CAPTIVA COMMUNITY PANEL
March 15, 2005
Panel Members in Attendance: Hal Miller, Ron Gibson, John Madden, Dave Jensen, Rene Miville, Peter Koury, Gordon Hullar, Chris van der Baars
Absent: Harry Silverglide
1. The meeting was called to order at 2:05 PM.
2. Introductions and roll call were made by Hal Miller. The minutes of the February 8, 2005, meeting were unanimously approved as presented. Motion by Madden, second by Miville.
3. Update on Underground Utilities Plans.
Miller gave a brief recap of what has been done to date for the benefit of the audience. Elizabeth Walker, Lee County MSTBU Office; Scott Covert, LCEC; Karen Ryan, LCEC; Tricia Dorn, LCEC; and Clark Hawkins, LCEC, were initially on hand to answer questions and give updates. The utilities in question are LCEC, Comcast and Sprint, and the rep from Comcast had not arrived at this point. Walker raised the question about whether Lee County can legally join with Captiva to fund this project. There are many legal issues remaining, i.e., how to charge property owners in an equitable manner. The rule used is that the chargeback must be proportionate to the service received. Lee County has determined that it may take an 80% approval from benefiting property owners on Captiva to initiate work. The project would encompass work on Captiva Drive from Blind Pass to the gate of South Seas Resort. The initial plan would include the main feeder as well as the laterals, services, and routing. The customer would bear the responsibility for point of delivery to each home meter. A representative from Comcast arrived at the end of the discussion.
The first question from the audience related to how burying the utilities would benefit the island? The service would be more reliable until an outage, which would be harder to repair as the lines would be underground. Replacement costs would also be higher for underground lines than above ground.
Miville questioned whether the original assessments would be based on open trenching or directional boring. Covert indicated that open trenching would cost approximately $15 a foot, and directional boring cost anywhere from $32 to $40 a foot. Open trenching is planned at this time.
An audience member questioned whether a customer can be forced to put their lines underground from the main road, and all agreed that they cannot be forced to comply. Comcast, however, would go fully underground to homeowner’s hookups.
To start the process, LCEC requires a deposit of 5%, against the estimated cost of $1,500,000. This deposit is nonrefundable if the project does not come to fruition. A written description of the scope of work is required with the deposit. Upon receipt, LCEC will proceed with a detailed engineering plan and cost estimate, while the MSTBU office would devise a method for chargeback to homeowners. A member of the audience questioned what would happen to multiple units,(i.e., Sunset Captiva), where there are already underground utilities. This circumstance would have to be taken into account when devising the chargeback, as their benefit would not be as great as a single family home on Captiva Drive.
A motion was made by Madden, second by van der Baars, to raise the $75,000 deposit required to move ahead with the LCEC Engineering Study. This motion was withdrawn. A second motion was made by Madden, second by van der Baars, to form a committee of one (Madden) to raise $75,000 to fund the Engineering Study required by LCEC for placing the utilities on Captiva Drive underground. Motion was approved, 7-1, with Hullar dissenting.
Motion was made by Hullar, second by Koury, to give van der Baars’ committee the authority and responsibility to work with all utilities to identify the scope of work, and design a vehicle for communication to discuss the issues. Motion approved, 8-0.
4. Presentation by RLR Investments LLC.
Beverly Grady, of Roetzel & Andress, LPA, was present to provide information regarding the proposed application affecting the use and structure at 15050 Captiva Drive. They are requesting the lot be rezoned for office space. The plan calls for the building now called VIVA to be partially torn down, and a new building erected in the same footprint with two stories, plus an elevator tower. The building would house offices for RLR Investments, leased document storage space, and other offices. Their variance request involves keeping the original wooden fence shared with Sunset Captiva, plus providing one less parking space. Architect Joe St. Cyr and planner Tracy Bean were present to share the proposed building design, as well as answer questions and concerns expressed by the audience and panel.
There were numerous questions from the audience concerning the proposal, covering issues such as parking, landscaping, accommodation for pedestrian traffic, optional uses now allowed by the current zoning and the potential of maintaining some retail sales presence on Andy Rosse Lane. A number of audience members expressed concern about the continuing residential redevelopment of the street, and asked whether some of the first floor space could be made available for retail uses. Grady and Bean commented that such an option was possible, but would require additional variances to accommodate parking requirements; for that reason, they had opted to request only office space use for the space in question.
Based on a show of hands from the audience on this issue, a motion was made by Hullar, seconded by Madden, that the CCP go on record as recommending the property be rezoned for mixed use, to include both commercial and office space, and in support of the variances necessary to effect this change. Motion approved, 8-0.
5. Discussion of Funding Options for Captiva Drive Revegation.
Gooderham indicated to the panel and audience that the funding currently being pursued from the state is for design only, not for planting. There are several options available, however, for purchasing plants, and all need further investigation. Bill Fenniman, chair of the CCA’s Revegetation Task Force, said such funding-raising would be premature, as he expects no planting could take place for perhaps up to two years from now. Gooderham noted that some of the funds he identified in a memo provided to the task force and the panel would go out of existence by that time, and hoped the panel would authorize investigating those options now to escrow any funds received for use once planting could be pursued.
A motion was made by Miville, second by Madden, to investigate a variety of funding possibilities for planting purposes. Motion passed, 8-0.
6. Sheriff Commended.
Miller read a draft letter he asked to be sent by the panel to Sheriff Mike Scott thanking him for attending the CCP meeting in December and following up so quickly on his offer to add an officer to the Captiva force. Miller also commended Officer Falde's work in getting golf carts approved for use in the village area and signs posted to that effect. The panel approved sending the letter by unanimous assent.
7. Proposed Resolution from CCA Board of Governors.
Koury presented a letter from the CCA Board of Governors regarding their request to have the CCP become an elected body. He then read into the record the text of the letter, and made the following motion: “Resolved that the members of the Community Panel of Captiva be elected with term limits by the vote of (1) Captiva registered voters and (2) Captiva real property owners as listed in the Lee County FL TAX STRAP rolls. No person meeting these qualifications shall be entitled to more than one vote.” Second by Hullar for discussion. Much discussion ensued as to what changes or benefits this would bring to the panel, if any.
Gooderham asked that some issues in the proposed motion be addressed prior to a vote, specifying the term limits being proposed and correcting the reference to the property appraiser’s records for accuracy. Koury amended his motion to ask that the CCP elect its members by a vote of registered voters and property owners on Captiva. Vote was 2 in favor, 6 dissenting. Motion failed.
8. Update on Status of 2004 Text Amendment.
Gooderham gave a brief review of the text amendments, including staff comments. A motion was made by Hullar, second by Jensen, to withdraw the policy language in 13.1.14 regarding protection of the canopy on Captiva Drive, as the canopy no longer exists after the storms of August and September. Vote was 7 in favor, Miville dissenting. Motion passed.
A motion was made by Madden, second by van der Baars, that Hullar work with Gooderham on changes to the amendments for March 28 presentation to Lee County Local Planning Agency.
The next meeting of the CCP is scheduled for April 12, 2005, but may be changed to April 19 to accommodate member schedules. Gooderham will research and notify members.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 PM.