CAPTIVA COMMUNITY PANEL
October 12, 2004
Panel Members in Attendance: Hal Miller, Rene Miville, John Madden, Chris van der Baars, Harry Silverglide, Dave Jensen
Absent: Ron Gibson, Peter Koury, Gordon Hullar
1. The meeting was called to order at 9:08 by a roll call of members.
2. The minutes of the meetings held on April 13, 2004, and September 21, 2004, were approved as presented. Motion to approve by Silverglide. Approved 6-0.
3. Discussion of Captiva Drive Plans.
Randy Cerchie, of Lee County DOT, stated that plans for reforestation of Captiva Drive can best be driven by a group, and this is a good opportunity to include a pedestrian walkway or bike area, sewer lines, etc. Miville questioned whether Cerchie was the point person to help us develop a template for the proposed plan. When questioned, Cerchie stated that all debris on Captiva that is eligible to be picked up will be gone by the close of business on Friday, October 15. Non-eligible debris, or that which was not a direct result of storm damage, must be hauled away at the homeowner's expense. The DOT plans to cut the remaining Australian Pines to ground level, then grind the stumps 3 inches below the ground surface. Silverglide questioned whether this would allow for future planting in the same area.
Bill Fenniman, chairman of the Captiva Canopy Restoration Task Force, gave an update on his group's work. They are working on a web site, studying trees that would be appropriate for our area, and looking for grant money to assist in financing the project. Cerchie noted that a homeowner needs a permit to plant in the right of way, which is approximately 50 feet, side to side, along the roadway, and should be cautious until a plan for reforestation is formulated. Fenniman asked that the panel endorse the work of the task force. Motion made by Silverglide, second by Madden, that "The Captiva Community Panel hereby endorses the formation of the Captiva Canopy Restoration Task Force and will do all that is possible to support the purpose, objectives, goals and activities of that task force as all of Captiva moves forward in a plan of reforestation development." Approved 6-0.
Rick Joyce, with Lee County Environmental Sciences, announced that he has asked an urban forester from Dade City to come in to work with groups in Charlotte and Lee Counties. Availability of trees will be a big issue in the process of reforestation, and he suggested Captiva lock in tree selection as soon as possible. A tree nursery may require up to a 50% deposit to maintain a tree on their property until planting time. A typical gumbo limbo tree, 14-20 feet, with a 3- to 5-inch diameter trunk, may wholesale for $100-$250.
Dan Moser, of the Lee County Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, spoke about a possible bicycle area, or safety trail. He noted that there would be several possibilities to consider, i.e., should it be separated from the roadway by vegetation, or a paved shoulder. Anyone interested was invited to speak with Dan after the meeting.
4. Blind Pass Beach Project.
Allison Hagerup was present, and had attended the annual Florida Shore & Beach Preservation Association conference last month. She noted that the state permitting people are swamped with paperwork. This has necessitated a delay in our beach restoration project, which is expected to start sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and should last 120 days. A contractor has been selected for the Blind Pass project, and once the scope of work is approved, permitting should take about 30 days. Sanibel has all their culvert applications in hand to run an opening to Clam Bayou under San-Cap Road.
5. Proposed LCEC Project.
Karen Ryan, Tricia Dorn, and Clark Hawkins were present from LCEC to field questions about the proposed project to place power lines underground for certain areas of Section 2 on Captiva. Ryan noted that the insulated cable for Section 1 was finished prior to Hurricane Charley. LCEC is currently planning to do Section 2 in 2005. LCEC needs to coordinate with a local government agency about the underground work to start the project. LCEC will pay the cost to install lines above ground, then the homeowner is expected to pay for the differential for the underground work. This work needs to be coordinated with cable and phone projects, as they share the same utility poles.
Van der Baars stated that the island needs more reliable electrical service. Captiva is unique, but LCEC is a public utility, and should provide service that meets our unique requirements. Motion made by Silverglide, second by Jensen, that van der Baars head up a task force to deal with the underground utility issue. Approved 5-0.
6. Discussion of Sewer and Water Quality Issues.
Ken Gooderham explained that Captiva has the opportunity to tap into the Sanibel sewer system at Blind Pass, but must start the process as soon as possible. One option would be to hire Hartman and Associates out of Orlando as a consultant on this project. Initial cost to retain their services would be $15,000. Panel and audience members asked if the consultant could come to the November meeting and give a presentation on what services he could provide.
Mike Calinski questioned whether the installation of a sewer system would actually improve the water quality on Captiva, citing reports done in Sarasota comparing sewer and septic systems. Jensen and Silverglide volunteered to be point men for a task force on sewer and water quality issues.
7. Variance Request by Family of Jane Wu.
Steven Wu, of 15181 Wiles Drive, Captiva, (represented by Dan Budd) was present to discuss a variance request concerning an after-the-fact permit and relating to a street setback for a deck at his home. This was a repair of the existing deck which encroached on two setbacks for Wiles Drive and Captiva Drive. Letters and comments opposing the variance from neighbors and island residents were provided to the panel, in addition to letters received by the county on this issue. A motion was made by van der Baars, second by Madden, to table a decision on this request until the next meeting, allowing Mr. Wu time to poll his neighbors on their feelings regarding the variance request. Approved 6-0.
8. Other Business and Public Comment.
a. All task force group members are asked to bring information about their progress to the November meeting.
b. Miller volunteered to be the point person for information on a proposed bike path on Captiva.
c. Bill Fenniman and Paul Garvey questioned the panel about their position on the proposed Harbour Pointe project at South Seas Resort, which will be heard by the Lee County Hearing Examiner on Nov. 3. The panel has endorsed a position on preserving mangroves on the island, this development would destroy over 4 acres of existing mangroves at South Seas. Motion made by Silverglide, second by Jensen, that the panel oppose the destruction of wetlands to build Harbour Pointe, as this runs against the section in the land use document that prevents destruction of mangroves on Captiva. Voting yes were Jensen, Madden, Miller and Silverglide (van der Baars had previously left the meeting); abstaining vote was Miville. Motion passed. Gooderham offered to draft a letter stating the panelŐs position for review by the members.
d. Questions arose from the audience as to whether we need a fund-raiser to provide some seed money for the task force groups established today. Work will be done before the next meeting to determine what will be needed to get each group started.
9. Motion was made by Madden, second by Silverglide, to adjourn the meeting at 11:55 AM.