Building height conflict on Captiva continues

Author: Haley Zarcone Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

How high is too high? That’s the question on Captiva as conflict rages over building height restrictions.

The Protect Captiva Coalition wants to protect the island from losing its view of beauty in favor of ugly metal and concrete.

The group hired a lawyer to get an outside opinion to weigh in on the new heights the county is reaching here. An attorney broke down the legalities of the proposed amendment.

Environmental law attorney Richard Grosso sent the county a 13-page document on behalf of the Captiva Civic Association to dive into why increasing building heights would be a step back and not forward.

The pages of work explain multiple reasons why the island would not benefit from raising the height standard.

The community’s push behind it is to “build back” stronger and more resilient structures post-Ian, but the argument is the character of Captiva lies in the island’s trees being taller than the homes and hotels around them.

Gary Donohue is a seasonal resident, but when he’s in the area, he spends four to five days a week sitting on the beach, hanging out with friends and enjoying the view.

He was not a fan when he was told about what the county wanted to change.

“Not a good idea. A terrible idea. It will destroy the ecology and the ambiance of the island,” Donohue said.

The Protect Captiva Coalition hired this attorney because the county may schedule a hearing to adopt these new heights soon.

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