Update: At the December 14th meeting of the Architectural and Development Committee of the SRIA, it was voted on to remove this agenda item from agenda as all of the board members were opposed to making any changes to the 50% Rule.
December 7th Article
Most of you are familiar with the “50% Rule” on Pensacola Beach. If a home is damaged in a storm and needs substantial repairs, the SRIA will compare the cost of such repairs to restore the home to its prior condition to the market value of the structure. If the repair costs exceed 50% of the market value, then the home must be brought into compliance with the SRIA’s flood elevation requirements, which often means the home will need to be torn down and rebuilt on pilings. (Note – homes that are elevated and comply with the flood elevation requirements are not subject to the 50% Rule.)
The current SRIA 50% Rule for Substantial Damage has no specified time period for the 50%, but in practice the SRIA has looked at the cumulative costs of substantial damage over a 5 year period. (This is consistent with many other Florida counties or cities that have similar 50% rules with a cumulative period of 5 or 10 years.) This means if there were two hurricanes in a 5 year period, and cumulative substantial damages were over 50%, a home would have to be brought into compliance with the SRIA flood elevation requirements. After 5 years of no storms, the cumulative percentage is reset at zero.
However, the SRIA is considering an amendment to the rule that would make the calculation of costs cumulative over the lifetime of the home. This means if there were 4 hurricanes over a span of, say 40 years, and the cumulative costs exceeded 50% of the market value, the home may have to be torn down and rebuilt to comply with the flood elevation standards. Also, since the costs are cumulative over the life of the building, if a home with a cumulative total of 46% is sold, the new buyer of the home may have to rebuild the home if the incurred damages of only 5% from a storm.
Paolo Ghio of the SRIA said that such a change to the 50% Rule should help all Pensacola Beach residences attain more favorable flood insurance rates.
This issue will be discussed at 5:00 pm the December 14th SRIA Committee meeting . All regularly scheduled meetings of the Santa Rosa Island Authority begin at 5 p.m. and are held in the Authority’s meeting room, 1 Via de Luna.
The PBA encourages you to discuss this issue with your neighbors and to attend the Dec 14th meeting to let your opinion be heard. You are also welcome to e-mail the PBA with your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your your comments will be given to the SRIA.
Read the 50% Rule and the proposed changes.