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Planning Commission passes variances on house and dock projects at 1540 and 1545 San Carlos Bay Drive

By Staff | Nov 4, 2015

The Sanibel Planning Commission on Tuesday voted 4-0 to grant all variances which were sought to accommodate the new construction of a single-family residence, with a swimming pool at 1540 San Carlos Bay Drive and an accessory new dock with two boat lifts at the 25-foot lot at 1545 San Carlos Bay Drive.

At the Oct. 13, Planning Commission meeting, the single-family residence portion of the variance was closed, but the motion to include a continuation of the hearing for the setback variance for a new dock and boat lift on the canal side was continued to the Oct. 27, meeting.

The Sanibel Planning Department did not support the revised plans made on the dock. Roy Gibson of the Planning Department also cited six public comments made by neighbors of the property via email as all wanting the Planning Commission to reject the revised plans.

“We could go with the plan, if there wasn’t a proposed additional dock on the side of it,” Gibson said.

The revised plan did reduce the extent of the lineal encroachment into side yard setbacks, the Planning Department’s research discovered “it unreasonably increases the amount of dock surface area encroaching within the side yard setback relative to the existing dock.”

Steve Hartsell, who was the esquire on behalf of the buyers Salvo and Donna Marks, said the revised plans do not violate the requirements because it reduced the non-conforming structure.

“They are still within code requirements,” Hartsell added. “The plans eliminates the jet ski lift and decking and it removed 100 square feet of decking. It’s well within the 320 feet permissible (by code). It’s as reasonable as reasonable can be.”

After a longer discussion by Gibson and Hartsell, Planning Commissioner Holly Smith said she was “comfortable with the new design.”

The motion included accepting all variances sought after, including the construction of the new dock and was voted 4-0 to accept.