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Planners OK dock variance

By Staff | Apr 11, 2013

Sanibel Planning Commissioners approved two applications at Tuesday’s meeting, one a dock installation at a private residence and the other for bonus outdoor dining seats at Rosie’s Cafe & Grill.

The variance application by Rosie’s was closed to public comment since it had been approved at the March 26 public hearing with a few conditions, which were made to the document and brought back for final approval Tuesday.

Commissioner Tom Krekel, who was absent for the March 26 hearing, voiced his concerns over the application and non-conforming parking conditions at the Palm Ridge Place Shopping Center. His objections were noted and he was one of two “no” votes along with Vice Chair Phillip Marks against final approval. With commissioner Chris Heidrich again abstaining, the panel approved the application 4-2.

Rosie’s owner Joanne Fitzgerald is required to go before the commission in two years to make sure parking issues, repairs, and outdoor trash and vegetation concerns have been addressed.

A variance application required to construct a boat dock and lift encroaching on shared lot lines at the residence of William and Julie Hayles was approved after an extended discussion with planning department staff and dock contractor Stokes Marine.

The property at 5230 Caloosa End Lane was described as a hardship lot with narrow access on the inside curve of the canal. Staff and commissioners were most concerned with the project’s impact on mangroves nearby, which was described as minimal.

The development plans called for an eight-foot wide dock platform with a elevator style boat lift and four-foot walkway. Staff recommended the dock platform be reduced to four feet.

“We’re dealing with limited space here, obviously,” said contractor Brent Stokes. “There are three owners in close proximity (on the curve) with docks. We need the terminal platform bigger to allow better access getting on and off the boat and to support the lift.

“The elevator lift rides at an angle and with just two pilings instead of four it needs as much (platform) room as possible,” Stokes added. “Because of the angle of cross bracing needed to support the weight of the boat an eight-foot terminal is best.”

The neighboring property owner submitted a letter to planners granting permission for the Hayles’ dock to cross the property line extended into the canal.

The Hayles property has a history of variances. The existing dock and lift will be removed and replaced. A neighboring dock, built in 2002, affected the navigability and boat access to the existing dock, according to the staff report.

Stokes’ argument for the eight-foot platform and against the reduction to four feet satisfied commissioners, who voted 7-0 to approve the application as submitted.

The application goes back before commissioners at the next meeting on April 23 for final approval.