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Date of Issue: December 23, 2009

P&Z recommends Anna Maria zoning change

Anna Maria resident William Nally of Spring Avenue was pleasantly surprised last week to learn that the city’s proposal to rezone his property — a residence in the commercial zone — to retail-office-residential will result in his property conforming to the city zoning regulations after many years of nonconformity.

Nally was one of several members of the public who attended the Dec. 15 P&Z public hearing on a request by the city to rezone 24 lots from commercial to ROR to conform to the city’s future land-use map as approved in the 2007 comprehensive plan revisions.

Nally asked “What can I do tomorrow that I can’t do today? Why are you doing this?”

For a lot of good reasons, responded city planner Alan Garrett.

“Your home right now is non-conforming. This makes your house conforming and allows you to add on and renovate. And, it’s always better to be conforming,” Garrett concluded.

“Well, that answers my question,” said Nally.

But not everyone was enthused about the proposal.

Larry Albert said the board should wait because parking on Pine Avenue in the ROR is already an issue.

“We have enough problems. I don’t see the rush. We already have ROR problems,” Albert said.

Board member Jim Conoly agreed. The city commission is looking into parking safety, particularly on Pine Avenue, and the board should wait to see if anything affects the ROR areas.

“We don’t know what will come out of that,” he said.

But board chairman Frank Pytel said parking is a separate issue from zoning.

Board member Sandy Mattick said making the lots conforming was better for the residents than allowing them to continue as non-conforming.

Conoly eventually agreed and voted with the other five board members to recommend that the commission approve the rezoning.

After the vote, Pytel wanted to discuss issues regarding land-development regulations, but Garrett said that was not on the agenda.

Pytel asked that for all future P&Z meetings, “new business” be an agenda item, including public hearings.