GICIA v. Lee County dispute settled regarding ‘Damfi’ project

November 20, 2020
By Olivia Cameron

SUBMITTED BY THE GICIA- The Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association (GICIA), in a cooperative effort with Lee County and two island property owners, has agreed to settle a legal complaint filed by GICIA last year.  All parties involved agree this settlement represents the best collective interests of all parties.   
The GICIA filed the lawsuit against Lee County as result of action taken by the Lee County Board of County Commissioners at a Zoning Hearing on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. The GICIA believed those actions, which related to properties located at 161, 143, and 151 Damfiwill Street, did not respect the density requirements of the Gasparilla Island Conservation District Act of 1980.
During mediation, the four parties involved worked to find resolution that took into consideration the best interests of Boca Grande, the Act, and the property owners. All parties agree the settlement was based on reasonable negotiation that reduced density, protecting the integrity of the Act, while still allowing for development of the lots on Damfiwill Street.
In the late 70s, the GICIA introduced the idea of the Gasparilla Island Conservation District Act and then worked diligently to see that it was secured by the Florida Legislature in 1980. This landmark law has protected Gasparilla Island from the high-rise, high-density development that has so negatively impacted other coastal communities. 
Since its passage, the GICIA has taken on the role of guardians of the Act and has focused its attention on ensuring its thoughtful implementation.    
For nearly 50 years the GICIA has been a charitable membership organization dedicated to preserving the integrity of the Gasparilla Island Conservation District Act, enhancing conservancy properties, maintaining the Bike Path, and encouraging initiatives that benefit our community.   If you would like to become a member, you can call (941) 964-2667 or stop by the Office located at the Community Center in room #8.