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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Holmes beach all ears on street vacation request

Holmes Beach city commissioners cautiously made no promises, but gave their willingness to listen to a future application for the vacation of an undeveloped, platted portion of Fourth Avenue adjacent to 35th Street.

Caleb Grimes, a Bradenton attorney representing property owner Richard Wheeler, told the commission at a recent work session that he was directed by city staff to request guidance from the commission before making a formal application to have the street vacated.

Wheeler owns property at 202 35th St., 3404 Fourth Ave. and 3406 Fourth Ave., and the roadway separates his property.

Grimes stated that vacating the road would not adversely affect the city or residents who would still have access to the beach on 35th Street.

Grimes told the commission that because Wheeler owns the property on both sides of Fourth Avenue, no other property owner would lose right of way.

Also, because the road parallels the beach and separates two of Wheeler's properties, the street vacation would make his Gulf view property a gulffront property, said Grimes, and would increase the amount of property tax paid.

Grimes said he understood the commission proceeds with caution on such applications, but he said that if the road, which according to Grimes, was purchased by the city, is not being put to use, then it would be appropriate to put it back into the public sector.

Several commissioners agreed that they were not inclined to "give away" city property, but are willing to listen to a formal proposal at a future commission meeting.