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Captiva Community Panel discusses density, sewers and Captiva Drive

January 18, 2017
By ASHLEY GOODMAN ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

As some of the member's positions termed out in December, new positions were announced during the Captiva Community Panel's meeting Tuesday, Jan. 10. Renee Miville was named the new president, David Mintz was named the vice president, Mike Boris, the treasurer and Mike Mullins, the secretary. Jay Brown will continue as chair of the Wastewater Committee.

Tricia Dorn, key account executive at LCEC gave the panel an update in regards to the power outages that come and go on the island. Dorn said the main causes were failed equipment, animals and vegetation.

"In December 2016 we finished trimming away the vegetation from the powerlines," Dorn said.

Dorn also said that LCEC has installed reclosure equipment.

"We put this piece of equipment out there so that if a tree brushes up against a powerline the reclosure can clear it so it'll put your power back on. If it does it again, it'll clear it one more time. If it does it a third time, your power is going to go out. It's saying that it can't keep continuing to clear it. As a safety issue, we have to roll line crew out there to make a repair," Dorn said. "Reclosure is your friend. The blanks are frustrating but that is keeping it from going out permanently."

The panel also spent a fair amount of time discussing planning issues. David Depew, president of Morris-Depew Associates, made an appearance to discuss zoning issues. The panel's main fear, as well as residents of Captiva, is that if septic is replaced with sewers, the zoning of Captiva could change, allowing high-rise condominiums to be built.

The scope he presented would cost the panel $19,300, but that price could change depending on what steps the panel wants to take. The proposed scope is intended to amend the Lee Plan and applicable sections of the Lee County Development Code to ensure Captiva that density will never become a problem.

"What we want to see is if we can get our plan accepted, totally," Miville said.

The panel will have a clearer answer from Lee County by March.

As far as the wastewater update, Jay Brown said that Pam Keyes, Lee County public utilities director, included the panel's scope in the study.

"She advised that she completed her scope of study and that she included our wish that the package plans be included in the overall evaluations. That was a big thing for us that we wanted to get changed, we're happy that we were able to get that. She has completed her scope of study. It is now at Doug Muir's desk and she anticipates that it will go through Doug and be presented to the DOCC either February or March," Brown said.

David Mintz also discussed Captiva Drive improvements. During the meeting, Ken Gooderham, a panel member, brought to attention that according to a report by Smart Growth America that was released Jan. 10, Lee County ranks as the most deadliest metro area in the country for pedestrians. Mintz said that Johnson Engineering will conduct a survey of Captiva Drive next month. Mintz said that there are a couple hurdles to overcome in regards to the project.

"There are all kinds of access issues that have to be met. Once we get the survey done, we'll then be able to see what's possible, we'll see what the hurdles are and make some determination at that point. We're on the right road and once the survey is done we'll get more clarification," Mintz said.

Deputy Pawul of the Captiva Fire District also updated the panel with its calls for the year. Pawul said that they have received 420 calls, about 10 to 15 less than last year. Sixty-eight percent of them were medical emergencies. Pawul said that 70 percent is the national average.



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