COTI Contributions - MAKING IT ALL WORK...
Working with you, the residents and friends of Sanibel - and with the city government and other island organizations - COTI endeavors to help keep Sanibel the very special place that it is.
Below is a list of COTI contributions that have been accomplished in just this way...
- Charter Amendments. In 2005 Committee members wrote and successfully sponsored the “Peoples’ Choice” charter amendments, which protect Sanibel from a weakening of its basic land-use regulations (building height, residential density and ground coverage) without prior voter approval.
- Sanibel Vision Statement. COTI led the successful effort to have the Sanibel Vision Statement, which establishes a source and hierarchy of values for future governmental action, become a part of the City Charter, where it may not be amended without voter approval.
- Post-Disaster Build-Back. Was instrumental in Council's passage of the City's first comprehensive post-disaster build-back ordinance. Now, even owners of non-conforming properties will have the right to build back following a natural disaster.
- Dark Skies. Supported and lobbied for the “Dark Skies” ordinance which brought Sanibel's outdoor lighting code up to the standards of other progressive communities. More recently, COTI opposed a five-year delay in implementing those standards and secured agreement for a more reasonable period of three years.
- Forever Green. Successfully lobbied for the “Forever Green” charter amendment, which requires that environmentally sensitive City lands cannot be sold or disposed of without prior voter approval.
- Pond Apple Park. Opposed the creation of a major resort and shopping center at the intersection of Bailey Road and Periwinkle. The shopping center plan was abandoned and subsequently, after a voter referendum, the City acquired the tract, which is now Pond Apple Park.
- Resort Redevelopment/ Actively supported revisions to the Land Development Code which provide the essential ground rules for redevelopment of aging structures in the Resort Housing District.
- Architectural Standards. Urged the City Council to develop architectural standards for resorts undergoing redevelopment. That effort evolved into even broader debate and broader legislation that now establishes architectural and design standards for development and redevelopment of all multifamily, commercial and institutional buildings on Sanibel.
- Challenged Oversized Mixed Use Project. Opposed an oversized mixed-use (residential and commercial) project for the former Nave property, which would have necessitated weakening key provisions of the Sanibel Plan and Land Development Code.
- Commercial Buses. Led efforts to restrict the use of commercial buses on Sanibel. Legislation was subsequently enacted to regulate bus parking and loading/unloading in the City's four beach parking lots
- Sightseeing Bus Tours on Sanibel. Opposed the establishment of a proposed tour bus operation on Sanibel. City Council subsequently enacted a rigorous application process requiring a demonstrated need before any additional tour services would be permitted.
- Segways. When the state legislature passed a law preempting Sanibel's prohibition of unsupervised individual use of Segways on the City's shared use paths and roads, the City Council began taking steps to repeal existing applicable City regulations. COTI argued that the safety of Sanibel's citizens and guests should have priority and urged that efforts be made change the state law before changing City ordinances. There has been no recent action, but COTI continues to support state law revision to protect shared path users.
- Questioned a Proposed Civic and Cultural Core Project. When the City proposed the construction of a $42 million Civic and Cultural Core Project on land within an environmentally protected district and took steps to establish a referendum on the public debt that would be needed, COTI publicly questioned various aspects of the project. The referendum and the project were later cancelled.
- Traffic Issues. COTI has participated in the Mayor's traffic working group and has advocated for various steps to reduce island congestion including seasonal pricing for beach parking and causeway tolls, data collection for vehicle traffic times and volume counts, expanded traffic messaging to visitors and limitations on new large special events.
- Water Qualify Issues COTI has supported City and environmental group efforts pertaining to improvement of regional water quality conditions, including supporting the 2017 Senate Bill10 and, after its enactment, supporting acquisition of necessary land areas for adequate water treatment.
- Low Speed Vehicles COTI opposed the approval of an island facility that would have rented “Low Speed Vehicles” (in effect golf carts) for use on city streets that would have exacerbated island traffic congestion.
- Lee County 20/20 Land Acquisition Program The organization supported the continuation of Lee County's 20/20 land acquisition program and has specifically advocated for the acquisition of certain land parcels appropriate for environmental preservation.
- Shared Use Path Safety COTI has supported various issues pertaining to safety on the island's shared use paths including improvement of various path intersections and limiting width of cycling vehicles.
- Endorsements COTI supports well-qualified candidates for City Council, not only to urge their election, but also to encourage open debate and the public airing of issues facing the City. Competition for elective office is the very lifeblood of a democratic society, because it stirs such debate.
COTI is eager to work with all those who wish to keep Sanibel the very special place that it is. We welcome your input and participation to this end. Click here to send us your thoughts.