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Order issued in Lohn case

By Lisa Neff, Islander Reporter

Circuit Court Judge Edward Nicholas recently asked the city of Bradenton Beach to formally respond to a suit filed by property-owner Ken Lohn more than a year ago.

Nicholas issued an “order to show cause,” a routine judicial order in civil suits that formally asks the defendant — in this case the city — to respond to a complaint.

Nicholas issued the order in mid-September and instructed the city to respond within a month.

Lohn lives on Bay Drive South and owns a nearby duplex. He is challenging a city building official’s issuance of a certificate of occupancy for an adjacent duplex at 109 Fifth St. S.

In April 2009, the Bradenton Beach Board of Adjustment recommended that the city commission deny Lohn’s complaint regarding the Fifth Street property, also known as Hibiscus II and now privately owned.

In June 2009, the city commission voted against Lohn’s complaint, which essentially is that a driveway built on an easement alongside his home is too close to his property line and too narrow.

Lohn’s 11-page complaint, filed in July 2009 in Manatee County Circuit Court by attorney Robert Turffs, seeks a judicial review of the commission’s decision.

“This complaint challenges the city of Bradenton Beach issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the multi-family condominium … despite the fact the location is in violation of express provisions of the Bradenton Beach Land Development Code,” the complaint states.

In the complaint, Lohn said he wants the court to issue an order quashing the commission’s order upholding the certificate of occupancy.

Responding to the complaint, city attorney Ricinda Perry has stated, “The issues raised by Mr. Lohn were reviewed three times by the city and were found to be without legal merit unanimously by the board of adjustment and the city commission.

“To interfere with, abrogate or annul the easement at issue would be a threat to the public’s health, safety and welfare, including Mr. Lohn, since there are no other options available to access Mr. Lohn’s property and the adjacent lot.”

Lohn filed the case — 2009 CA 7099 — at the judicial center in Bradenton July 31, 2009.

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