Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Neptune Looks to Study Types of Homes by Beach

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Neptune Looks to Study Types of Homes by Beach

Article excerpt

Byline: Christopher F. Aguilar, Shorelines staff writer

The Neptune Beach City Council wants its staff to study the number of duplexes, triplexes and other multifamily buildings east of Third Street to determine if the city should revise its Comprehensive Plan to permit the redevelopment of older structures.

Under the city's code, property owners can rebuild a duplex or other multifamily home on their property if it has been destroyed by a fire, flood or any other natural disaster.

However, new land development regulations have increased lot sizes east of Third Street. As a result, many of those lots are now too small for the multifamily buildings that presently sit on them, which places them in a non-conforming status.

The council approved the new regulations this month, a process that took six years and three councils to complete. Among other things, the regulations determine the size of lots and establish setback and building-height standards for residential and commercial districts.

Under the new rules, the city requires a lot be at least 8,712 square feet for a duplex. Therefore, a property owner can't rebuild his multifamily structure on the property unless the building is destroyed by a natural disaster.

First Street resident David Baker said he just purchased a duplex on Seagate Avenue he wants to remodel.

"If I take it down, I can't put a duplex back on it," Baker said.

There are properties people could improve east of Third Street, but the city restricts them to building single-family homes, he said. Many families can't afford to spend $400,000 for a lot for a single-family home, he said.

"If we can take 50-foot lots and put town houses on them, then you are bringing the price down to a point where some people can live here," Baker said. "But if you are going to eliminate town houses and eliminate duplexes, we're in trouble. You will reduce the numbers of people who can afford to live at the beach."

Baker said he knows someone who owns a triplex who wants to build a duplex on the property, but can't under the code.

"You are reducing from three families renting down to two that are going to own," he said. …

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