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HomeThe Sanibel Vision


To provide a sense of direction for the future, this Vision Statement is a confirmation of the community's shared values and goals, to guide future decisions.

Sanibel is and shall remain a barrier island sanctuary, one in which a diverse population lives in harmony with the island's wildlife and natural habitats. The Sanibel community must be vigilant in the protection and enhancement of its sanctuary characteristics.

The City of Sanibel will resist pressures to accommodate increased development and redevelopment that is inconsistent with the Sanibel Plan, including this Vision Statement.

The City of Sanibel will guard against and, where advisable, oppose human activities in other jurisdictions that might harm the island's sensitive habitats, including the island's surrounding aquatic ecosystems.

Sanibel is and shall remain a small town community whose members choose to live in harmony with one another and with nature; creating a human settlement distinguished by its diversity, beauty, uniqueness, character and stewardship.

The city of Sanibel cherishes its cultural, social, ecological, and economic diversity, and will endeavor to maintain it.


The City of Sanibel will foster quality, harmony and beauty in all forms of human alteration of the environment. The community aesthetic is defined as a casual style; one which is adapted to a relaxed island quality of life and respectful of local history, weather, culture and natural systems.

The City of Sanibel chooses to remain unique through a development pattern which reflects the predominance of natural conditions and characteristics over human intrusions. All forms of development and redevelopment will preserve the community's unique small town identity.

The City of Sanibel chooses to preserve its rural character in its setting within an urbanizing county. "Auto-urban" development influences will be avoided. The commercialization of natural resources will be limited and strictly controlled.


In keeping with the foregoing principles, the City of Sanibel affirms a land ethic that recognizes landholding - both public and private - as a form of stewardship, involving responsibilities to the human and natural communities of the island and its surroundings, and to future generations.

The Sanibel Community recognizes that its attractiveness to visitors is due to the island's quality as sanctuary and as community. The City of Sanibel will welcome visitors who are drawn by, and are respectful of, these qualities; it will resist pressures to accommodate visitor attractions and activities that compromise these qualities.

This three-part statement of the community's vision of its future is hierarchy; one in which the dominant principle is Sanibel's sanctuary quality. Sanibel shall be developed as a community only to the extent to which it retains and embraces this quality of sanctuary. Sanibel will serve as attraction only to the extent to which it retains its desired qualities as sanctuary and community.