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Community House accessory structure location approved

By Staff | May 17, 2017

The Sanibel Community Association was granted permission by an unanimous Planning Commission vote last week to keep an accessory storage building in the same place to which it had been relocated.

Roy Gibson, senior planner, said in January of this year the Sanibel Community Association submitted an as built survey, which revealed an encroachment with the accessory storage building within the front yard setback. He said the front yard setback requires a 75 foot distance from the center line of Periwinkle Way for any structure.

“Because the structure was relocated, it was subject to that 75 foot setback,” Gibson said, adding that the exhibit he entered into the record shows the required setback. “I want the records to show that the plans did approve the relocation of this accessory storage building to setback 75 feet from the center line of Periwinkle Way.”

Inadvertently, Gibson said the applicant has identified that the storage building was relocated four and a half feet within the 75 foot setback, so it encroaches within that 75 foot setback and that includes a 2 foot overhang.

“That by the way is 6 percent of the setback,” he said.

Gibson said historically there has been accessory structures within the front yard associated with the Community House. He said given the fact that the building is no closer than the Community House itself and it sets further back from the other accessory building, staff does not object to the variance that is requested to allow the building to stay in the front yard.

Gibson said there is a requirement of at least a 10 foot separation between the accessory and principal structure. He said the applicant’s hardship is trying to move the accessory building further back from Periwinkle, or the west. It is restrained because of the conditions of the parking, driveway and loading areas.

Robert Monk, attorney for the applicant, said in reality you stake out these projects as best you can, but until the fire department comes and tells you where they have to go and until all of these things are done you would have to stop the entire project and have it resurveyed.

“A project of this size, we did not anticipate for this to happen. Our goal coming into this when we met with you last year was to try to get this done and to bring the building and the overall project into enough conformance as we possibly could,” Monk said. “Unfortunately we fell short.”

Commissioner Karen Storjohann asked how old the accessory building was.

Teresa Riska-Hall, executive director of the Sanibel Community Association, said they have some people looking into the age of the building, but believe it was built in the 1950s.

Planning Director Jim Jordan said storage buildings are not included in the historic registry. He said the Community House itself was a gathering place and served as a principal use affording historic recognition.

Monk said the accessory building stores most of the equipment used for outdoor functions, such as fencing.

“Traditionally, it’s my understanding, that most of what the Lions (Club) uses has always been in there and they have maintained it over the years,” he said.

Storjohann also asked if the structure was on a fixed foundation.

Architect Amy Nowacki said the original building did not have much of a foundation at all. She said they poured a new slab and maintained the structure itself.

“We took the post from that original structure and properly anchored it down to the slab now to meet current code in regards to uplift,” she said.

Storjahann then asked what the cost would be to relocate the building.

Nowacki said they would have to redo the building and pour a new slab somewhere. She said they did look at all of the options, such as chopping off the overhang of the building, or chopping off the end of the building. Nowacki said it was not that simple to shorten the building, or rotate the building.

“As someone who has been involved in the historic work preservation here on the island, I would be disinclined to have you chop part of the building that dates to the ’50s even though we didn’t put it on the historic registry for other reasons. It does have a historic component,” Storjahann said.

Originally Nowacki said it cost between $7,000 and $8,000 to move the building.

“So, it’s not desirable to start talking about moving this to another location,” Storjahann asked.

Nowacki agreed.