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Architectural design standards passed by City Council

By Staff | Apr 13, 2016

The look of Sanibel will be remaining in-character for good, after the City Council passed the architectural design standard ordinance in its April 5 meeting.

Met with no resistance, the City Council unanimously passed the ordinance which guarantees to keep the representative of the community’s character and aesthetics of the building styles as “Island style.”

The architectural design standards will be applied to resort housing, multi-family, commercial and institutional uses.

The four sub-style categories allowed include Old Florida, Island Eclectic, Island Contemporary and Caribbean.

“One size will fit all after we made revisions to the original draft ordinance,” said Planning Director James Jordan. “Residential housing is exempt and the cost impact to the community is minimal. We developed the architectural design standards to fit the community and not allow your typical box-style of store to come in.”

A revision made from the original draft, includes a horizontal wall or screen plane in excess of 60 feet shall have an off-set with a minimum depth of six feet and a minimum to maximum length of 15 to 30 feet.

In the revisions, the ordinance states: “Vertical wall or screen plane for buildings with multiple floors shall provide architectural features such as balconies, porches, walkways, sunshades, trellises, roof overhangs, canopies or protruding or recessed openings for every vertical floor; O

“Such projections of the faade shall have a minimum depth of 3 1/2 feet and a total minimum length equal to 50-percent of the width of the horizontal plane from which they project.”

The City Council had little conversation about the ordinance amending the Sanibel Code and it passed 5-0.

The City Council decided to table the Civic Core discussion for its May meeting, after needing more information on potential operating costs of the proposed $42 million project, which will need to be passed via public referendum during an undecided date.

“We will have to have the opportunity to sit down with the directors from the different entities,” said Mayor Kevin Ruane.

It was passed by a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Chauncey Goss dissenting, to take the next step in the second tier for the Dunes traffic project.

It was requested by the Villages at the Dunes Homeowners Association for the City Council to proceed with the Johnson Engineering Tier Two, speed bump recommendation, to address the speeding which has been reported in the area.

Keith Williams, Director of Public Works, said the step of Tier One of lowering the speed limit to 20 miles per hour has been in affect for the last year.

The request of installing movable 14-foot by four-inch speed “humps” in designated areas – more than likely on Albatross Road – was made by the Dunes Association. The humps are temporary rubber and can be removed during non-peak season.

The estimated cost of the Tier Two improvements is $24,800.

Sanibel Fire Chief Danny Duncan was against the installation of the humps, stating that the fire engines and EMS vans are forced to almost completely stop at the humps.

“It’s in our opinion that we don’t want the humps installed,” Chief Duncan said. “It slows us down and in our field, every second counts. We will lose seconds and seconds do matter. This is just a request for the safety of the residents, not us.”

In the Dunes Pass Thru and Speed Analysis by Johnson Engineering, there were 466 radar stops through the year by Sanibel Police and 204 citations given out.

“The SPD really stepped up,” said Bob Lindeman, the Chairman of traffic on the Dunes Board. “But this is an issue of safety and I respect what Chief Duncan has to say, but we would like to at least try Tier Two.”

Sanibel Police Chief Bill Tomlinson said his department put in about an average of 10 hours a week of speeding enforcement in the Dunes, with the lowering of the speed limit to 20 miles per hour.

The 4-1 vote moves the traffic project into Tier Two, with the funds coming out of the transportation budget.

Councilman Goss questioned if the City should be responsible for paying the $20,000 to fund the annual Independence Day fireworks presentation. The funding is from the General Fund, but does not increase the FY 2016 budget.

“I’m not for the City picking up the full tab,” Goss said. “It should be shared with the business district.”

There was disagreement from the other four Councilmen, including Mayor Ruane.

“I feel the City should pick up the tab, because the businesses are being asked for a lot of things,” said Councilman Marty Harrity. “I suggest that Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel work together and put a barge in between the islands in the Gulf and light it up.”

Mayor Ruane added the $20,000 fireworks show is a “modest display” and it was “late in the game” to start shifting cost responsibilities.

The vote was 4-1, with Goss’ “nay”, for the City to pay the full $20,000 fireworks tab.

A report was given by Dan DeLisi, the City’s legislative consultant, about the current water quality issues.

Sanibel Director of Natural Resources James Evans also reported discharges from Lake Okeechobee are down significantly and are “in a good range”, while water clarity is improving “dramatically.”

DeLisi reported to the Council that a bill granting $230 million toward Everglades restoration was passed by the State Legislation and is “historic”.

“That will be higher than next year, simply because the construction costs were included in it this year,” DeLisi added. “We are seeing a lot of Everglades Restoration fatigue in the Legislature, though, so we need to continue our due diligence and the next two years will be crucial for the C-43 project, because it will need the vast majority of the Everglades spending.”

Vice Mayor Mick Denham gave his report on the effort of sharing information and helping surrounding communities in environment issues.

“The specific request made from them was golf course management,” Denham said. “We also had further discussions about nutrient and fertilizer projects with the SCCF. I also met with two mayors about our vegetation handbook.”

To kickoff the meeting, Mayor Ruane and Vice-Mayor Denham were re-elected by the Council to keep their seats, as well.