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Longboat Key Monday, May 18, 2009 11 years ago

Resident receives waiver request

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

The Zoning Board of Adjustment will allow a Key resident to build an addition on the side of his house, even though it violates the town’s daylight plane ordinance.

But the only reason the zoning board made the decision at its Thursday, May 14 regular meeting was because the addition being constructed will be built next to a neighbor with a double lot, which will not adversely impact the home next door.

To receive approval for the extension, D. Reese Pierce, the owner of the home at 801 Penfield St., asked the zoning board for an 11-degree waiver of the town’s daylight-plane ordinance. The waiver will allow
Pierce to build a 979-square-foot addition to the right side of his home.

The home, which has 3,940 square feet of total space under roof, will increase to 4,919 square feet of space under roof once the addition is built. Pierce is building the addition to make room for parents that will be moving in with him and his wife.

But because the home was built in 1994, years before the town’s daylight-plane ordinance was adopted, the waiver needed to be requested.

The town was one of the first communities in the area to establish daylight plane requirements, which act as setback requirements as a house is constructed. As a house goes up, the setbacks increase at an angle to prevent 40-foot solid walls at the setback line. The ordinance was created to preserve light and air circulation between neighboring properties and encourages creative architectural design. The ordinance also helps blend larger, new, elevated homes with smaller, older homes in the area.

While new zoning board member Gaele Barthold suggested that Pierce could reduce the angle waiver from 11 degrees to nine degrees to set the addition further back from his neighbor’s property, Pierce explained that his contractor discouraged the reduction.

“Not lining up the addition with the existing walls and roof would weaken the home’s resistance to hurricanes,” Pierce said.

Because the town’s planning board found there was not sufficient evidence to make an opinion on the application, the zoning board approved the request by a 4-0 vote.

The board came to its decision after the findings revealed the addition had little adverse impact to the neighbors, and the application had two letters from neighbors who had no problem with the addition.

“If his neighbors don’t have a problem with it, I don’t either,” said zoning board member George Pasini.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at

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