Letter: Sanibel Should Remove Angle of Light

Taxpayers- Citizens- Residents of Sanibel Island,

Writing this for our entire FAMILY as 37-year, year-round residents of Sanibel Island and as the Chairman-Founder of the company that managed all the IAN rescue operations with 24 helicopters – 300 Soldiers, 250 EMS Firefighters, Trucks, Airplanes and the service of millions of dollars of supplies all over the impacted area. We rescued a multitude of the people all over Lee (County) and on this island with certainty we factually saved their lives.

Our family home on WGD where we lived 35 years was destroyed, broken into 3 pieces, hauled away forever. Despite suffering a total loss, we then engaged a surveyor, architect, engineer and designed a fantastic new home at a design cost at great expense which met the sideline setbacks, height limitations that would have a real chance to survive a future hurricane and even a tornado.

Presented the plan and was told it does not meet the angle of light, which is something used where skyscrapers are built. Our design team looked at this angle of light definition and no one could even understand, pardon the language WTH does this mean exactly, when we meet the sideline and height requirements.

I suggested they all read that definition aloud in the meeting and tell me you even comprehend or understand what that means and what is it doing in the code of Sanibel Island where there are only low-rise structures. What it does is in our case is it reduces the home width, after hearing it explained by a COS Building Official. So it reduces our new home design by 14 feet in width, negating the ability of our large family to rebuild and live there when we lived in exactly the same spot 35 years.

We said, well, issue a variance and was told you will not get one. Then later was told to apply for a variance, then we said why would we do that when you told us we would not get one do we look like fools. The point is that AOL rule should not be in the SANIBEL code as all it does is penalize the property owners needlessly. If anyone like us meets the 10 foot sideline, and we did, and were under the height maximum, we were, and the properties next door as well in fact does, there is 40 feet of space between the homes 10 x 4= 40 feet of separation.

This angle of light is not designed in COS code to provide light (as 40 feet is a large amount of light), it was designed to penalize property owners rights and it will bite all of you when you least expect it. Instead of trying to figure it out tonight or even ever, it should be deleted 100% from the code before it comes back and bites one of you as well.

Factually even if somehow in your mind you can understand it and if you do, well, you are one of the few in the world who does. Angle of light is a disingenuous use of a term for high rise 1,000+ foot structures in major urban areas like NY City. Again you do not want to be the next one it gets pulled out of the drawer on, I promise you it is a property rights penalty and serves no valid purpose.

Best suggestion “Got to stop having the TAIL WAG the Dog”, delete AOL from the code! Push Back, we are the taxpayers, they work for us say, No Way!

Vincent M. Wolanin FAMILY

Comments (2)

  1. You are so right about not understanding about angle of light. Someone like you who had done so much for the island should be given some leeway. (Pun intended).

  2. Raymond Luebbers

    I totally agree with this comment. When we remodeled our condo in 2010 we were prevented from putting screen and roof on our lanai by this rule, as our neighbor had been 10 years previously. The roof would have added about 5 feet to the building extension. We face South so the 5 foot of roof might have blocked sunlight reaching a small area of the driveway for a few minutes. Logic didn’t matter.

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