The Greater Pine Island Civic Association was incorporated in 1957 and is a 501(c)4 nonprofit community organization that works to protect Pine Island and its resources for the betterment of its residents.
In 1977, GPICA purchased land from Lee County and built a meeting center just west of the four-way stop. Ten years later, in 1987, a group of citizens led by Drs. Gene and Ellie Boyd began an effort to draft a comprehensive land use plan for the Island. After numerous community meetings and input, the plan was approved by the state and adopted by Lee County in 1988. Key elements of the plan included restrictions on building densities, heights and other regulations designed to protect Pine Island’s unique coastal-rural way of life. One of the plan’s key provisions capped growth when traffic counts reached a certain threshold.
(Gene Boyd was hailed as the father of smart growth when he died in 2003.)
In 1997, when it became clear that Lee County intended to disregard the plan’s provisions in granting development orders, residents renewed their efforts to defend the plan’s key tenets.
In 1999, the Civic Association decided to sell its building to the Greater Pine Island Elks Lodge to raise much-needed funding to draft and implement revised, more comprehensive — and clearly binding — land provisions. The effort was successful and the revised Pine Island Plan went into full effect in 2007.
In 2015, the plan was again challenged and in 2017 new revisions were implemented that peeled back some of the protections residents had fought so hard to implement.