Community United on Legal Strategy to Challenge Captiva Land Use Code Changes
A plan to hire legal representation to protect Captiva’s existing height and density restrictions was outlined at today’s special meeting of the Captiva Community Panel (CCP). The announcement follows over a month of community response over proposed land-use changes on Captiva and South Seas Island Resort that threaten the resilience and unique nature of Captiva and Sanibel.
The official legal client will be a land-use committee housed under the Captiva Civic Association (CCA), made up of representatives from CCA, CCP, SCCF, the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society, and the Council of Homeowners Associations at South Seas.
“This coalition of five organizations will be working together to make collective decisions and to direct the law firm as a body,” said CCP Vice President David Mintz.
The sought law firm, Holland & Knight, will be tasked with:
- Analyzing the impact of the proposed changes on development on Captiva.
- Analyzing the compliance of the proposed changes with existing regulations, including the Growth Management Act.
- Reviewing and drafting potential amendments in line with the development principles adopted by the Captiva Community Panel. Communicating the position of the committee to representatives, including elected officials when appropriate.
- Participating in Lee County’s code amendment process if needed.
- Representing the committee at public hearings and workshops to discuss potential changes.
- Initiating or joining litigation if required, should the proposed changes be approved by Lee County on Sept. 5.
CCP’s special Zoom meeting also included an open discussion with the community to resolve some confusion surrounding Lee County’s build back provisions versus provisions for new buildings. The panel has several outstanding questions that Lee County officials are reviewing and will hopefully clarify before the next county-led public meeting on Aug. 2.
“The previous public meeting served to highlight the latent ambiguity within the code,” said SCCF Environmental Policy Director Matt DePaolis. “We hope that Lee County staff will work to alleviate confusion over the next two planned meetings by bringing the proposed amendments in line with the principles established by CCP, and removing any opportunity to increase density on Captiva.”
UPCOMING PUBLIC MEETINGS
Lee County Informational Meeting at BIG Arts | Aug. 2 at 6 – 8 p.m.
Lee County Commissioner Kevin Ruane and other county staff will be at BIG Arts for a second public meeting on proposed changes to building heights and density on Captiva. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 6-8 p.m.
The public will have the opportunity to provide county officials with input on these possible changes. BIG Arts hopes to make this meeting available as a live stream or another remote access format. We will send an update when this information becomes available. If you are attending in person, BIG Arts is located at 900 Dunlop Rd. on Sanibel.
Lee County Informational Meeting at Public Works Building | Aug. 9 at 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Lee County Commissioner Kevin Ruane and other county staff will be at the Lee County Public Works Building for a third public meeting on proposed changes to building heights and density on Captiva. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
The public will have the opportunity to provide county officials with input on these possible changes. The Public Works Building is at 1500 Monroe Street in downtown Fort Myers. The meeting will be held in the large conference room, 1B, on the first floor.