TO: Local Planning Agency
FROM: Bill Spikowski
DATE: September 25, 1996
SUBJECT: Follow-Up on Your September 24th Meeting on Development Regulations
Last evening we discussed four types of interim changes to your development regulations:
maximum building heights, signs, commercial development, and seasonal parking shortages.
This memorandum attempts to summarize your consensus position on how to proceed. At
your next meeting, please review this listing and identify any areas where this memorandum
does not accurately characterize your direction.
You would be producing in the very near future a single ordinance amending the existing
Land Development Code. This ordinance would include the following amendments:
- Revisions to Section 34-2175, the building height limitations on Estero
Island. These revisions would create two or more districts (encompassing all of the
island) which would have distinct height limits. The purpose of creating these districts
is to ensure that new buildings on most of the island will not be high-rises, but to allow
somewhat taller buildings in delineated areas where a high-rise pattern has been firmly
established. The level of vesting would be made explicit.
- Revisions to Section 30 regulating signs. These revisions would eliminate the
hardships caused by the "non-conforming" status of many older business signs, by
reducing the required 15-foot setback from a right-of-way; decrease the maximum
allowable size of business signs; and eliminate new billboards anywhere on the island.
An amortization period would be provided for existing larger signs.
- Revisions to Section 34 regarding new commercial development. As an interim
measure while the town evaluates its policy on expansion of commercial expansion,
new commercial developments would be required to be rezoned to CPD
(Commercial Planned Development). Exempted from this requirement would be any
development that complies with the Times Square Redevelopment Overlay District,
and also minor improvements that do not require a development order. This interim
regulation would be reexamined in the spring of 1997 after the comprehensive
planning process (through a community design workshop) has examined alternative
patterns for future commercial expansion.
- Revisions to Section 34 regarding parking. To allow the private sector to provide
additional parking during the peak season, the "shared parking" provisions of the code
would be changed to delete the requirement for a special exception; to loosen the
proximity requirements; and to ensure a reasonable measure of buffering to adjoining
residential areas. Also, the dates during which temporary parking lots can be used
would be extended.
The most time-consuming amendment to prepare and agree upon will be the delineation of
the height districts. The reasoning behind these districts must be clear; spot-zoning must be
avoided; and the proposed maximum heights must be related to a clearly articulated public
The first attempt at creating the districts and their height caps should probably be delegated.
An initial delineation of which district(s) should be allowed to have taller buildings should be
prepared; the LPA may wish to assign one of its members to prepare this (or appoint a
subcommittee, although its meetings would have to be properly noticed). This approach
would reduce your consulting expenses and take maximum advantage of local knowledge. I
have extra copies of some early drafts of the large parcel-level maps for you to use in this