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Public input sought at four upcoming Captiva planning workshops

February 24, 2014
By MCKENZIE CASSIDY ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

The Captiva Community Panel will be hosting four public workshops to discuss the results of the community survey and any potential changes to planning codes.

Residents responded to an online community survey at the end of last year, giving their opinions on a number of issues including landscaping, historic preservation, lighting, The Village, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and beach access.

Some of the issues have been scheduled for upcoming workshops: Design and Landscaping on March 6, Transportation (with lighting) on March 11, Commercial Core and Mixed Issues on March 27, and Water Quality on April 8.

Ken Gooderham, an administrator for the panel, said each workshop will include an overview of the survey results related to that issue, general questions, and breakout sessions for further debate.

"In this way it gives the planners and me some community feedback to what, if any, changes need to be made to the Captiva Plan," he said. "This is a chance for them to talk about their concerns and ideas."

The panel already hosted a general workshop on Feb. 11 with approximately 20 people who discussed their ideas. Gooderham said residents at the workshops often bring up interesting points that no one had ever thought of before.

If the panel decides to move forward with any changes, the ideas presented in March and April will be used to draft specific language over the summer that can be further debated in more structured workshops this fall. Proposed changes could be studied by experts, reconciled with current codes on the island and in Lee County, and debated before anything is presented to the county commission.

"What we want to do is have a lot of discussion about this language before we put it in and not after," said Gooderham, adding that the workshops will also identify any unintended consequences of altering the plan.

All workshops will be held in the Cone Rooms in Chadwicks Square at the South Seas Island Resort. Residents who can't attend one of the workshops are encouraged to e-mail panel members with specific concerns or questions.

The next general meeting of the Captiva Community Panel is scheduled for March 11 at 9 a.m.

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