Lee County BoCC Votes Against Near Unanimous Opposition of Residents

After dozens of speakers testified before the Board of County Commissioners during a two-hour-long public hearing Wednesday, Lee County commissioners voted 4-1 (Commissioner Ruane objecting) to approve changes to the county’s comprehensive plan removing longstanding building-height limitations governing Captiva Island.

Their vote to approve the amendments came despite an extremely strong show of support from both the Captiva and Sanibel communities, citing increased density and intensity of development, strains on limited island infrastructure and natural resources, and the absence of any real need to make these changes in order to build back structures destroyed by Hurricane Ian.

It was very sad to watch our elected County officials so blatantly ignore the near-unanimous will of their constituents. But there is still work to be done.

Our continuing efforts to control increased building heights and density on Captiva and South Seas Island Resort will continue on two fronts:

  • The Protect Captiva coalition will continue to pursue legal remedies to reverse these changes in the Lee Plan and county Land Development Code and to preserve the integrity of the current Captiva Plan and Code’s reasonable regulations on island development and land use.
  • The coalition will also continue to work with the Lee County Legislative Delegation to file and seek passage of a bill creating the Captiva Island Conservation Area, which would codify our existing Captiva Plan and Code language on building heights and density/intensity in Florida Statutes.

The Protect Captiva coalition and its partners want to thank all the residents and businesses of Captiva and Sanibel who have overwhelmingly supported our collective efforts to protect and preserve our barrier islands. The contribution of your voices, your funding and your commitment to the islands continues to be an inspiration. We wholeheartedly believe in our community and look forward to continuing to work together going forward.

For more information please visit www.ProtectCaptiva.org. To help spread the word, please follow and like us on Facebook, and use the hashtag #ProtectCaptiva.