South Seas Island Resort may be exempt from building codes

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Rachel Murphy
Published: Updated:

Many are concerned over a proposal to the Lee County Board of Commissioners that could exempt South Seas Island Resort from building codes.

“What the proposed amendment does is eliminate South Seas from the height limitations on Captiva,” David Mintz, vice president of the Captiva Community Panel, said.

Mintz explained that the current building code allows structures to be built 28 feet above the base flood elevation, which is two stories.

If commissioners approve the proposal, the resort could build up to 75 feet. This would nearly triple the height of buildings.

“How do we say to some of our other long-standing hotels and resorts on Captiva, ‘Oh, it’s OK, South Seas can have more height and more density, but you don’t.’ That’s not how we can work,” Mintz said. “That is a problem that nobody has yet addressed.”

The proposal could also exempt South Seas from density restrictions.

Residents said packing more people on the islands will make traffic on the one-lane road leading on and off the island much worse. They fear it will also put a heavy strain on infrastructure, like the sewer systems.

“People just don’t want this, and again, who benefits? A very small group of people who don’t even live here,” Dr. Scott Crater said.

WINK News also heard from homeowners from within South Seas. They said that the ownership group won’t release any details on what they plan to do if the proposal passes.

“We have been asking for months to have a master plan. We are often told, you know, ‘We’re working on it, we don’t have it yet,’ and it’s never been forthcoming,” Robert Locker said, President of one of the HOAs within South Seas.

No one from South Seas Island Resort was at the meeting Wednesday. There was also a lack of Lee County Commission members at the meeting.

WINK News reached out to South Seas Island Resort and has not heard back yet.

The Board of County Commissioners will hold a meeting Tuesday where the proposal will be set for public comment.

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