic systems available to homeowners. They noted that the Health Department can only ask a homeowner to repair/change their system if there is a problem, when a complaint is filed, or when a permit is required for the work.
The present Water Quality Committee will focus their attention on septic systems.

5. Discussion of Reforestation Issues.
Miville opened the discussion by stating that he met with Rick Joyce, an environmental scientist for the County, regarding the reforestation issues on Captiva. He said that Governor Bush was making $300,000 available to Sanibel/Captiva for a design plan, and that Captiva needs to develop their plan immediately to be ready when the funds are released.
Miville introduced a motion, seconded by van der Baars, to authorize Rick Joyce to move ahead with a design plan. After discussion with no support, Miville withdrew his motion.
Bill Fenniman, who heads the Reforestation Task Force established by the CCA, was told that the grant money, which is for design only, was not applied for, and Gooderham suggested Fenniman get together with Rick Joyce for clarification on the grant application and pursuing budgeted funds.
Miller suggested that Miville work together with Fenniman and his committee to best serve the interests of Captiva and its residents.

6. Discussion of Bike Safety Shoulder Designs.
Randy Cerchie explained that his Director had tentatively agreed to 11 foot lanes, with 4 foot shoulders for Captiva, and would be proposing this for the county's plan by the end of February.
Dan Moser was present and related that staff of Robert Rauschenberg, a property owner in the village section of Captiva, was still open to providing a better pedestrian situation by means of an easement to his property, which lies under the curve of Captiva Drive before South Seas Resort. Evidently there is a possibility of removing the blinking light there which was installed before the four way stop sign was assigned at the corner of Andy Rosse Lane.
Miville presented a motion, seconded by Hullar, to authorize Randy Cerchie to develop an estimate to install a safety shoulder on Captiva Drive either from Blind Pass to the South Seas beach access, or from the southern s-curve to the South Seas beach access. This estimate can serve as a basis for a funding request to be included in the FY-2005-2006 Lee County DOT budget to enable such work to be proceed in a timely and convenient manner. By safety shoulder, the Captiva Community Panel means restriping and adding to the pavement of Captiva Drive to develop two 11 foot driving lanes and two 4-foot safety shoulders, striped for use by bicyclists and pedestrians. Motion was approved, 6-0.

7. Update on Status of 2004 Text Amendment.
Gooderham announced that the hearing for the text amendments likely will be on March 28, and he urged any members of the panel who could to attend in support of these amendments. The County staff report will be available online. He did not feel that any of the amendments would run into trouble, but added that there would probably be some question regarding the height of the cell tower proposed for South Seas.
If the tower was constructed to the 170 feet allowed by the amendment language, a beacon might be required for navigational purposes. The tower could work for its commercial purposes at 149 feet, but the additional 20 feet was sought to allow public safety agencies to include their communications equipment on the tower. Also, the applicant would still need to seek a variance to the county Land Development Code, both for the tower location and for height restrictions relating to Captiva still in the LDC.
Representatives from the Captiva Fire District and the Lee County Sheriff's Office spoke to the need for improved communications on the island, but agreed that their agencies could not promise to put equipment on the tower until it was actually constructed. The panel agreed by consensus that the public safety consideration outweighed any concern about navigational beacons. Van der Baars suggested that, based on his experience in Hurricane Charley, that it was imperative to get the maximum tower possible for communications in a disaster, and that the beacon might even be beneficial for rescue aircraft seeking to land on the island.
If approved by the Local Planning Agency in March, the text amendments may be transmitted by the county commissioners in June, then go to the state for final review and county approval.

8. Miller introduced the newest Captiva deputy, Cpl. Howard, and welcomed him to our area. He suggested, also, that the panel draft a thank you letter to Sheriff Scott for following through on his promise to add a third deputy.

9. Ray Pavelka was present to notify the panel that there was a glitch in the notice provision regarding the Harbour Pointe development proposal being heard by the Lee County Hearing Examiner. The meeting originally scheduled for February 9 has been continued and will likely be changed to March 4.

10. The next meeting of the Captiva Community Panel will be on March 15, 2005, at 10 AM, and it will be held at the Captiva Yacht Club.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:45 AM.

Back to the Index of Meeting MinutesTop of Page