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Date of Issue: December 17, 2008

HB commission steps back from Sandpiper issue

The Holmes Beach City Commission agreed not to pursue concerns with the Bradenton Beach City Commission’s decision to issue a quitclaim deed for unimproved 27th Street to the Sandpiper Resort Co-op.

The Holmes Beach commissioners reached the consensus during a Dec. 9 meeting attended by nearly as many Bradenton Beach citizens as Holmes Beach citizens.

On Dec. 4, the Bradenton Beach City Commission approved a final reading of an ordinance executing a quitclaim deed to the mobile home resort for 27th Street from Gulf Drive to Anna Maria Sound, Avenue B and Avenue C from 26th Street to 27th Street, and the northerly unpaved portion of 26th Street from Gulf Drive to Anna Maria Sound.

Sandpiper Co-op members had sought the quitclaim deed because some homes exist on part of the city rights of way and the deed was needed to clarify ownership of land that contains some dwellings, according to Sandpiper attorney Chuck Webb said.

Before the Bradenton Beach vote, Holmes Beach city attorneys Patricia Petruff and Warren Pies had raised concerns about deeding 27th Street to the mobile home park.

Pies and Petruff said a more appropriate action would be to vacate the right of way.

Their primary concern was the access Holmes Beach residents have had to the unimproved street, which is a path to the beach for some.

Sandpiper residents attended the Dec. 9 Holmes Beach City Commission meeting to see whether the city would take any action relative to the issue.

They heard commissioners agree to take no action.

“I don’t know where the city of Holmes Beach really needs to get involved with this,” said Holmes Beach Commissioner Pat Morton. “I feel we are not really involved with this as a city.… If the property owners there in that area are concerned, then they should step up.… But Holmes Beach does not need to be telling Bradenton Beach what they should be doing with their city.”

Commissioner David Zaccagnino added, “It’s a Bradenton Beach issue.”

Commissioner John Monetti, who owns property near 27th Street, said there are concerns for Holmes Beach.

“The street lies in Bradenton Beach, but there are a lot of citizens that use that street and it’s a dedicated public street,” he said.

Monetti said he had wanted to see Bradenton Beach commissioners take a different course of action, but that he also understood Sandpiper property owners “truly have had hardship.”

Commission chair Sandy Haas-Martens brought the discussion to a close: “So basically what we’re saying is we’re not going to do anything.… We’re not going to spend city dollars at this point. Is everybody in agreement?”

The other commissioners, with Pat Geyer absent for health reasons, said, “Yes.”

And Webb, who was on his way to the podium to defend Sandpiper’s case, took a seat.

In other business, the city commission:

  •  Adopted an ordinance amending the city code in regards to candidate qualification to bring Holmes Beach qualifying dates in line with a revised state schedule.
  •  Authorized the mayor to accept a federal grant for the demolition of a home deemed a “severe repetitive loss” due to flooding. (See separate story.)
  •  Agreed to cancel the scheduled Dec. 23 meeting due to its proximity to the Christmas holiday. City hall will be closed Dec. 25-26.
  •  Heard from the mayor that a plan to install a sidewalk along Manatee Avenue at the Kingfish Boat Ramp “is still on the radar.”