Sanibel Historical Museum & Village can move forward with repair and restoration efforts to its newest arrivals, the Shore Haven home and companion caretaker's cottage.
Approval came Tuesday from the Sanibel Planning Commission which authorized the work at a certificate of appropriateness hearing. Both structures are on the city's Local Register of Historical Sites & Structures.
The exterior restoration work, including repair and replacement of damaged wood siding, windows and roofing and construction of ADA compliant handicap accessibility ramps, sailed through commission discussion without opposition.
The caretaker's cottage that accompanied Shore Haven's move to the Sanibel Historical Museum & Village last fall will be restored with the city's approval of a certificate of appropriateness through the Planning Commission.
Both buildings had undergone extensive remodeling since their original construction. The certificate of appropriateness is required to restore the buildings to their original appearance. The plans were reviewed by the Historical Preservation Committee on Aug. 1, judging the work consistent with standards and conforming to rehabilitation guidelines.
Commissioners agreed with the Planning Department staff report to recommend approval of the certificate.
Commissioners took twice as long to discuss and approve a development permit and variance application by Fresh Taqueria on Periwinkle Way, which was seeking permission to add 16 bonus outdoor dining seats as well as outdoor signage directing customers to its off-property parking lot.
The property is a one-of-a-kind situation on Sanibel in that the parking lot does not adjoin the restaurant. Commissioners and city staff delved into the history of previous establishments at the 2411 Periwinkle Way location, including public safety issues for motorists and bike path users.
Fresh Taqueria has 40 indoor dining seats which city code requires 23 parking spaces, but on-site parking had been removed by a prior occupant and the off-site lot is nine parking spaces short of requirements.
Despite that, commissioners were sympathetic to Fresh Taqueria owner MG Whitaker's situation. They took into account that other restaurant establishments have been granted additional outdoor seating and the uniqueness of the parking lot placement.
Commissioners voted 4-0, with two absent and one abstaining with a conflict, to approve both permits for the added seating and added directional parking signage.
Planning director James Jordan informed the commissioners that one application is on the agenda for the next meeting on Sept. 10, when he also will present the commercial redevelopment draft of the permitted and conditional use document to be sent to City Council.