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Building on Sanibel Island - What you need to know. 

Sanibel's Ecozones

Building setbacks and Height Restrictions

Ecozones protect habitat for people and wildlife.

Keeping our islands free from urban problems which plague some cities takes planning and an understanding of what makes our area different from others in Florida.
Sanibel Island is divided into nine development Eco-Zones ranging from those that can never be built on, to those allowing a maximum of 35 percent coverage. 
How much can be built depends in part on the Ecozone in which the property is located.

Gulf Beach:  Limited to passive recreation and conservation - NO BUILDING

Bay Beach : Limited to passive recreation and conservation -NO BUILDING

Mangrove: A minimum lot size for construction is 20 acres. Coverage is limited to 1 percent; developed area to 2 percent.

Lowland/Wetlands:  Minimum lot size is 20,000 square feet. Permitted coverage is 15 percent; developed area is 20 percent.

Upland/Wetlands: Minimum lot size is 15,000 square feet. Coverage is limited to 25 percent and developed area to 30 percent.

Blind Pass:  Minimum lot size is 20,000 square feet. Coverage is permitted to 25 percent and developed area to 30 percent.

Altered Land:  Minimum lot size is 10,000 square feet. Permitted coverage is 35 percent (30 percent for anything more than 10,000 square feet)
plus 5 percent for additional developed area.

Gulf Beach Ridge:  Minimum lot size is 20,000 square feet. Coverage is limited to 25 percent, and developed area to 30 percent.

When clearing a lot for construction, certain species of plants must be removed including Brazilian Pepper, Maleluca and sometimes, Australian Pines.
Other plants must be moved or retained, including all native species 3 feet or taller, and cabbage palms.

Buildings above a certain height  must angle in from all edges of the property, including street and waterfront.

Height Restrictions  Houses -  35 feet above pre-development grade or the crown of the road, whichever is higher.
Condominiums
-  45 feet above pre-development grade

Setbacks: From a side lot line, 10 feet for all structures, including overhangs.     From water, setbacks are 20 feet from the average high water line.
From the bay, setbacks are 50 feet from the average high water line.  From the Gulf, all construction must be behind the 1974 Coastal Construction Control Line
per Florida regulations if you want to avoid state permitting requirements.   From the street, construction must be: 50 feet from the center line of all non-thoroughfare
or feeder roads. 75 feet from the center line of main roads or arterials.  100 feet from Periwinkle Way and Causeway Road.   

As much as 320 square feet of dockage can be built on man-made canals with a minimum of documentation.
On natural waterways, 160 square feet of dock space can be built, but requires extensive permit and survey work.

Redevelopment of non-conforming structures (such as ground level homes) is permitted, with the following guidelines. Improvement may not cost
more than 50 percent of the appraised value of the structure. Improvements may not add more than 50 percent of the square footage of the house
(excluding garage) . Further improvement can be made after five years. 

 

Article courtesy of the Real Estate Guide to Sanibel & Captiva Islands.

Copyright   Sally Davies, Realtor, S.C.I.S, e-PRO. Royal Shell Real Estate, Inc. Sanibel, FL 33957 USA. Direct +1 (239) 691-3319, Office +1 (239) 472-0078

Pages last updated 03/31/2012