Dedicated to preserving the tranquility and beauty of Alva

P.O.  Box 2022, Alva, FL 33920

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Sarah Gillim, President, opened the meeting by introducing the officers who were elected at the meeting held at the Alva Museum on May 3. President: Sarah Gillim; Vice-President: Gus Perfetto; Secretary: Flo Ginter; Acting Secretary until Flo's return: Jean Colvin; Treasurer: Marilyn Fensterer. The name Pastor Brewer recommended for the group was unanimously approved at that meeting. We are to be "A Living Vision for Alva." 

Treasurer's Report: At the last town meeting, we collected $620.47. Nina Kimbrough, who obtained the Lee County maps for us, was reimbursed $50. The balance now is $570.47. It was pointed out that anyone who wishes to be a Director could still do so. Please give your name to one of the officers. This is not a closed group. In the future, the Directors will work more with the Planning Committee to set up our community plan. Directors and Officers will have to fill out a Financial Disclosure Statement to be in compliance with the Florida Sunshine Law.

Gus Perfetto has prepared a Charter and By Laws for A Living Vision of Alva, Inc., which is necessary to have in order to apply to be a not-for-profit organization. This will be voted on at the Directors Meeting. Along with this, he prepared a Mission Statement, which reads as follows: The mission of "A Living Vision for Alva" is to promote community pride among our members and all citizens of Alva; provide an advisory council to Lee County for maintaining a rural character in Alva and monitoring growth to see that a proper land use plan is followed; promote a safe and peaceful living standard allowing for cultural and recreational growth including the building of sidewalks and bicycle paths with pleasant landscapes; provide a committee to advise in the architectural design of new business development along our highway corridors in order to maintain our pioneering atmosphere and flavor; promote cleanliness and maintenance of our river and discover new ways to use the river in promoting Alva's cultural and recreational bearing upon us; and seek and obtain  grants and other funding to assist us in our mission and goals. 

Under our Land Use Policy to be resolved by the Directors: 

    1. We intend to monitor commercial development; 

    2. We respect the property rights of all citizens to utilize their properties in accordance with applicable laws; 

    3. We favor  native vegetation, low density and/or low motorized street traffic which results in minimal air pollution; 

    4. We favor residential development that results in maintaining our existing low density; 

    5. We are deeply concerned about preserving and expanding where possible native vegetation; 

    6. We do not favor any development which will generate additional pollution; 

    7. We hereby direct our officers and staff to work with property developers, realtors, regulators and other interested parties to achieve the best possible results on a case by case basis consistent with these resolutions; 

    8. We shall work with local business and commerce entities to constructively plan for the local environment of Alva; 

    9. We shall preserve the continuation of established agricultural interests in Alva.

The Mission was ratified by those in attendance. It was reiterated that our goal is to prepare a plan for Alva that can be presented for consideration to be included in the Lee County Comprehensive Plan. It takes a lot of work and expertise in order to gather all the necessary information and make a cohesive plan; therefore, it is felt that we need to hire a professional planner in order to do this. This person would be working only for our purposes and must understand what is necessary to preserve and/or enhance Alva. A preliminary plan must be presented in order to apply for working funds. Rob Andrys showed the comprehensive plan for Fort Myers Beach, which was prepared by Bill Spikowski. It was emphasized that everyone will have a say in approving the plan for Alva, not just the Planning Committee; however the Committee will choose the planner for Alva. It is hoped that this choice will have been made by the time of the next Directors meeting on June 7. Two representatives of  planning firms were present and they were introduced: Richard Woodruff of Wilson Miller, and Diane Wakeman of Vanesse & Daylor. One other person is being considered, but she was unavailable.These candidates will have to make a full presentation to the Planning Committee, which will meet on June 6. 

Sarah stated that at future town meetings the agenda will be to discuss what happened at the Directors meeting and the committee heads will present what their committees have been working on. Each committee should meet separately and then come to the Directors meeting to report. Everyone broke up into the committees on which he chose to serve for a 20 minute discussion of that committee's goals. It was decided that the Alva Community Park and the Wayside Park should become one committee. Also, the issues of sidewalks and bike paths should be part of the Traffic Committee. For future reference, Steve Sexton, who owns the Alva Diner, stated that he would give a 10% discount to any committee that wishes to meet at his restaurant.

Agriculture: Chaney Reese, Tel.No.728-2111. The main goal is to preserve the land. Lee County and the State of Florida have come up with SB 1754 to provide funds to pay farmers for the preservation of their agricultural lands, and this would be for a period of 30 years. Chaney presented the acreage we have in pasture land, citrus, etc. for a total of 21,070 acres of farm land to be preserved. He asked Rob Andrys, head of the Planning Committee, to help in curtailing commercial development of agricultural land in the Alva district. His committee will be working with the land preservation program out of Tallahassee.

Parks: Dick Crockett, 728-5226. More people are needed on the committee. He would like more input on how the Wayside Park and the Alva Park and Boat Ramp should be handled. As of this date, Habitat for Humanity is still listed as the owner of the Wayside Park. The county is surveying the property with the purpose of establishing a new road through the Park before the county will get it back. There is a possibility that the Alva Fire Department will assume the responsibility for the Park.

Fundraising, Membership, and Public Relations: Lynda Kendrick and Marta Pagan, 728-3412; Marilyn Fensterer, 728-3363. Many interesting ideas on fundraising were presented: T-shirts, bake sale, family get-together pot luck dinner in the park, a dance under the stars in the park, to name a few. Ideas on raising money and T-shirt design were requested. We have 1,600 to 2,000 homes in Alva; a $5 membership fee was suggested for each member. This committee will have its first meeting at the Alva Diner on June 5 at 7:00 p.m. to have dessert and coffee.

Traffic: Sean Umlauf, 728-5065. The committee has to look at the roads to decide what needs to be done. Committee members are going to request a representative from DOT to meet with them to help them channel the proper requests to the proper person or department. They need to know exactly where bike paths are needed, and how to plan for the future when SR 80 is widened.

Historic Preservation: Pastor Bill Brewer is head, 728-2277. 

Planning: Rob Andrys, 728-2807. A meeting will be held at the Alva Museum at 7:00 p.m. on June 6, at which time the committee will hear from the proposed planning firms. Rob read a statement about Alva. First and foremost, the residents of Alva must have a vision of its unique identity. He described Alva as a historic River Town with small-town charm and character. We must design for growth, not zone for growth.

Steve Brookman has offered to prepare a Web Site for "A Living Vision for Alva." He will be the internet provider for $15 a month. Everything could be posted on this site -- the minutes, the committee meetings, agendas, or anything that would be of interest to this project. Rob made the motion that we ask Steve to do the Web Site and pay the $15 per month; Sean Umlauf seconded; passed.

The Director's meeting will be at the Alva Museum at 7:00 p.m. on June 7. The next General Meeting (town meeting) will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Middle School on June 28.