5 ISLAND SUN - MAY 10 , 2013 attended meetings ; they also have a people . In other words , the charter amend - Why Attend record of working towards that mission Petition Drive Succeeds ments written by COTI leaders actually and , in the process , tackling pressing When the city council at that time enabled the build - back ordinance as well City Council problems . decided not to put the amendments on as the resort redevelopment ordinance ! A Look At The Record the ballot , a larger team of COTI mem - The goal was to treat all property Meetings ? Now what about COTI’s record ? bers gathered signatures on petitions owners , even the owners of nonconform - During the 10 or so years that we have to ensure that the amendments were ing properties , fairly . COTI participated been active in the policy decisions of the placed on the ballot . In the election that in the process , enthusiastically supported organization , here are some of COTI’s followed , on March 1 , 2005 , all three both ordinances , and praised the city more important accomplishments : amendments were passed . council for their passage . In 2003 , Sanibel had been incor - In the case of the restrictions on build - COTI has always advocated strong lan - porated for more than 26 years . Many ing height , the amendments included lan - guage in the Sanibel Plan for protection structures on the island predated incor - guage to guarantee the right to build back of our environment and in particular our poration and were not nonconforming nonconforming four - story condominiums natural beaches . We have also , on occa - but were showing clear signs of aging . if they were destroyed in a natural disas - sion , opposed private development plans Sanibel had neither a comprehensive ter . The reasoning was that , if the maxi - that had the potential to undermine the post - disaster build - back ordinance nor a mum permissible number of stories was small - town character of our community comprehensive redevelopment ordinance three , an owner could actually lose his / or would have required weakening key for nonconforming structures . There was her home if build - back were restricted to aspects of the Sanibel Plan . growing concern among citizens about three stories in all cases . That would have There Is Nothing Better To Do by Barbara Joy Cooley and Larry how the city would confront those two been unacceptable . As we think back over the past 10 Schopp , Committee of the Islands issues because they had the potential to Similarly , in the case of residential years , we think the hours have been t a recent island event , a woman profoundly change the character of the density , the amendments ’ language per - well spent . We believe that attending city described people who attend island . mitted redevelopment of existing parcels meetings is exactly the opposite of “ not ASanibel City Council meetings as As the perceived need for action on to their nonconforming density with city having anything better to do ” – that there “ people who don’t have anything better build - back and redevelopment became council approval , but without the need for is , in fact , nothing better to do than to to do . ” more urgent , a number of residents felt voter approval . We were not urging the participate in the process of government , The people she was describing attend that if hardship was to be avoided , some downsizing of existing structures . to help protect our environment , and to those meetings because they care about accommodation needed to be made for Since their adoption by vot - help preserve the sanctuary character of protecting Sanibel’s very unique charac - nonconforming structures , particularly ers in 2005 , the “ People’s Choice ” our barrier island community . ter . These are people who want to keep The Committee of the Islands overpopulated condominiums , some of Amendments , as they became known , Sanibel safe from overdevelopment and invites your input and ideas on this which contained four stories of dwelling have provided the needed legal underpin - environmental degradation – and to keep important subject . Email your com - space . However , there was also concern ning for the city council to enact Sanibel’s an eye on how the process of govern - ments to coti @ coti.org . You can read that the island’s acclaimed small - town first comprehensive post - disaster build - ment is working . commentaries on other island issues at character could be jeopardized if major back ordinance and its first comprehen - There are not many people who our website at www.coti.org and you changes were made to the city’s restric - sive redevelopment ordinance for the attend city council meetings on Sanibel . can visit the Committee of the Islands tions on building height , residential den - Resort Housing District . We think there should be more . Among on Facebook . sity , and impermeable lot coverage . Charter Amendments Help Build - those who do attend regularly are leaders Faced with that set of concerns , in Back of the Committee of the Islands ( COTI ) . the fall of 2003 a team of COTI leaders That’s only natural . Consider COTI’s acted to prevent such changes from being mission : to ensure the continuity of good made without the approval of Sanibel’s local government , to protect the environ - voters . They proposed that the key land ment , and to preserve the small - town , use restrictions be incorporated into the sanctuary character of our island . Over City Charter , where they could only be the years , COTI’s leaders have not only changed by a referendum put before the CHILDREN’S EDUCATION American Scholarships CENTER OF THE ISLANDS Legion Post 123 Open To High 350 Casa Ybel Road , Sanibel Island ring mom to American Legion School Grads Post 123 this Sunday , May 12 for B he Sanibel - Captiva Optimist Club a meal of BBQ ribs and chicken “ Celebrating 39 Years is offering two four - year college served from 1 to 8 p.m . Cost is $ 12 of Dedication to Education ” Tscholarships . This brings the num - per person . Enjoy live music with Robby ber of current Optimist Club scholar - Hutto from 5 : 30 to 9 p.m . Happy FOR PRE - SCHOOL CHILDREN ships to six . Each scholarship is $ 1,250 Mother’s Day to all moms ! per year ( $ 5,000 total ) . The competi - On Sunday , May 19 , stop by Post tion is open to all 2013 graduating 123 for a Fish Fry served from 1 to 8 LIMITED SPACE IS AVAILABLE seniors in Lee County . p.m . FOR AGES 2 - 5 YEARS OLD Applications are available at most Lee Nine - ball pool tournaments continue County high schools ( see your guidance every Monday night throughout the counselor ) and online at www.sancapopti - summer . Texas Hold’em is played every FLORIDA VOLUNTARY mist.org . For more information , call Stan Thursday night at 7 p.m . and Saturdays Howard at 472 - 0836 . Scholarship appli - at 4 : 30 p.m . New players are welcome PRE - KINDERGARTEN PROVIDER cations must be postmarked no later than but must be Legion members . Wednesday , June 12 , . The scholarship Every Friday , Post 123 serves a six - committee plans to make the final selec - ounce ribeye steak sandwich all day . CONTACT : JANA YATES , DIRECTOR tions a few weeks later . Check out the daily specials and the Academic records , financial need , entire menu . The half - pound burgers are extracurricular activities , civic / community a local favorite . Food is served all day , ( 239 ) 472 - 4538 service records and references are integral every day . The public is welcome . parts of the selection criteria . The appli - American Legion Post 123 is open Se habla Español cation package gives exact procedures . Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m . to 9 p.m . and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m . , located at mile marker 3 on Sanibel - Captiva Road . For more informa - tion , call 472 - 9979 .