Public Invited to Hear Environmental Land - Use Advocate at Committee of the Islands Annual Meeting The public is invited to attend the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Committee of the Islands , to be held Friday , March 15 , at the Sanibel Community House , 2173 Periwinkle Way . The keynote speaker will be well - known land - use and environmental lawyer Ralf Brookes of Cape Coral . Brookes is a graduate of the University of Miami and the University of Florida Law School and is board - certified in city , county and local government law by the Florida Bar . Controlled growth has become a passion for Brookes , who one commentator noted has a resume “ that reads like a ‘ good guy ’ character in a Carl Hiaasen novel . ” He represents cities like Bradenton Beach and Yankeetown , as well as private clients in seemingly hard - to - win cases where the common thread is sensible development versus over - development . “ Florida can grow wiser , not just bigger ” says Brookes , who defeated a hotel project in Key Deer habitat on Big Pine Key and successfully sued the State of Florida to preserve Yankeetown charter provisions which require voter approval of certain comprehensive plan amendments . When he is not litigating and advising clients , Brookes teaches environmental , land - use and zoning law at Florida Gulf Coast University and is a practitioner in residence at University of Florida School of Law . The annual meeting begins with coffee and rolls at 9AM , followed by the keynote address at 9 : 30 and a question - and - answer session . After a brief break , a business meeting will be held for Committee of the Islands members , at which members of the board will be elected . For more information , email Committee of the Islands at coti @ coti.org or visit Committee of the Islands on Facebook .