Chiquita Lock Focus of the Next GPICA Meeting
A discussion of the Chiquita Lock will be the primary topic during the May 2 meeting of the Greater Pine Island Civic Association (GPICA).
The City of Cape Coral has requested permission to remove the Chiquita Lock — a move that many people believe will cause environmental damage and degradation to important mangrove habitats and waterways, including Matlacha Pass. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has filed a notice of intent to issue the permit.
The Matlacha Civic Association has formed a coalition to request an administrative hearing against the removal of the lock and has asked the GPICA to join as a named petitioner and to spend up to $12,500 to financially support the legal fight against the removal of the lock. MCA President Michael Hannon gave a presentation about this issue and the request during the April meeting. (You can view the draft meeting minutes and Hannon’s presentation here.)
The GPICA held a special Board meeting to consider the request and the Board voted to:
- Not join as a named petitioner, for fear that the organization could be responsible for Cape Coral attorneys’ fees should the suit fail.
- Request GPICA members to vote on a proposal to provide financial assistance for the suit.
During the May 2 meeting, GPICA Board Member Sue Dahod will provide an overview of the situation. Then the Members will be asked to vote on whether the GPICA should financially support the MCA request for funding. Per GPICA bylaws, membership must approve any expenditure over $1,000. Only Members in good standing — members for more than 30 days and current in their dues — may vote.
The GPICA will ask membership to approve:
- A $2,500 direct expenditure to support the suit;
- Allowance to provide up to an additional $5,000, based on matching donations provided by GPICA members. (GPICA would match each donation up to a total of $5,000.)
MCA has already filed the petition for an administrative hearing to fight the removal of the lock. In addition to MCA, other named petitioners on the suit are the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), Calusa Waterkeeper and individuals Daniel Carney, James Collier, Kevin Sparks and Kathleen Walsh. You can view the petition here.
Also on the May Meeting Agenda
- A public information session for zoning variance request for the Overhulser residence, 2782 York Road, St. James City. The Overhulsers are asking to reduce the variance setback on their property for a carport.
- Discussion of the Lee County Charter Review process and how residents have the opportunity to request changes to the rules that govern how Lee County operates. See more on our website https://gpica.org/2023/04/lee-charter-review/
- When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 2
- Where: The Pine Island United Methodist Church, 5701 Pine Island Road NW, Bokeelia, FL 33922
- Online: The GPICA will also stream the meeting live on our Facebook page for those who cannot attend in person.