What’s Happening at SanibelSusan Realty
Even before the arrival of the holiday weekend visitors today, we had a fairly active week at SanibelSusan Realty. The office fielded several listing inquiries, had some showings, got a new lot listing, and I was out showing property several days to both prospective condo and home owners.
One of these buyers was interested in beach turtle nesting and heard that the islands had not had any nests this year. I referred him to my blog last week and said that nesting may be a little late this year, much like the rainy season which has not really begun yet. Florida has been getting rain on the east coast and inland, but the islands need rain. Sunny days are expected right into next week, with temperatures up to 90 degrees – perfect for the incoming vacationers!
Speaking of vacationers, when I was at Sundial Resort mid-week, they said that they have over 150 check-ins expected today. Their new front lobby area has now been fully remodeled and it reopened this week, as did the new restaurant and bar. The open balcony for alfresco dining is complete too, while work is continuing on the upper conference room level balcony.
Teammate Dave was out photographing our new listing on Buck Key Road yesterday and snapped a few photos of a soft shelled Florida turtle in the bayou and the below bird’s nest with babies (possibly anhinga). (Look carefully to see them through the vegetation.)
Regarding turtle nests and as follow-up to last week’s blog, more nests were reported today by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s (SCCF) turtle patrol. There now are two on the east end, 24 west end, and seven on Captiva, plus a total of 51 false crawls.
SCCF also posted that another Snowy Plover nest was laid this week, for a total of nine this season. If you are on the beach, watch out for these tiny chicks. The photo above by our photographer pal, Roberta Schuldenfrei, shows just how small these babies are.
Four of the Snowy Plover nests have hatched so far and a Wilson’s Plover nest also hatched this week.
Here are a few other island news items followed by the activity posted over the last seven days in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.
City Enhances Lightning Prediction System at Island Parks
Teammate Elise jumped this week when the new audible horn which is part of the City Lightning Prediction System was tested at the Community Park across the street from our office. Another horn has been installed at the Ball Field Complex on Sanibel Captiva Road next to the school.
As a storm is approaching a visual warning (orange flashing strobes) and an audible warning (horn will sound once for 15 seconds for “red alert” and will sound three times for 5 seconds for “all clear”). The system operates from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Upgrading Sanibel’s Commercial Properties
Sanibel City Council held a workshop this week about its ongoing concern about redevelopment and upgrading of the island’s commercial districts. Currently any business use that is not specifically listed in Sanibel’s code is prohibited from opening on the island – or at least without a variance or amendment. That restriction has posed problems for Council as it works on ways to stimulate the island’s commercial areas and encourage owners to renovate.
Council began by looking at permitted uses, non-conforming structures and uses, on-site parking requirements, and interconnectivity between commercial areas and setbacks. Prior to 1985, only 26 permitted uses in commercial districts were listed as part of the land use plan. If a use was not listed, the planning commission could approve the use provided it was found to be similar in character, size, intensity and impact to those listed.
With the adoption of the land development code in 1985, the list of permitted uses was expanded to 100 and the Planning Commission no longer could approve uses not listed. Today, there are businesses that were not envisioned back then and the process to define a new use for a specific property is both time-consuming and expensive. For example, recently an applicant wanting to teach ballet classes, which is not a listed use, was discouraged because of the high cost (as much as $7,000) of the long (5- to 6-month) process. Other examples of non-permitted uses that have been abandoned include a doggy day care and a micro-brewery.
Commercial redevelopment is a challenge because major issues are involved. Some older structures are nonconforming under current codes, and some are hampered by setback rules. Council members want to streamline the application process and lower the cost, but indicated that they do not want to give carte blanche for all business uses. Some, particularly those with outside impact, could require public hearings.
Council also is considering parking space requirements and seeking ways to encourage connectivity between commercial centers. The topic will be discussed further during Council’s June 4 meeting.
Is a Central Civic Core in Sanibel’s Future?
A Tampa-based consultant recently performed a study to determine the potential for creating a core civic area on Sanibel. It would encompass the library, town hall (farmer’s market area), BIG ARTS, and the historic village. A survey determined that there is the potential for 30-some acres of developable land.
This project is not budgeted and will need City Council approval before going further, but initial talks include moving the Community House as part of the plan and relocating the City’s Public Work’s Department. The Center 4 Life, on Library Way and in need of renovation of expansion, also is being considered for relocation to the civic core. Stay tuned on this subject, it also will be discussed at the June 4 City Council Meeting.
Senator Hopes To Delay Flood Insurance Increases
“Sen. Mary Landrieu filed legislation this week to delay flood insurance increases for many residents and businesses in southern Louisiana that officials fear could begin skyrocketing at the end of the year. The National Flood Insurance Program reauthorization was approved last year. Landrieu, D-La., had an amendment that was defeated that would have stalled premium increases of 20% or more annually for some residents in the program.
“The new “Strengthen, Modernize and Reform The National Flood Insurance Program Act” would indefinitely delay the hikes until six months after Congress receives an affordability study by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The bill also protects properties that are currently “grandfathered.” Landrieu tells The Advocate she has not yet decided on how she will try to move the bill forward. “It could be stand alone. It could be amended onto another bill,” she said. “It could be part of the appropriations process, of which I’d have a good bit of influence on since I chair the committee.” Landrieu chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which oversees FEMA’s funding.
“The insurance fear is that proposed flood maps will cost residents and business owners a lot more in the congressional effort to make the flood insurance program more self-sustainable. The proposed flood maps are still under federal review but more parts of the state’s coast are becoming high-risk velocity zones, or V-zones, where insurance rates increase more. The program also is going to start phasing out “grandfathered” rates next year. The NFIP allows homeowners and businesses in flood zones that have trouble getting private insurance to obtain policies backed by the federal government.
“Nearly 500,000 people in Louisiana participate in the NFIP. The program has been in financial distress with a loss of more than $20 billion, largely due to payments made after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Landrieu said balances must be found to ensure the insurance is “affordable, accessible and self-sustainable.””
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 17-24
2 new listings: Sanibel Moorings #241 1/1 $309.9K, Pointe Santo #D24 2/2 $635K.
2 price changes: Sundial #G205 1/1 now $315K, Sanddollar #B104 2/2 now $869K.
9 new sales: Blind Pass #E201 2/2 listed for $399K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #A102 2/2 listed for $399K, Island Beach Club #P3A 2/2 listed for $460K, Sandpiper Beach #103 2/2 listed for $595K, Pointe Santo #C32 2/2 listed for $599.9K, Loggerhead Cay #133 2/2 listed for $649K, Pointe Santo #C26 2/2 listed for $669K, Pelicans Roost #206 2/2 listed for $799K, Nutmeg Village #101 2/2 listed for $919K.
6 closed sales: Sundial #G104 2/2 $412K, Island Beach Club #P1A 2/2 $438K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #6-2 2/2.5 $455K, Oceans Reach #1B4 1/1 $595K, Pointe Santo #C3 3/2 $800K, Compass Point #183 2/2 $1M.
1 new listing: 1066 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $550K.
2 price changes: 261 Ferry Landing Dr 2/2 half-duplex now $1.02M, 2520 Harbour Ln 3/2.5 now $1.421M.
4 new sales: 1409 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed for $299K, 966 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex listed for $349K, 696 Durion Ct 3/2.5 listed for $635K, 919 Almas Ct 3/2.5 listed for $1.049M.
4 closed sales: 1639 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $360K, 1342 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $550K, 1339 Par View Dr 3/2 $625K, 6009 Clam Bayou Rd 4/3 $750K.
1 new listing: 4626 Buck Key Rd $199.9K (our listing).
2 price changes: 1118 Sand Castle Rd now $199K (our listing), 1540 San Carlos Bay Dr now $1.35M.
1 new sale: 4309 Gulf Pines Dr listed for $299K.
1 closed sale: 6141 Starling Way $410K.
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3138 2/2 listed for $395K.
1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5308 3/3 $504,999.
No new listings.
1 price change: 16645 Captiva Dr 8/9/2 now $3.749M.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 59 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 $735K.
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions. If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.
from The SanibelSusan Team (Susan, Dave, Elise, & Lisa)