CAPTIVA COMMUNITY PANEL
April 10, 2007
Panel Members in Attendance: Ron Gibson, Gordon Hullar, Dave Jensen, Mike Kelly, Rene Miville, Mike Mullins, Nathalie Pyle, Harry Silverglide and Sandy Stilwell
1. The meeting convened at 9:05 a.m. Salon A, Conference Center, South Seas Island Resort
2. Motion by Kelly (Gibson second) to approve the March 13 minutes. Approved unanimously.
3. Blind Pass Update: Robert Neal with the Lee County Division of Natural Resources first presented a 2006 Top Restored Beach to Alison Hagerup, administrator of the Captiva Erosion Prevention District, to honor Captiva being named as a top beach by the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association at its recent Summit in Washington, DC. Hagerup noted that Chico's (who sponsored the award that year) also arranged for a photo shoot on Captiva as part of this honor, the results of which were shown in the company's May 2006 catalog.
Moving on to the Blind Pass project, Neal said the pass will remain closed unless it is actively managed. He discussed the interrelated components in the Blind Pass Ecosystem, which includes Dinkins Bayou and Clam Bayou. This project has three partners working together: CEPD modified the sand bypass area, the city of Sanibel has completed Clam Bayou culvert, and Lee County has taken lead on the opening project. A June 2003 feasibility study confirmed need for management.
The design contract was let in February 2005, and included hydraulic modeling, alternative designs, sediment characterization and environmental impact analysis. The original design included dredging in Sunset Bayou and Roosevelt Channel, and a crossover to the Dinkins Bayou pass. We had to modify plans based on the need to minimize the impact of this project. The second design concept reduced scope of dredging; final design reduced it further. Neal noted that, in passes, "stable" is relative--the county will be back to dredge in an estimated five years.
Neal said the key permitting issues were:
*Hydraulic efficiency and modeling reliability;
*Environmental impacts: Sea turtles, dune vegetation manatees, shore & wading birds, mangroves and sea grasses.
They expect a four- to five-fold increase in water entering and leaving on tide once the pass is open. There will be more water going out than coming in--which means more potential to carry sediment out than to have sediment brought in. There will be some 10,000 cubic yards of upland material to be removed, will need to find treatment method to deal with it and separate material. 120,000 CY total. Some of the sediment will be placed on the downdrift Sanibel beaches.
Neal said they are asking for permission to dredge during sea turtle season, but there is no history of nests in the dredge area itself, just downdrift. Proposing to remove some Australian pines between the S curves on Captiva to enhance turtle nesting habitat as mitigation for any impact on Sanibel side. Also, at beach access at north end of Captiva Drive they propose a barricade to prevent vehicles from going on the beach and to remove pines to enhance nesting. Removing a quarter acre of beach elder, restoring dune at access as mitigation. Other elements will include manatee and shore/wading bird mitigation for impacts; buffer zones and monitoring.
To mitigate for mangrove impacts inside the pass, they plan additional plantings in Clam Bayou--approx. 3/4 acre. They will plant new mangroves on the Sanibel side of channel to help stabilize channel. Tidal cuts into Sunset Bay will remain open. To mitigate for sea grass impact, they propose a "no motor" zone within Ding Darling Refuge--170 acres behind Wulfert Key. Approval was reached yesterday.
Asked about timing, Neal said they'd like to start Nov. 1, and are working with permitting agencies to stay on schedule. We will all but have a permit by June, to construct between November 2007 to May 2008. Dredge will be a cutterhead, with sand piped directly to the beach. Upland disposal material will be contained on the beach, dried and trucked to Refuge. Trucks may be moving 24 hours a day, not the best time of year for residents to be doing this transport. Mike Kalinsky said there may be no sea grasses left now thanks to red drift algae, so why mitigate for what is not there? Neal said the county could not get away from mitigating for impacts--less sea grass, more mangroves and beach elder. No motor zone proposed for the public interest, benefit of open pass, enhance fishing. Kalinsky asked if the pass closes, how soon will you open it up. Neal said they hope not to let it close, will keep monitoring flow and use that as a trigger to start process of reopening. Hagerup said Sanibel has promised to help keep it open mechanically on their side if necessary.
Neal said they're still waiting on a biological opinion, needed to have entire planning in place to begin that study and they can work off the Captiva biological study. Kate Gooderham said the federal regulators write the biological opinion, and it happens when it happens. The agencies look at different aspects of the entire project. Neal said they've worked to keep these agencies in the loop before the actual submission. New dredging in an aquatic preserve not easy to do. Neal said there was a presentation on the project on the Lee County Web site.
4. Hurricane Preparation: Doris Holzheimer said a hurricane prep meeting would be held at 2 p.m. April 11 at Captiva Community Center. They hoped to have a good turnout there, and had a good lineup of speakers; information was online at www.mycaptiva.info. Hurricane passes from Sanibel would also available tomorrow, bring proof of residency. Property owners need to get names of people you want to give access to your property to the LCSO and Fire District beforehand. They need hard copy signed to grant permission. Structural Safety Inspection training was March 29; if you did not attend, contact Harry Silverglide or Joe Poppolardo to find out what training you'll need to continue to be certified.
5. Bylaws: Copies of the latest draft were handed out. Mullins asked whether there were any questions or open items. He noted that for the first two years bylaws would be easier to change to make it easier to amend as we see issues arise. He said they will raise amendment requirements after two years. Pyle asked if the finance committee will establish fiscal policy--develop annual budget? Mullins said yes. Pyle asked if the panel will approve budget. Mullins said yes. Pyle thanked the committee for its efforts. Silverglide made a motion to approve as presented (Gibson second); unanimous approval. Gibson asked that they keep the bylaws committee going for the first year to assist in changes.
6. Budget: Miville said he hoped to step down as panel treasurer, and urged the position be handled in a rotation. Ken Gooderham explained the current budget, which showed proposed annual expenditures and the year-to-date expenses incurred, as well as cash on hand as of April 10 and the potential project expenses the panel could face if certain efforts move forward. A breakdown of the tree subsidy grant funding and the cost of proposed surveys was also detailed.
Miville noted that the panel has generated a more than 2:1 return on money Captivans have given to panel. Jensen asked about the pending county funds. Gooderham explained they were tied to the initial efforts to develop Land Development Code language, and could only be dispersed once those efforts were underway or complete. Miville asked about the chance to requesting additional county funding to reimburse for planning expenses from 2003-2006. Gooderham explained that current concern over Tallahassee actions on property taxation made it a bad time to be asking the county for additional funds until their future revenue conditions were clearer. Mullins said the panel should pick a date--July 1--to make such a submittal. He made a motion to request additional reimbursement from the county (Hullar second); unanimous approval.
Ron Kramer said that most budgets have a financial statement. Mullins asked what that entailed. Mike Boris said it included revenue and expenses, expectations for next year. Mullins made a motion that a financial statement and the CPOA's Form 990s be posted online in a timely fashion (by the end of the month?) (Stilwell second). Stilwell noted that QuickBooks will generate reports easily. Mullins said the panel needed a treasurer to take responsibility for that organization. Boris said those forms were not unimportant but only historical. Mullins suggested they post as many years as is required by IRS code. Unanimous approval. Gooderham said the CPOA application for 501c3 status would be posted on the Web site, and that if approval was likely we might hear something about that by the end of April. However, additional questions were common and expected.
Pyle said the panel's nominating committee will fill the treasurer's position. Mullins said he would meet with the panel chair to make list of things that need to be done at the next meeting. We need an interim set of procedures to get current with bylaws. We will need to stagger board terms, but current panel members will get a free ride until the end of the year. Jensen felt the nominating committee needed to be formed first, and asked for volunteers. Mullins will serve on behalf of the panel, but other volunteers are sought. Please sign up or notify Mullins of interest. Stilwell asked for a clarification whether they were filling the post of treasurer for the CCP or the CPOA. Miville clarified he was planning to resigning from the panel post, maybe the other in the future. Mullins said there needs to be separate accounts for CCP and CPOA, and the treasurer was to maintain independent accounts.
7. Underground utilities: Miville offered an explanation of the easement cost in the county figures regarding the proposed underground utilities project, that there was $5 million set aside to cover potential legal costs if property owners decided to sue the county. Due to state law, such owners were entitled to additional costs for reasonable costs for survey, witnesses, engineer, attorney fees, etc., for which the county wanted to have sufficient funds earmarked in case that comes to pass. The figures used financial rates which were projected for a few years ahead. The MSTU figure is an estimate, not a "not to exceed" figure. The county is seeking an islandwide taxing unit, and an apportionment plan needed to be developed. One idea was that the whole island should pay for the main feeder line, apportion the rest of costs to those who benefit from the specific project. Hopefully, any extra costs would not be borne by those whose lines are already underground.
Mullins asked why not have a survey? We need to do additional spending on project--is it time to develop a committee for project? Get expert support for project. He felt is needed to be a geographic survey gotten out on a timetable. Miville made a motion to set up a committee to develop terms of a geographical islandwide survey, with a best-effort scenario to submit a survey to the panel and public in 90 days (Stilwell second). Mullins said he hoped to get the process statement developed by the safety shoulder committee. Use bylaws definition, get people on the committee and develop a process statement on how to proceed. Mullins made an amending motion to take date out of the original motion (Hullar second). 5-2 approval on amendment. Original motion as amended approved unanimously.
Bill Fenniman noted that the project construction figures are not to exceed figures, and that LCEC estimated 450 spot easements. He believed the panel is predisposed for this project, and is concerned that no figures are forthcoming. He asked that actual costs be shared with property owners, and asked whether the panel itself will be able to vote on it based on its own bylaws concerning financial interests. Pyle said there was no panel predisposition on my part. Bob Brace said islanders needed factual information. Gooderham discussed a tentative "to do" list based on memos from the county and the utilities as part of the process to gather that information prior to holding public meeting and putting this out to the property owners for a decision. Fenniman said the panel should include a financial person on any utilities committee as well.
8. Safety Shoulder: Jensen said the committee had met after the Feb. 27 public meeting and March 13 CP meeting and developed a survey question which had been distributed to panel. (Stilwell left at 11:00 a.m.) Kramer noted there would be no improvements to the existing shoulder from Andy Rosse Lane to the Rauschenberg light. He hoped the language would define the regions more clearly. Mullins asked who will count the votes, and urged the panel to use a control number on survey cards. Have it defined by the committee to assign regions, don't have to ask people where they live. Jensen reiterated the project description--at the Jensen curve. There will be two 10.5-driving foot lanes and two 1.5-foot shoulders and there may be some tree removal. He wondered whether, from the Green Flash to Andy Rosse, would the shoulder go on one side or both? Mullins suggested a presentation be put on Captiva Web sites. (Silverglide left 11:05 a.m.) He said the panel should vote on language and description, hold a public meeting on April 18, and issue the survey thereafter. Miville made a motion to develop community process for opening of envelopes; no second.
Holzheimer asked if someone can't attend on the 18th, are you asking for comments or will it be on Web site? Important: What's the cost to people? Describe the rest of the process to provide incentive to respond. Kramer asked the panel to get clarification from Randy Cerchie on the shoulder from the Green Flash to Andy Rosse Lane. Miville made a motion to approve language as discussed, clarify the project description based on discussions and move forward with a survey schedule as provided by the safety shoulder committee (Pyle second). Mullins noted the bylaws had a description of how surveys should be conducted. Committee can align with this procedure--panel should see what survey looks like and when it will go out. Miville agreed to amend his motion to include a presentation at the next CCP meeting for mailing. Jensen said he would get with his committee, redo the survey and resend to everyone. Motion approved unanimously.
9. Watering Restrictions: Mullins noted that water restrictions would soon be tighter due to the ongoing drought. Gooderham noted that the current restrictions were included on the back of the agenda, and that the county commission was being asked today to cut back to two watering days per week--unlike the 3-day-a-week that the Island Water Association had suggested.
10. Bylaws: Fenniman noted that the approved CCP bylaws had not addressed issues raised at public meetings--specifically, that voters had been left out. Mullins said that issue had been considered by the bylaws committee, and they decided to give the "vote" to property owners including timeshares. It was not overlooked. Fenniman asked about areas of concern that were not addressed or about what could be addressed. Would they be voted up or down by panel? Jensen reminded him of the two-year window to amend the bylaws. He said the community could bring any issues to the panel or to the bylaws committee. Send issues to Ken Gooderham or Dave Jensen; we'll put it on the agenda and discuss it. Mullins admonished everyone to read the newly approved bylaws. It establishes the tenor of what the panel is all about. He said the panel operates in the Sunshine, which can be tedious, but there is no other set of bylaws to include the community in its process. You can put items on the agenda or the panel can initiate items, and discussions will be open and in the public.
The meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.