After several years of meetings and discussion, Dry Dock Waterfront Grill owner Eric Hammersand finally received approval from the Planning and Zoning Board to build his long-coveted, outdoor-dining roof.
At its Thursday, June 18 special meeting, the planning board approved a 1,239-square-foot roof structure to be built over the restaurant’s outdoor dining area.
The roof, which will extend from the wall of the existing indoor restaurant, requires a special exception and a site-plan amendment on the property, located at 412 Gulf of Mexico Drive.
The request to roof the outdoor dining area does not require additional parking, because the number of indoor and outdoor seats at the restaurant will remain the same.
The new roof, if approved by the Town Commission, will be located 22 feet from the bay, and the special exception granted allows the roof to have a minimum of 20 feet of waterfront yard instead of the required 50-foot setback.
Hammersand has been working on and off with town-planning staff for more than four years to build the roof. Setback issues surrounding the structure in the past, however, have caused roadblocks for the project.
Because the town prohibits action on site plans during the months of July and August, the Town Commission has agreed to review the planning board’s approval recommendation at a special meeting Tuesday, June 30.
If approved by the commission, Hammersand could begin construction on his roof this summer. The project will require extensive construction, including pilings being hammered into the ground.
Hammersand asked for the special meeting so the restaurant could close its doors during the slower summer season.
Hammersand has stated in the past that adverse weather meant the loss of the patio more than 50% of the time during the busy season, which resulted in loss of revenue and longer wait times for customers.
“We’re excited to get moving on a project that’s been in the works for a long time,” Hammersand said.