March 11, 2007

Panel Members in Attendance: Ron Gibson, Gordon Hullar, Dave Jensen, Mike Kelly, Nathalie Pyle, Craig Schwan, Sandy Stilwell

Audience: 30

1. The meeting convened at 9:05 a.m.

2. Roll call and introductions:
HULLAR: Thanks to Jeff Shuff and Tween Waters Inn for hosting this meeting. The panel may meet here for the balance of the calendar year. Parking at Captiva Island Yacht Club is available, but we have to leave the fire access lane to the rear of the property open. Also room in the back to park. Priorities for 2008 handout at back. GIBSON: Motion to approve the Feb. 12, 2008, minutes (Kelly second) unanimous approval.

3. Variance application:
HULLAR: Explanation of process on island. TRACY BEAN: Introduced Kathy Rodriquez, property owner. Handout of site plan for 11450 Dickey Lane, corner of Mango Court. Explanation of hardship, required setback of accessory structure from road (100') and electric lines. Variance seeks setback of 15 feet from ROW. Proposes to increase vegetation around existing cabbage palms with native hedge 5-6 feet tall. Similar hedge photos distributed to panel members. Second variance covers ROW from both roads--10 feet from Mango Court, 20 feet from Dickey Lane. Horizontal clearance for pool must be 10 feet from power lines. Application already turned in. PAUL GARVEY: Adjacent property owner, no yet contacted. Asked about 100-foot rule from ROW BEAN: Gave citation of accessory uses rule. Discussion of ROW location with Garvey in relation to existing palm trees; they mark edge of ROW. Brian Bissell contractor introduced, clarified ROW issue. RODRIQUEZ: Will be our primary residence in three years. BEAN: Have letters of support from adjacent property owners.

MIKE MULLINS: Explanation of panel role in variance hearings, provide community perspective on application. Public can comment through HEX process. BEAN/GOODERHAM: Send comments directly to HEX, greater weight typically given to statements actually made at hearing. GARVEY: While I have no objection to plan, how can it be a hardship when you're building a new house? Discussion of variances to Dickey Lane properties over time. BEAN: Hardship is a change in circumstances that forces a property owner not to be treated as others have been treated over time. Is this a case when so many variances have been granted that the rules need to be changed? STILWELL: Motion not to object to variance (Jensen second). Unanimous approval.

4. Utilities:
HULLAR: Explanation of history of proposal from its April 2004 beginning. Panel provided platform for this discussion to disseminate information to community. A significant financial commitment was made by some individuals, not by the panel. Almost four years later, discussions have come a long way. We have enough information on project scope, costs and benefits to ask property owners if this is something you want to do. KELLY: Gotten some decent numbers for some parts, missing a number of questions before we can go to a petition. Cannot forward a petition to anyone at this point. County and LCEC have been very responsive to develop some numbers to enable us to be aware of the process of moving forward. County has asked to include SSR due to aesthetic interest, which I have a hard time following. If people want to move forward looking at undergrounding their section of Captiva, we should be a facilitator for this in approaching the county for approval. If they want to follow through and develop a better cost analysis and charting ROW for installation, work with their neighbors to see if there are portions of Captiva that want to be undergrounded. Overall leap of faith in this petition is not acceptable, too many holes in the numbers. Never going to force anything on the community, we want consensus on projects such as with the safety shoulder. We're a facilitator for the community. County has been very helpful to us in gathering information. LCEC will have to face underground issues throughout their area, seems indifferent whether or not they want do this. The panel can't go forward with this petition, encourage those folks who want to proceed for their part of Captiva.

JENSEN: Support Kelly's comments. At what point does the county find out if they have easements, and how does that affect process? Will that be in the petition? HULLAR: They don't know, ask after the fact once petition is approved. SCHWAN: Petition is somewhat misleading, information missing: Reliability and number of poles remaining, who is participating and at what rate? Petition in current form is confusing to residents, need fact sheet to clarify what is being presented. GIBSON: Disappointed we're not going any further with this. Don't feel that petition is what it should be, private community with their vote could out-rule the rest of the island. Pass info back to the group that funded this study. Current poles and wires leave a bad taste in your mouth when you come on the island, an ugly scene down there. Where lines are not right along the road, it does look better. PYLE: The loud concern we heard was there was no way to know the cost of the project, to put a petition that only needs a small majority it would be defeated anyway. STILWELL: Down the road if it was a total package, if we do sewer, we could look at it again at that point.

HAL MILLER: Can they do an MSBU for particular area? HULLAR: Believe it's possible, need to confirm with the county. Explanation of why SSR was included. MULLINS: Number of ways to do a project like this: MSBU; Marco Island model (franchise tax, based on usage); Cape Coral credit card approach (only charged interest, balance paid on sale of property). I presented these ideas to the county, they preferred to do an MSBU. With a franchise tax, you'd have to compel LCEC to do that. Group of citizens could underground their particular properties. Many ways to skin the cat. ????: Petition should not go forward and project should die. HULLAR: The panel does nothing now, this never was a panel project, we supported it to provide a forum. Some group may come forward on their own. ????: That approach leaves it uncertain about what's going on, need a final statement for closure purposes. HULLAR: If we decide not to move forward, nothing moves forward. What comes up in the future comes up. KELLY: Needs to be a comment. Look forward to interested people coming forward with their own proposals. TRICIA DORN: Explanation of project genesis. Started with 2004 Hendrix cable replacement project, interested residents decided they wanted to discuss underground. MULLINS: Almost correct, contacted LCEC 2003 based on project up north, asking if they had any plans for any major project to contact us. Before Charley, LCEC came to a meeting to discuss Hendrix project and requests from the community to do TW stretch, since the gold Coast installation was starting almost the next day.

HULLAR: Given unanimous comments in lack of interest in moving forward, let's set project aside and move on to other things. GARVEY: Ifs this was not a panel effort, what is panel's project? HULLAR: Safety shoulder, trees, water quality. GARVEY: Have a hard time not seeing this as a project of the panel. HULLAR: Interested in projects that enhance Captiva; if people come forward we will provide the forum. GARVEY: Then who's project was this? BOB LLOYD: Look at your Web site: It's a panel project, change the Web site or admit you own this project. Discussion about sewers and learning from this project, may be a good thing some day. Come back to the people and ask them if they're willing to pay for it and accept the risk.

BILL FENNIMAN: Panel needs to vote on this project, don't leave it hanging out there. PYLE: This is exactly what we need to do, facilitate projects of interest to the community. Gave community every opportunity to voice their opinion, got county involved and got people involved. Motion not to proceed with putting the undergrounding petition forward as it is written at this time (Stilwell second). Unanimous approval. MULLINS: Contact Cerchie about poles in the ROW. Ask DOT to deal with those issues. STILWELL: Very valid point, too close to the safety shoulder. Ask him what he is going to do about it.

5. Goals:
HULLAR: Explanation of goals and accomplishments handout. KELLY: Land Development Code needs to move forward to public comment. Draft is done, send draft to CCA and public. STILWELL: Provide a forum for public comment and concerns as we do for variances? HULLAR: One of the policies. MULLINS: There is not a Community Panel Web site, CPOA provides Web site space. Important to have something under direct control of the panel. JENSEN: Great idea. NP Can take off #4 (underground utilities) based on our decision today. SCHWAN: Communications development as well as Web site development. Formation of a communications committee. ????: What about Blind Pass project? Panel should be involved. HULLAR: Have left that to the CEPD and supported them on the agenda. KELLY: Not much the panel can do to influence the CEPD. HULLAR: Always have had a strong CEPD presence on the panel. Connected at the hip. MIILER: Add "subsidized" payment of trees.

GIBSON: Another goal should be to make community panel an independent panel, not dependent on any other organization. Still looked at as an orgazantion that's part of CPOA. Should be supported by both organizations on the island. PYLE: Separate issue, I would support that. HULLAR: Panel would incorporate itself and become independent entity. FENNIMAN: Comes under #6: Have a more integrated approach to some of the items you're approaching with other groups. Used water quality effort as an example. GOODERHAM: Explanation of TDC funding proposal and process. Intent to partner with SCCF Marine Lab since they have the expertise but we have the ability to seek funding. MULLINS: Asking to do something that's currently not being done, got support at the county Coastal Advisory Committee Monday. GIBSON: Forum at CIYC to talk about the SCCF sensors, results of findings. HULLAR: We've crossed off #4 and added #7-10, will send out revised version with minutes.

6. Water quality:
GOODERHAM: Reiteration of TDC plan. Also got potential seage treatment capacity estimate from the county, passed along ot Sanibel as as an FYI. Fertilizer ordinance coming back to the county for public discussion at a March 19 committee meeting, no public hearing set yet. KELLY: Note that septic issues are addressed in LDC draft. GOODERHAM: Brief explanation of code language. MULLINS: Can we develop code to encourage septic inspections. Encourage voluntary compliance because legislation will not be approved. It is a statewide problem, don't have rigorous statewide standards. If you think underground electric was controversial, sewers will be an order of magnitude more difficult. HULLAR: Need data to make the issue clear, before we ask community to take action.

JENSEN: Introduced Rodney Jacobs, LDOT shoulder project leader. I got a call that they're going to start cutting trees down at Gulf property this week. JACOBS: At the last panel meeting, said we're working with Embarq to relocate equipment. Tree removal is starting March 10. Start at Blind Pass, removing small shrubbery. Bringing equipment to remove trees, don't know schedule. I've asked them to put that toward the end of their schedule. April 15 is when they start putting asphalt down. JENSEN: Would ask panel to communicate to DOT that isn't what we were told, that people thought no work would start until April 15. SHARON RICHIE: We weren't told there would be advance work. STILWELL: People will want time to move bushes before the project starts. PYLE: Individuals were told they had until April 15 to get ready.

JACOBS: Mostly planning stump removal under the road. SCHWAN: What about Embarq work? We lived through the water relocation, what about the phones. Will service be affected by stump grinding? STILWELL: Grinding will have to hold up traffic in the process, that's why we wanted to wait until April 15, to get us through the worst of season. MULLINS: Need to explain stakes, how do I know what I need to remove in my ROW? JACOBS: Orange paint is Embarq relocates. Stakes show edge of payment. Mostly adding 3 feet of asphalt, 4 feet in some parts. Trying to make curves a little less severe. Transition off Blind Pass bridge, making some adjustments. PYLE: When is the point of commencement of the project, which we thought was April 15th. JENSEN: Ask DOT officials not to start work until April 15th, OK for Embarq work to proceed but hold off on major work until after season. MILLER: Community will be united in opposition to an early start to the project. RICHIE: Six months ago we did not know what season would be, but we committed to April 15. Island will be busy right up to then. JENSEN: No disruptive work to begin before April 15th. Discussion about Embarq work running fiber optic cable, shooting it under the road at places. KELLY: Can't tree work just move ahead of road work? JACOBS: Up to the contractors to schedule equipment. JENSEN: Motion to ask DOT not to start shoulder project until April 15th, excluding Embarq work. (Stilwell second?) JENSEN: Able to make the big tree by my house work, thanks to the McClures. Unanimous approval.

7. Finances:
STILWELL: 2006 tax return done, will be mailed this week. Received thanks from hurricane committee. Still receiving some income from the mailing, $30,790 since fall, $35,734 in the bank

8. LDC (Land Development Code):
KELLY: Handed draft to Paul Garvey for CCA review. HULLAR: Thanks to CCA board for having attorney Matt Uhle review this draft.

9. Hurricane Committee:
DORIS HOLZHEIMER: Still need a few volunteers for an upcoming Structural Safety Inspector training. Let us know if you're interested. Need people outside Southwest Florida to help with e-mail tree for communications. Starting our own e-mail list, CCA and CPOA have agreed to send request out to their lists. Don't forget to have a letter and form to designate someone to check your house on file, send info to fire station. If you have already designated someone, don't need to send it again. Handed out refrigerator magnets with Web site and info. Hurricane passes available at the end of March, on Sanibel Web site or go to Sanibel City Hall to register. No changes, encouraging everyone to make plans and be ready. May be a program at library on hurricane prep, Ann Bradley checking on that. ??? Authorization applies to South Seas too? MULLINS: Can we put this closer to the top of the agenda? Still need to sign up for SSI again? HOLZHEIMER: No, just new people. Will check with Harry Silverglide, someone will communicate this. MULLINS: Panel and hurricane committee supported by voluntary contributions, need to get the word out to support us financially.

SHARON MICHIE: Harry Chapin Food Bank has gathered up to 5,300 lbs to date, drop off at VIP office. Good way to get rid of food before you head back up north. HULLAR: Can we move the next panel meeting to April 9? Too many conflicts with others, leave it on April 8 as planned. Tween Waters Inn will allow us to use this room on an ongoing basis; will CIYC continue to allow us to park there? GIBSON: As long as you park pretty.

11. Adjournment:
The meeting adjourned at 11 a.m.

The following was revised subsequent to the March 11 meeting for panel review prior to the April 8 meeting:


The Captiva Community Panel exists to serve Captiva by maintaining the historic pattern of development on this barrier island. Such historical growth has consisted of unobtrusive, low-density residential use coupled with limited commercial development and vehicular traffic. Sensitive to such common concerns, Captiva community planning is to be maintained in consideration of an environment consisting of clean offshore waters, diverse and healthy marine life and robust native vegetation.


Passed, and obtained approval from Lee County and the State of Florida for thirteen policies unique to Captiva including height limitation, clear definition of acceptable variances, variance hearings on Captiva, information clearing house on Captiva, locking-in of historical zoning, locking in of historical density.
Obtained $125,000 grant from state of Florida to subsidized the planting of over 6,200 native trees on Captiva following Hurricane Charley.
Obtained funding of over $1,000,000 from Lee County to add safety lanes to Captiva Drive.

Current Captiva Community Panel Members
Ron Gibson
Gordon Hullar
Dave Jensen
Mike Kelly
Rene Miville
Nathalie Pyle
Craig Schwan
Harry Silverglide
Sandy Stilwell

Proposed 2008 Goals
1. Write land development code for existing policies and submit to Lee County for approval.
2. Construct safety lanes per design approved by a substantial majority of Captivans.
3. Determine source and level of Captiva pollution into surrounding waters.
4. Increase and broaden community involvement in the work of the Captiva Panel.
5. Amend the Captiva Panel by-laws based on experience since the by-laws were adopted.
6. Provide a forum for public comment and concern.
7. Create a Captiva Community Panel web site.
8. Create a communications committee.
9. Become independent of any other organization.

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