Building Code Update
Posted on May 11th, 2011

In December we informed you of a proposed change in the Florida Building Code that would have severely restricted the amount that certain homeowners could spend on remodeling and updating existing homes. The proposal would have affected all homes seaward of the CCCL that are between 11ʼ and 19ʼ4” above mean high tide. Spending to remodel those homes would have been limited to 50% of the value of the STRUCTURE, including items necessary for hurricane protection.
Many of the charming, older homes on our Key would have been directly affected. The market value of those properties would have been diminished as prospective buyers realized that improvements they might want to make would exceed the spending limits. Even those of us who live on the inland side of the CCCL might have been affected. If the value of our neighbors house across the street declines, it is logical that our value would decline as well. And in many cases, if an older home cannot be updated, the prospective buyer has no real choice but to build on pilings, usually closer to the road.
In the last six months, the MKA, working with the Casey Key Association and the North Manasota Key Association, spent many hours contacting bureaucrats and elected officials to present our case. We searched for other areas of the State which would have been affected to try to gain support. Representatives of our group attended meetings in Orlando and Tallahassee. And with our partners, we hired an Attorney with extensive experience in these matters to help us. Along the way, we received help and backing from several of our elected representatives, especially Senator Mike Bennett.
In the end, this proposed change was not adopted. Home owners who would have been affected are free to remodel to the extent they deem desirable, within the existing footprint of their home.
We believe this was a battle well worth fighting. It helps protect both the value of properties and the ambience of Manasota Key. We have no way of knowing what changes might be proposed in the future. We do know that in the interests of all property owners on the Key, we need to stay informed and involved.