Elevation raise denied, but new garage for Sunny Atlantic


Raising the existing building that houses Sunny Atlantic Beach Club and renovating the space to build a garage for storage was the focus of the primary hearing at the March 21 Atlantic Beach Board of Zoning Appeals hearing.

“The building that’s there is in terrible shape,” Gabby Tchilinguirian, the architect for the project said. “We’ve proposed to elevate the structure, because right now we are deficient by two feet to where it needs to be.”

The 2035 Ocean Blvd. structure is in what is considered an AE zone 15 Federal Emergency Management Agency flood zone. FEMA requires the first level of the home to be elevated by 17 feet. Tchilinguirian proposed bringing the elevation to 19 feet to prevent the need for future elevation and flooding, bringing the height of the structure, 16 inches outside of the standards for the Atlantic Beach Board of Zoning Appeals.

“In an effort to put the financial portion into the building, we want to make sure that we safeguard the building for many, many years to come,” he said.

FEMA, which reviews flood maps every five years, remaps districts if necessary. The last map change in Atlantic Beach was in 2009, which eliminated basements and elevated flood zones. Three years before Hurricane Sandy.

Tchilinguirian said typically, he has seen two-foot increases in the design flood elevation requirements when remapping occurs, so he wanted to preemptively raise the approximately 80-year-old space, to prevent future renovations.

“Currently, we have a tractor and maintenance equipment, so, we’re proposing a garage attached to the structure and we will only be using it for maintenance vehicles, mechanical units and storage, again,” he said.

The proposed garage is in line with the current structure in place.

Tchilinguirian said that the facility is called the ‘beaches owners carriage house’ and the structure will remain owner occupied.

Board of Zoning Appeals Chairman George Cornish questioned the need for the two- foot elevation raise, and said that if he allowed a two-foot increase for Sunny Atlantic, he would have to allow that for every person requesting that in the village.

“Architecturally, I don’t see any reason or any of the hardship to go up and higher,” Cornish said.

“The extra height again for the storage would be meaningful for the club,” said Sunny Atlantic owner Howard Taub. “This past January, we had a little bit of a storm and my kitchen got flooded, so we have title surge now the beach has shrunk, as well, the conditions are not what they used to be so bringing this up a little bit higher, there’s more of a protection for the building.”

Lester Hill, who lives at 2064 Pacific Blvd., in Atlantic Beach, across from Sunny Atlantic asked for clarity on the total height the proposed building would be raised, to which the board and architect said 16 inches.

The board approved the garage, considering it a good way to clean up the space with a useful storage area. The request to go up to 19 feet elevation was denied. The board said the first floor must remain at 17 feet, which FEMA approves, contingent upon the structure remaining as an owner occupied structure.

Tchilinguirian said the beach club will now look for a contractor for the garage project.