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Board suggestions for new land-use

By Rick Catlin Islander Reporter

With Anna Maria in the process of adding two new land-use categories to its comprehensive plan, the planning and zoning board met Dec. 7 to review the proposed categories and make recommendations to the city commission.

The historic pier-use category will include the city pier and Rod & Reel Pier and their surrounding waters. The marina-use category encompasses Galati Marine, its docks and a nearby spoil island.

The commission decided to create the new categories after it annexed those lands and the underlying waters into the city earlier this year.

P&Z members agreed that the size of the city pier and R&R Pier would limit any enlargement of retail operations at those locations.

Allowed uses should include a restaurant, boat docks, bait and fishing equipment sales and fishing, the board agreed.

Member Tom Turner noted that some non-conforming uses exist at the two piers that were grandfathered to the operations. He suggested making no changes in the current usage.

“Let them keep what they have. They’re too small for large retail operations,” he said.

Garrett said the city owns the pier and could control any additional uses the lease-holder might want to add. The size of the R&R Pier would make it difficult for any new use under the land-development regulations, he added.

P&Z members agreed, although Bob Barlow expressed concern about live music.

“That should be regulated by new zoning, not the comp plan,” Garrett said. Once the land-use categories are adopted, the commission would create zoning to match, he said.

In the marina-use category, several members were concerned about live-aboards at Galati. Several years ago, the marina abolished long-term residents from the docks. It does, however, permit owners of large boats to overnight at the docks for a few days, according to co-owner Chris Galati.

Turner said allowing live-aboards was “stretching everything to allow more motels, hotels, whatever you want to call them. I’m not concerned about maintenance and repairs, but we shouldn’t tolerate live-aboards.”

Building official Bob Welch said Galati self-regulates overnight stays and does not allow ongoing live-aboards.

The marina discourages stayovers beyond one night, Chris Galati said at the November P&Z meeting.

P&Z chair Sandy Mattick said a time limit should be established on how long people could stay on a boat.

Member Carl Pearman said that some large boats have crews that live on the boat. The city should also address that issue, he said.

Garrett said the commission can regulate live-aboards similar to other area city ordinances, which allow boaters just a one- or two-night stay before they had to depart. He said he would check other municipalities for live-aboard ordinances and report back to the board.

P&Z member Bob Barlow cautioned against “over-regulating” the marina, which has been in existence for decades.

Other current non-conforming uses at Galati are painting, sand-blasting boats and boat and motor repairs, among other uses. The city needs to “look at getting those uses legally conforming,” Garrett said.

A restaurant is a permitted use at the marina, as is a ship’s store. Board member Mike Pescitelli was concerned that Galati could sell packaged beer and wine from the store.

Garrett said the commission could decide that issue in an ordinance.

Members agreed that before any recommendations are forwarded to the commission, Garrett would meet with the Galatis to discuss the proposals.

Garrett said he would refine the board’s suggested uses in a draft land-use statement and return with that to the Jan. 4 meeting.

Pine Avenue parking also will be on that meeting agenda and Mattick urged more public participation on the subject.

“We need public input on these parking suggestions. The more input, the better we can decide,” she said.

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