The Committee of the Islands better known to local residents as COTI was formed in 1975 and is essentially as old as the City of Sanibel.
COTI's MISSON: To ensure the continuity of good local government, to protect the environment, and to help preserve the sanctuary character of our barrier island community.
Many citizens concerned by the potential overdevelopment of Sanibel Island worked to form a self-governing city within Lee County. Sanibel became independent in 1974 and many of the individuals that were instrumental in this major milestone formed The Committee of the Islands in 1975. Founding members argued that Sanibel businesses had a voice (Chamber of Commerce), Realtors had a voice (Board of Realtors) but the individual residents needed a voice, and COTI became their voice.
Since then, COTI members have continued to advocate for the Sanibel Plan & Land Development Code. The Sanibel Plan is responsible in many ways for keeping this barrier island protected from overdevelopment.
On December 3, 1974, Porter Goss, Vernon MacKenzie, Zee Butler, Charles LeBuff, and Francis Bailey were elected to the first Sanibel City Council.
COTI Has Been Involved in the Following:
- “Peoples’ Choice” charter amendments
- Sanibel Vision Statement.
- Post-Disaster Build-Back.
- Dark Skies.
- Forever Green Charter Amendment.
- Pond Apple Park.
- Resort Redevelopment
- Architectural Standards for Resorts
- Challenged Oversized Mixed Use Project.
- Commercial Bus Use Restrictions.
- Opposed Sightseeing Bus Tours on Sanibel.
- Questioned a Proposed Civic and Cultural Core Project.
- Traffic Reduction Workshop Participation
- Supports Measures to Improve Water Quality
- Opposed Use of Low Speed Vehicles on Roads
- Supported Lee County 20/20 Land Acquisition Program
- Supported Shared Use Path Safety Issues.
- Active Endorsements of City Council Candidates
FUN FACT: In 2005 Eric Pfeifer ran for a seat on Sanibel's City Council. Eric did not win the election, now was he endorsed by COTI. During the election, COTI argued that because Eric was a Realtor, he would want to build high rises on Sanibel. Eric, relatively a "newcomer" in the eyes of most citizens was in their mind a "risky" vote. Many of our founders and founding club members have since passed the torch to Eric and many others entrusting them with Sanibel's future. Sanibel is a unique paradise and it's our job to protect it for future generations. We owe a great deal of thanks to the efforts of many Sanibel citizens who loved our island enough to save it for all of us to love and protect.
For more information about COTI visit www.coti.org.
Learn more about Sanibel and Captiva Island Non-Profit Organizations and Pfeifer Realty Group's Ongoing Community Support.