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Planning commission supports proposed remodel for IL Cielo

By Staff | Feb 18, 2019

The Sanibel Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit that allows IL Cielo to increase its indoor seating and floor area, while eliminating an outdoor dining area, at its recent meeting.

On Feb. 12, the commissioners voted 5-0 in favor of the proposal.

According to a report from city staff, the permit would enable the 150-seat restaurant to remodel the interior and exterior building in order to increase its indoor seats by 12 and its floor area by 249 square feet. The project also involves removing the outdoor dining area, eliminating 16 bonus outdoor seats.

The application for the permit for the restaurant, located at 1244 Periwinkle Way, was submitted by IL Cielo General Manager Marcus Preece on behalf of Shoreline Finance, the owner of the property.

Roy Gibson, city planner with the Community Services Department, explained that the request is to revise a previous use for approval that the applicant is not seeking a new use or change of use.

“They’re seeking to amend conditions of a previous use to allow for the remodeling and expansion of an existing restaurant,” he said. “It’s a very small change to what was approved in 1998.”

Gibson reviewed the general requirements and specific conditional use requirements.

“The proposed increase in seats and the proposed increase in floor area will not require any additional parking based on the Sanibel Code parking standards,” he said.

Gibson added that there would no additional impacts on traffic, wastewater nor sewer.

“They are enclosing an existing deck, which is where the bonus outdoor seating exists, and that’s where the increase in commercial floor area is proposed,” he said.

According to the applicant, the enclosed area will house the relocated bar and seating.

Gibson pointed out that staff did find an issue with the commercial landscape buffer standards.

“It appeared that there’s some deficiencies with the current landscape buffers,” he said.

Under questioning, Gibson explained that some of the deficiencies were caused by storm events over time, with the vegetation damaged or destroyed. There are also non-natives out-competing natives.

“This buffer is not that deficient,” he said.

Gibson noted that the Natural Resources Department reviewed the information.

“They fully support this recommendation,” he said.

Gibson added that the applicant is working with staff to address the deficiencies.

“That will make and bring back conformance,” he said.

Within its report, city staff recommended 10 conditions if the commission was to approve the conditional use permit. One of the conditions required the landscape buffer to be addressed.

After some discussion, a motion was made to approve the permit with the conditions.