Sanibel moves forward with resilient build-back efforts
In an effort to support resilient build-back efforts following Hurricane Ian, the Sanibel City Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance adjusting maximum building heights within ecological zones. This decision paves the way for more resilient structures that can better withstand future storms.
The approved ordinance removes the limitation for residential or institutional/civic structures of 35 feet above predevelopment grade, while maintaining the maximum height of 45 feet NAVD. Additionally, the primary angle of light measurement is changed from 20 feet above predevelopment grade to 30 feet NAVD, and the secondary angle of light measurement is changed from 25 feet above predevelopment grade to 35 feet NAVD.
Why the Changes Were Necessary
The previous building height restrictions made it challenging for homeowners to rebuild their properties after Hurricane Ian, particularly for single-family homes. Recognizing this need for flexibility, the City Council sought to adjust the regulations to allow for more resilient construction practices.
Community Engagement and Input
The decision to modify building height regulations was not taken lightly. The City Council engaged in extensive discussions with the community, including public hearings and workshops, to gather input and feedback. This transparent approach ensured that the community’s concerns were heard and considered.
Moving Forward with Resilience
The approved building height changes represent a significant step forward in Sanibel’s efforts to build back better and more resiliently. By allowing for taller structures and more flexible design options, the City is empowering homeowners to protect their properties from future storms while preserving the island’s unique character.