Webb: Anna Maria LDR rewrite ‘painful’ process

Make no mistake, Anna Maria Commissioner Chuck Webb told commissioners at their Oct. 14 work session, “Rewriting land-development regulations is absolutely a huge, painful process.”

Webb should know from experience. He worked for Charlotte County as an attorney during the LDR rewrite process there.

“I have done this before and it’s a lot of work,” Webb said.

Webb said when people start arguing about interpretation of the LDRs, it’s a sure sign there are “glitches” in the regulations.

But it’s a process that should have started long ago in Anna Maria, Commissioner Dale Woodland said.

Too many LDRs are unclear, too many are open to different interpretations, and there have been some problems with a number of ordinances since the revised comp plan was adopted in 2007, he noted.

Commissioner Gene Aubry agreed.

“We keep chewing on the paper and don’t get to the problem.”

Commissioners, however, were unsure where to start the process.

Commission Chair John Quam proposed a joint commission-planning and zoning board meeting to list all critical areas of the LDRs.

Former P&Z chair Tom Turner said when the LDRs were written in 1994, an ad hoc committee prepared a list of major areas of concern and presented that to the commission.

Webb said that’s how it was done in Charlotte County, but noted Anna Maria is a small city and it could be difficult to get enough volunteers for the committee.

“In Charlotte County, we had a lot of experts volunteer their time.”

Aubry agreed with an ad hoc committee creating a priority list, but Woodland said commissioners “know where the hot areas are,” such as the parking ordinance and density, and suggested they tackle those now.

Webb agreed. “Take out the hot topics. I think we can do it more efficiently than an ad hoc committee.”

Commissioners eventually agreed to have city planner Alan Garrett and staff prepare a priority list of all LDRs needing revision, in conflict with the comp plan or needing definition, while a joint commission-P&Z board meeting can address the “hot areas” that need immediate attention.

Quam scheduled a joint work session with the P&Z board for 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4.

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