Historic Preservation Board approves motion to continue on Banyan Street property

October 12, 2018
By Marcy Shortuse

■ BY SUE ERWIN – The Boca Grande Historic Preservation Board held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, October 10, and a debate continued about a proposal regarding a property on Banyan Street.
The request, an item continued from the September 12 meeting, was to demolish an existing single-family residence and construct a new one at 235 Banyan Street in the historic district of Boca Grande. The subject property is listed as a noncontributing property in the Boca Grande Historic District. Any alterations to the property are required to be consistent with the design guidelines for the Boca Grande Historic DiDtrict and Chapter 22 of the Land Development Code.
Currently, the property is a two-story residence that was built in the early 1980s. The structure is approximately 900 square feet. The proposed 2,800- square foot residence would be oriented toward the southeast corner of the property at West Railroad and Banyan Street. It would be a two-story home and feature a wrap-around porch and a detached garage that would have access to the alley.
Last month, Lee County Planner Anthony Rodriguez said staff reviewed the certificate of appropriateness submission package and finds the project to be substantially consistent with the design guidelines for the Boca Grande Historic District and Chapter 22 of the Land Development Code.
Justin Sexton of Old Florida Homes represented the client and asked for a motion to continue the request until the next meeting, so the required design changes could be completed.
The Board approved the request.
The second item on the agenda was a request to construct a two-story, single-family residence on the vacant lot at 150 First St. East. The subject property is located in a noncontributing site within the Boca Grande Historic District.
The parcel is currently undeveloped, apart from a boat dock running along the shoreline of the canal in the southern portion of the lot. The property is also partly vegetated with shrubs and mangroves. The proposed residence is a contemporary Florida cottage incorporating bungalow-style elements.
John Cooney spoke on behalf of the applicant and said there was a large focus on this project to keep the proportions very historical and authentic.
“There was a lot of time and effort put into keeping the property authentic, and I honestly feel it’s a modern amenitized historic project.”
Lee County Planner Peter Blackwell said the residence would be similar to many of the residences in Boca Grande. The house will feature metal roofs and synthetic horizontal siding. The proposed building height from grade to roof peak is 31 feet, four inches, including the 8-foot flood elevation.
“The materials they have chosen are all within the historic district guidelines, and therefore staff finds that the building conforms to the historic district overall, and therefore we request that the Historic Preservation Board make a finding that the proposed residence is in compliance with the design guidelines for the Boca Grande Historic District and Lee County Land Development Code Chapter 22,” Blackwell said.
A motion was made to approve the request by Board member Bill Caldwell, and it passed unanimously.
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 10 a.m. at the Boca Grande Community Center.