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Planning calls for pitched roofs in resort housing district

By Staff | Aug 2, 2017

The City Council gave direction to the planning director last month to bring a proposal before the Planning Commission to have further discussion regarding pitched roofs for three story multifamily buildings in the Resort Housing District.

Planning Director Jim Jordan presented a change they would like to make to the land development code that deals strictly with architectural design standards that were adopted last year by the City Council.

The adoption was made to “ensure that the new construction and redevelopment of all multifamily buildings and structures in the Resort Housing District will be aesthetically designed, constructed, and improved in a manner that enhances and reinforce the natural environment, visual and physical character of Sanibel.”

According to a Planning Department memorandum, it became apparent that something needed to change after a meeting was held with a local architect company representing a property owner who wants to demolish and reconstruct an existing gulf front resort housing development.

“The standard requires that all roof slopes that are designed for multi-family buildings have a 4:12 pitch roof. The issue we run across is with the maximum height of buildings set at three floors above flood at 49.8 feet, it’s impossible to put a slope roof on these buildings without giving some type of exception to the building height to allow for the 4:12 pitch roof.”

Jordan said the whole idea was so aesthetically you had these buildings that would look attractive that would not have a three story flat roof building.

“The whole intent of this is to fix this issue with a slope roof,” he said.

Jordan said it would be better for wind, hurricanes and green technology because it allows for circulation under the roof.

“All in all, it’s better for functionality, aesthetics and what the council wanted to achieve for the island’s character,” he said. “Really if you look at the buildings that have built up to the maximum height that are flat roofs, they are probably some of the most least attractive buildings. This is only to enhance the aesthetics. It is not to increase floor area, stories and it really does not increase the height of the buildings. The height of the building is staying the same.”

The Planning Department approached the issue with the Sanibel Plan in mind.

Councilman Chauncey Goss said he was supportive of the idea because they are getting squeezed from the top and bottom and they do not want a bunch of flat roofs given what they just put out with their architectural standards.

“It makes sense,” he said.

Vice Mayor Mick Denham asked if it would just be for beach front properties – hotel, motel and condominiums.

“Yes, it would only be for multi-family, three story buildings in the Resort Housing District,” Jordan said, adding that it would not be next to residential development.

Jordan will bring the topic before the Planning Commission for a public hearing, which will also give the community a chance to weigh in during public comment.