SC Staff Report
What made the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation’s acquisition of the 28-acre Bailey Homestead Preserve unique was that a house came with the property. It’s now in need of a new roof and Sanibel Planning Commission approved the request Tuesday, Oct. 22.
The current asphalt-shingled roof is in constant need of repair and frequently leaks, which has made it functionally necessary to completely replace it, SCCF CEO Dr. Ryan Orgera reported. The home is on the City of Sanibel’s Historical Register and needed a certificate of appropriateness required for alterations to a landmark on the list.
“We would like to replace the current roof with a longer-lasting, cistern-friendly material: metal,” wrote Orgera in his memo to the Historical Preservation Committee, which endorsed the roof replacement. Orgera also said SCCF wanted to take the opportunity to reconnect the roof/gutter system to the original, underground cistern.
“We feel reconnecting the cistern is part of our commitment to the historical nature of the house,” Orgera told commissioners on Tuesday. “The cistern will then water the plants we have for sale at the Native Plant Nursery (located on the property). We have spoken with those few experts on cisterns that we could find and they indicated a metal roof was far superior.
“When you have a shingled roof, it requires consistent cleaning of the cistern, which is an unpleasant job as you can imagine. This is Florida Cracker-style compatible and we have a commitment to maintaining (the Bailey home’s) charm and historical integrity,” said Orgera.
Additionally, Orgera noted that the roof of the Honey House, the adjacent structure north of the home, is currently metal.
The preserve, located along Periwinkle Way, offers nine acres for public use and SCCF maintains the remaining 19 acres as a wetland preserve. It was originally zoned for 36 residential units, but was acquired through a campaign that raised the purchase price of $5 million.