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GPICA talks airport purchase, incorporation

June 13, 2018
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

The Greater Pine Island Civic Association held its monthly meeting Tuesday night to elect additional members to the board of directors. There were no nominations from the floor and the election was tabled.

Members of the board present were Claudia Bringe, Bryan Crane, Carol Crane, Tim Heitz, Nadine Slimac, Scott Wilkinson and Nancy Harwood. Roger Wood was absent.

The GPICA also heard an update on the Lee County Mosquito Control District purchase of the Woodstock Airport on Pine Island.

Nearly one year ago, residents living near Woodstock Airport in St. James City were notified that Lee County Mosquito Control had agreed to purchase the airport and was requesting a zoning change. According to LCMCD, the airport would serve as an ancillary facility to support operations on Pine Island and surrounding areas while saving the LCMCD money.

Since that time several residents living near the airport have organized the "Woodstock Airport Opposition Group" and filed a lawsuit to stop the purchase.

On May 24, 2018, the Circuit Court of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit dismissed the case stating, "Woodstock Airport is a permitted use under the definition of 'aircraft landing facility, private' as contained within the Lee County Zoning Code and Regulations."

Ndakhte Ndiaye offered a status report on future plans of the Woodstock Airport Opposition Group. According to Ndiaye, the group has a "multitude of options" but was still considering their next move.

GPICA issued a Resolution on June 5, 2018, opposing the Lee County Mosquito Heliport and Experimental Drone Plan:

"As residents and lovers of Matlacha-Pine Island's 'unique natural resources, rural character and Coastal Environment', the GPICA is writing to communicate our opposition to the Lee County Mosquito Control District's plan to establish a heliport and experimental drone program on Woodstock Road, in St. James City. The site is a FEMA high hazard zone surrounded by the Charlotte Harbor State Preserve, 20/20 land, and Calusa Land Trust's educational environmental site specifically saved for elementary school children."

The GPICA is still working on creating a "sample" charter for the proposed incorporation of the islands.

"The incorporation has gone through three or four revisions so far and we are still taking comments," Bringe said. "Noel Andress is including every suggestion that was approved during the four meetings. Hopefully we will have a rough copy for you to read through at the next GPICA meeting."

GPICA is in the process of creating new by-laws and is asking Pine Island and Matlacha residents to make suggestions via email at: The existing by-laws are available on the website.



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