February 2022 Meeting Summary & Recording

General Membership Meeting of the Greater Pine Island Civic Association

Meeting Minutes

Date: Tuesday, February 1, 2022
Location: Zoom video meeting

Board members in attendance: Cindy Bear, Connie D’Alessio, Helen Fox, Shari Perkins, Nadine Slimak, Deborah Swisher-Hicks, Mike Sweeney

27 GPICA members in attendance

The meeting was called to order by GPICA President Helen Fox at 6:33 p.m.

After Helen’s opening remarks, Mike Sweeney gave the Treasurer’s Report:

  • $16,761.58 in the money market account
  • $3,808.68 in the checking account
  • $76,347.61 in a CD
  • Income: $62.20 in membership dues payments
  • Outgo: $62 for annual renewal of the GPICA post office box

Nadine Slimak moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report. Connie D’Alessio seconded.
The motion passed with no objections.

Helen introduced new board members Connie D’Alessio and Cindy Bear (gpica.org/about us) and thanked Debbie Memoli, whose term has expired and who decided not to run for re-election, for her commitment and service to the Association.

Nadine explained how elections will take place this year:

  • Emails with nomination forms will be sent to the membership, followed by electronic ballots on Feb. 18. Ballots will be tallied before the March meeting and the winners announced.

Helen outlined the plan for the next public information session, scheduled to take place in-person during our March 1 general meeting at the Pine Island Methodist Church. There will be three items on the agenda:

  • The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast representatives will discuss their plans for land across from Flamingo Bay in St. James City. The Foundation is submitting a rezoning and special exception application to Lee County to rezone 229 acres from C-1A and AG-2 to the Environmentally Critical (EC) zoning district in order to allow a boardwalk, kayak launch, and small parking lot. A special exception is required to permit impervious surfaces for passive recreation in the EC zoning district. The property doesn’t have an address yet, but the STRAP No. is 10-45-22-00-00001.0050. (The property location is shown in the image below.) The project is called Pine Island Preserve at Matlacha Pass.
  • A rezoning request for 8523 Stringfellow Road, which is currently zoned commercial general, and needs to be rezoned to commercial planned development. The developer is seeking to build a small lawn and garden center.
  • An administration deviation to the 25-foot setbacks required for a proposed dock and boat lift at 12060 Shoreview Drive, Matlacha.
  • The session will also be live-streamed on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/PineIslandCivicAssociation) and we’re requesting that in-person participants wear masks regardless of vaccine status.

View the Meeting Opening Remarks & Announcements

Then, the evening’s featured speaker John Cassani provided an overview of water quality issues and bills proposed during the 2022 legislative session in Tallahassee. He:

  • Provided an update on the 2008 removal of the Cietus barrier and the sedimentation/shoaling problems that are occurring because of it, including the degraded water quality.
  • Discussed the impaired nature of upper and lower Pine Island Sound and Matlacha Pass — which are all listed as “outstanding Florida waters” and so should have greater protection. Each of these water bodies is impaired and exceeds the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for nutrient inputs. The TMDLs have not been updated since the 1990s, so it’s likely they are even more impaired than we know.
  • Talked about blooms of mat algae in Matlacha and mentioned that two water samples from Matlacha Pass have shown evidence of a potent neurotoxin called saxotoxin, and it was unclear where/why it is showing up here.
  • Discussed fecal coliform at Tropical Point
  • Invited GPICA members to attend the 6:30pm March 2 fundraiser for the Calusa Waterkeeper, a screening of their latest documentary, Waterborne, and an overview of water quality initiatives and issues including the Waterkeeper’s “Right to Know” legislation.

A Q&A followed Cassani’s presentation.

View the Presentation

At 7:50p.m. GPICA member Jeff Waller made a motion to adjourn.
The motion was seconded by Board member Shari Perkins and the meeting was adjourned.

Minutes submitted by Nadine Slimak

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