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Date of Issue: July 28, 2010

Consultant, city begin code update

The expansion continues at Gulf Drive Cafe, 900 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach, where a chickee hut is completed and a tiki hut will be built. Rules for outdoor structures such as the tiki and chickee will be reviewed as the city and a consulting firm update the Bradenton Beach land-development code. Islander Photo: Lisa Neff

Bradenton Beach Mayor Bob Bartelt wants a streamlined process for updating the city’s land-development code that makes the most of digital technologies and the required hearings.

City commissioners agree with the mayor’s plan, which involves city staff, the planning and zoning commission and ZNS Engineering, a consulting firm hired to help with the updating the land-development code. The LDC is a single document containing a variety of land-use regulations.

Earlier this year, the commission voted to award ZNS a $20,000 contract to assist with a major update of the LDC. The timing seemed right, since the LDC already must be amended to sync with the city’s revised comprehensive plan.

“The city … has contracted for professional services to revise and rewrite the land-development code of the city,” Bartelt said. “While input from the public and our land-planning agency/planning and zoning board is welcome, the city commission had determined that it wants to rely upon the expertise of the licensed and professional planners and engineers hired to perform the task of developing a set of codes for our community.”

The mayor proposed guidelines for the revision project to “streamline the process” and “alleviate strain on our limited staff and hopefully save costs to the city.”

The plan outlined by the mayor assigns ZNS the task of writing an initial update to the LDC, which will be broken down into three to four sections for review.

The draft documents will be posted to the city’s website, cityofbradentonbeach.com, for the commission, the P&Z, city staff and the general public to read and make comments for consideration.

A series of meetings and hearings will follow “to address any issues presented during the online comment period and to finalize the drafts for adoption,” Bartelt said. “Because of the limited number of meetings and the large amount of information to review, discussions on the proposed drafts shall be limited to the comments presented online.”

City building official Steve Gilbert said ZNS already is at work on its comprehensive review of the LDC. He met with consultants in mid-July to discuss concerns and questions raised by commissioners and P&Z members over the past year related to signs, newsracks, chickee and tiki huts and other issues.

Meanwhile, commissioners have issued a call for people interested in serving on the P&Z.

“They need members,” said Ward 3 Commissioner Janie Robertson. “We’re putting out the word that P&Z is looking for new members.”

Residents can apply at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N.