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BB property owner fined

By Lisa Neff, Islander Reporter

A Bradenton Beach property owner must pay a $3,104.64 fine for unpermitted roofing work on a structure.

Special magistrate Harold Youmans ordered the fine and judged David A. Niewiek in violation of city ordinances regarding construction permits during a hearing Dec. 15 at Bradenton Beach City Hall.

Niewiek and a trust own property in the 300 block of 23rd Street North.

Bradenton Beach building official Steve Gilbert said that several months ago, while driving to another location, he noticed roofing work taking place at the 23rd Street North site. Gilbert didn’t recall a permit issued for such work, so he checked when he returned to city hall.

Gilbert said his research found no permit sought or issued. Questions about whether the structure was covering too much of the lot also came up and remain under city review.

Bradenton Beach code enforcement officer Gail Garneau said she posted a notice of code violations at the property on Oct. 14 and received a call from the property owner the next day.

Garneau said the property owner applied for a permit Nov. 23.

Engineer and surveyor Jeff Hostetler represented Niewiek at the hearing. He didn’t dispute that a permit was not sought, but argued that the contractor was neglectful, not Niewiek.

Hostetler said Niewiek paid the contractor for the roofing work and the invoice included the cost of a permit application.

Youmans, however, said the property owner “as a matter of law is responsible for agents doing anything on their property.”

The hearing lasted about 90 minutes, including a brief break.

At the conclusion, Youmans made several findings, including a decision that city regulations were violated and that Niewiek should pay a fine of $2,000 — $50 per day for the 40 days the violation existed — as well as cover the city’s expenses, estimated at $1,104.64.

Garneau had recommended a fine of $250 per day, but Youmans noted that there was no pending threat to citizens’ health and welfare and that the violation was corrected.

The city has yet to issue a permit for the work, because there remains a disagreement between the building official and the property owner regarding the proposed percentage of lot coverage.

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