Pinellas beach community considers new rules for rooftop decks

REDINGTON SHORES, Fla. — Imagine living in a beach community surrounded by water — but being a block in and not having a view over your neighbor’s house.

Some homeowners in Redington Shores are building rooftop decks to be able to entertain on top of their homes and be able to have a view of the water. The city of Redington Shores says a “loophole” allowed a few homeowners to build decks on top of peaked roofs, causing what the city calls “aesthetic” and “safety concerns.” 

Now, Redington Shores is in the process of drafting a new ordinance to ban rooftop decks on peaked roofs, unless the undercarriage of the structure is covered. 

Redington Shores says the decks don’t fit into the character of the neighborhoods and could become projectiles during a hurricane.

The revised ordinance will say, “no decks or other accessory structures are permitted to be built on the top of the roof of a single family or a duplex structure that leaves the undercarriage of the structure exposed.” That means rooftop decks are allowed on flat roofs, but not on peaked roofs where the roof can be seen below the deck. 

Originally city leaders said there was nothing in their code to stop homeowners from building the decks, so existing decks would be grandfathered in and allowed to stay. 

City leaders hope to make a final decision by March. Currently, a moratorium is in place to keep people from building new rooftop decks until a decision is made. 

Several neighbors who live around the homes with rooftop decks along 180th and 182nd Avenue tell ABC Action News they consider the decks “cool and eclectic,” some are even considering adding rooftop decks to their own homes. Two neighbors expressed concerns with the look of the decks and the safety concerns if the deck came into contact with strong winds.

Tracy Levy, the owner of one of the rooftop decks, stresses that her deck is perfectly safe. "It was built by a structural engineer and we added steel cable and turn buckle tie downs to each corner of the deck's roof to be used for severe weather. We always secure everything on the deck," Levy explained. "The aesthetics are of personal taste and since we do not live in a homeowner's association neighborhood, uniqueness within the community is a big draw." Levy also worries about temperature and humidity impacting the deck if it were not elevated off the roof for ventilation and maintenance. 

 

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