CAPTIVA COMMUNITY PANEL
September 11, 2007
Panel Members in Attendance: Dave Jensen, Mike Mullins, Rene Miville, Nathalie Pyle
1. Meeting was convened at 9:10 a.m. with introductions of the attending panel members. A motion to approve the Aug. 14, 2007, minutes as submitted was made by Pyle, seconded by Mullins, vote was unanimous to approve.
2. Underground utilities:
Miville noted that the plan to put island electrical and CATV lines underground was really more of a safety issue, that aesthetics is the least reason to bury lines underground. Engineer R.L. Willoughby was hired by Lee County to work with LCEC on actual needs for the project. He's determined that all the equipment which will need to be sited at ground level with this equals about 4,000 square feet -- less than an acre total. Based on that, Miville figured the average property would have to house a 12-square-foot piece a couple feet high, will be hard to see. Pedestals would go on county ROW with access around all sides for LCEC maintenance.
It was noted that we're hoping for a complete update from county MSTU staffers on the project at the October meeting. Gooderham noted an exchange of e-mails that indicated that response to the MSTU petition did not count the non-responders as NO votes. However, it was subsequently clarified that the county required signed petitions affirming approval for the project from a pre-set percentage of Captiva properties--that it was not a question of YES and NO votes, but achieving a sufficient number of approved petitions.
Miville asked whether the panel could do something in terms of assessments for those properties that will have to accommodate the larger pieces of equipment. Mullins noted that beach easements in the past had been provided voluntarily, and did not require a quid pro quo. Gooderham said that the county had legal constraints to operate MSTUs under, and suggested the panel not pursue this discussion until it had legal advice on the matter as to its authority and feasibility.
3. Water quality:
Jensen noted the formation of a Water Quality Committee, and said Dave Bornhorst had agreed to work with Jensen and Gooderham on fact-finding prior to bringing information back to the community for discussion. Mullins said that the county's Smart Growth Initiative includes water quality, and that issue would be his focus in serving on that panel. He noted that the beaches had be hit with sea squirts from Dean on beaches, and hoped to coordinate with Sanibel on cleaning, VCB funding. He asked about the status of the panel's request for action by the county's Coastal Advisory Council on a cleanup policy. Gooderham would inquire, and noted that Sanibel had just received permission to test a variety of algae cleanup methods from the state. Jensen reiterated that the purpose of the committee was to communicate with Captivans, and encouraged anyone with question to contact him at 472-5800 or Bornhorst at 472-6685.
4. Budget issues:
Gooderham noted that the Captiva Island Property Owners Association had received a 501c3 determination letter from the IRS dated Aug. 20, 2007, finding that group had received such a designation retroactive to Feb. 28, 2007. That meant any donation to the panel from Feb. 28 on would be tax-deductible.
Gooderham also noted that panel bylaws required approval of a budget for the following year by or at the December meeting, and urged the panel to begin the process of setting budget priorities and levels based n that. Mullins noted that administrative functions were not confined to regular panel meetings but could be addressed at other duly noticed meetings. Pyle asked that budget projections, the cost of mailing a fund-raising letter, the cost of sending and managing the MSTU petition drive (if that decision is made), etc. be developed for the next meeting so that panel members would have a starting point for budget discussions. Mullins offered to volunteer someone to assist in processing returns. Gooderham would check with Phase V on mailing costs, and e-mail the proposed letter to all panel members prior to the October meeting. He asked that panel members seeking cost estimates for 2008 projects notify him in advance so he could have something prepared prior to any meeting.
Gooderham also noted that funds to pay Kelsey Angstadt for her efforts for the panel needed to be considered if she was to continue to work for and bill the panel. Aside from a discussion last spring, there had not been any panel authorization. Angstadt said she wanted to get a clearer understanding of the terms under which she'd do work for the panel, and Gooderham said who could authorize such work also needed to be clarified. Miville suggested that panel members bring tasks they'd want her to do to each month's meeting and assignments could be made there, which Angstadt and Gooderham both said would be unworkable. Angstadt was asked what terms she wanted from the panel for work, and she responded that she had provided some panel members with a contract last spring that laid out her terms.
Discussion ensued, and it was determined that not all panel members had seen this contract or were aware of its existence. Miville noted that the panel was a volunteer organization, and that anyone who worked for the panel could be expected to generate revenue as well, in a number of ways. Gooderham noted that was not the case that the panel needed to expect to raise money to pay for services even if those services included generating revenue. Pyle noted that this was the first she'd about no contract, and that the panel's work needed to be generated by a planning process within a budget and done with panel intent and oversight. Mullins said a budget provided strategic direction for panel action on behalf of the community. Gooderham noted that a budget discussion really needed to include the panel treasurer, and said such a discussion should be launched in October. Jensen agreed to coordinate with treasurer Stilwell to outline costs for the new year. Mullins said the panel should develop a plan and work up a budget, that it had never approved a 2007 budget in terms of specific items.
5. Community directory:
Gooderham noted that a panel member had asked this to be discussed on this agenda, and noted that such a directory could entail a number of issues including accuracy of information and whether Captivans wanted such information to be included in a public document. No action was discussed.
6. LDC submittal:
Gooderham said he had a lengthy conference call with Mike Kelly the week prior to this meeting, and while Kelly agreed with the general direction of the draft he raised a number of important issues that had not been addressed yet due to time. Also, due to other demands Kelly would not be returning to the island until Nov. 1 at the earliest, so Gooderham recommended that a substantial discussion of the revised draft not be scheduled for panel time until Kelly could be in attendance.
While the panel members in attendance agreed that Kelly's participation was essential, they asked that some discussion be considered either at the October meeting or at a special meeting so that the rest of the panel could be up to speed on the draft when Kelly returned. Mullins suggested they look at separate meetings for public input in season, and that panel administrative issues to be addressed in December be prepared and discussed at the October and November meeting. Gooderham said he would prepare a list of panel actions required by the bylaws to be distributed prior to the October meeting.
7. Fractional ownership:
Gooderham noted that the panel did not have the authority to bar fractional sales if they were legal in the state, that it would be a legislative issue at the point. However, the panel could look at rules affecting the intensity of use a given property could permit--such as septic upkeep, noise restrictions, parking. Ultimately, though, these came back to being enforcement issues that could not be easily legislated away. Sharon Michie provided a more comprehensive description of fractional ownership and current zoning concerns. She offered a discussion of options, including control of rentals, payment of taxes and control of licenses. She said this kind of ownership was happening now, was popular in high-end residential areas such as Captiva and that the situation could get worse if fractional ownership gains a foothold on island. Discussion ensued on current zoning issues, enforcement and rental tendencies on the island. The panel asked Michie to act as a liaison with island rental agents and bring their input and suggestions back to the panel for consideration. She hoped to have idea to present at the next panel meeting.
8. Tree subsidies:
Gooderham said there was one request from the Jensen pending, and that panel approval was not really necessary due to its amount. This would end the project at its $125,000 cap, and that SCCF had estimated more than 1,200 new trees had been planted. There were a couple of orders intentionally still on hold, and a final report on the program would be possible later in the year.
Miville said he had discussed this issue with various county officials, and his sense was that the county will not resist a request for funds to reimburse for planning funds expended in 2000-2004. He suggested the panel develop a reimbursement request that would designate half the requested funds to hire a planner to address specific tasks. Mullins made a motion to submit a request to the county for reimbursement of funds spent on planning up to $50,000 based on original cost share arrangement (Miville seconded), approval was unanimous.
10. Web site:
Jensen said he'd requested panel members provide some feedback on the current Web site, and hoped to make this a discussion item in the near future. He again requested panel input for the Web site. Miville asked if there was a way to merge the MyCaptiva site with CPOA site.
11. Commerce committee:
Mullins said he wanted to discuss whether there was interest in establishing such a committee, as a way to handle business issues relating to the island and to promote island businesses. For example, he said the panel could invite the new VCB director to a meeting to acquaint them with the island, since it so often overlooked despite its considerable revenue generation. Michie said she has asked for an accounting of TDC tax revenue coming from the islands.
Mullins said the panel could advertise again for the open seat on the panel to see if any business people came forward. Pyle said the role of the panel was to be responsive to communitywide issues, not to promote the commercial interests on the island. The panel didn't need to duplicate what other organizations were doing that could be working on business behalf. Miville said the panel could offer an opportunity, but commercial interests should take the initiative to form a committee. Mullins noted that the island Chamber was changing from inclusiveness to exclude condo/home rentals and promote exclusivity of the islands.
By noting that the next panel meeting would be Oct. 9 at the Yacht Club, the meeting was adjourned at 10:35 a.m.