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Planners OK permit for Tarpon Bay Road medical facility

By Staff | Oct 15, 2009

During a swift-moving Planning Commission meeting, planners approved the development permit application for the Tarpon Bay Road Medical Center, gave the final go-ahead for the installation of an elevator at the historic Nutt Homestead and approved the Permitting Process Review Subcommittee’s 2009 Annual Report.

After unanimously passing a resolution to grant a one-year extension – effective Sept. 22, 2009 – for the construction of the single story medical office building and a single story office building at 600 Tarpon Bay Road (across the street from Bailey’s Center), commissioners continued discussion of the application submitted by the Samuel M. Bailey Trust.

Joe Lutz and Fernando Fernandez, speaking on behalf of Dr. James Frizzell, who wants to construct the Tarpon Bay Road Medical Center at the site, told planners that they made some subtle yet significant changes to their original designs for the facility since they introduced their plans in September.

“They lowered the roof plane, which fits in better with the rhythm of the Town Center,” said Jimmy Jordan, Planning Department Director.

Dr. Frizzell, a gastroenterologist from Frederick, Md., would like the facility to offer medical specialists – such as a cardiologist, oncologist, pediatrician, OB/GYN, family practitioner, etc. – and laboratories for blood work and/or X-ray examinations, which are currently not available on Sanibel.

According to the application, Building “A” would be comprised of one unit containing 1,953 square feet of space and three units, each containing 1,245 square feet of space. Building “B” would be comprised of three units, each containing 1,896 square feet of space. The facility would accommodate seven practitioners and 14 employees.

The buildings would be situated approximately 30 feet apart, with a portico and connected common deck provided to allow for patient drop-off and pick-up.

Dr. Phillip Marks, who praised the architectural team for revising their proposed building plans, commented that he would like to see more than two flowering trees installed at the facility, as indicated on the submitted landscaping plan. He suggested adding either – or both – a cassia and a royal poinciana.

“Overall, I think this is one of the best applications we’ve seen,” said Dr. Marks. “You’ve done an excellent job with this.”

Commissioners approved the application 6-0, with chairman Michael Valiquette recusing himself from the vote due to a potential conflict of interest in the future.

In other business, planners unanimously approved a Certificate of Appropriateness to install an elevator at the Nutt Homestead, located at 3405 West Gulf Drive. Last month, Kevin Vertesch of Dan Hahn Custom Builders – representing property owner Florence Young – submitted plans to add an elevator to the partially enclosed porch at the residence.

The application was previously approved by the city’s Historic Preservation Committee.

Near the conclusion of the meeting, commissioner Les Forney suggested that they explore the possibility of developing a residential landscape ordinance for Sanibel. He cited a private residence with a front lawn that had not been mowed in some time, which he noted was “at least a foot and a half tall.”

“Most cities have a landscape standard,” said Forney. “It requires that all homeowners either comply with that standard or the city will do it for them… then charge them a fee. We’ve got to do something with this because it’s gotten out of hand.”