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LDCRS makes more recommendations on definitions

By Staff | Dec 15, 2010

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Land Development Code Review Subcommittee, the seven-member panel again looked at definitions for the application of regulations guiding redevelopment in the resort housing district, moving towards a final draft that will be passed along to City Council in early 2011.

According to the regulatory definitions issued by the Planning Department, “Redevelopment means the discretionary act of reconstruction or

rehabilitation of aging buildings or structures.”

The latest document removed the previously issued final sentence of definitions, which was “Both rehabilitation and reconstruction are considered redevelopment.”

In their last three sessions, subcommittee members requested that the Planning Department staff provide a list of terminology used throughout the application process. Director of Planning Jimmy Jordan distributed an updated definitions list along with a revised version of the matrix of topics affecting redevelopment.

While the draft does not include any changes to the previous definition of “structure” and only a minor revision to the description of “addition,” the terms “reconstruction” and “rehabilitation” were newly created for the document.

“Reconstruction” means the demolition and removal of existing buildings and structures that are replaced by new buildings and structures constructed in compliance with all applicable provisions of the Sanibel Plan and Land Development Code currently in effect at the time.

The substantial improvement of an existing building, including compliance with flood regulations, is considered reconstruction.

In the event that a development located within the Resort Housing District is substantially damaged by a natural disaster, that development can be built-back pursuant to the build-back requirements or reconstructed pursuant to the redevelopment standards.

“Rehabilitation” means the modernization, enhancement, restoration or updating associated with improving either the physical appearance or condition of an existing building or structure, including all typical components and systems.

Jordan went through the revised matrix, detailing progress made by the LDCRS on topics including definitions, density, impervious coverage, height limits, setbacks, recreation open space, accessory uses and surface water management. One sticking point was brought up by several subcommittee members regarding the reconstruction of pools, pool decks and equipment for resorts located in the Gulf Beach Zone. Holly Smith requested further clarification on what comprises a pool cavity.

“Like we did with the definitions, I’d like to have a little more clarity with this,” she said. “This has been brought up to us several times … we definitely do need to have a different clarification.”

Jordan also explained that within Section 126-153, under Exceptions and Prohibitions, it states, “reconstruction of existing nonconforming swimming pools and decks, including all related support components and equipment, located partially or entirely in the Gulf Beach Zone, which in conjunction with prior repairs or rehabilitation amount to a substantial improvement. That is further defined as greater than 50 percent of the assessed value of that structure.

Paul Reynolds suggested that pool redevelopment should be allowed within the existing footprint of that structure, noting that the Sanibel Plan does not allow pools to be built within the Gulf Beach Zone.

“If we’re gonna make this change, let’s do it right,” said Chuck Ketteman.

Subcommittee chair Mike Valiquette requested that the alterations to the definitions and further clarification on Section 126-153 be brought back at their next meeting, scheduled for Jan. 11. However, Dr. Phillip Marks made a motion to pass the progress they had made on the subject to the Planning Commission — of which the subcommittee is derived — and make their final recommendations during their Jan. 25 session. Marks’ motion passed unanimously.