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Neighbor urges Tidemark site plan revocation

By Kathy Prucnell, Islander Reporter

Holmes Beach code enforcement officer David Forbes stands by the public notice at the Mainsail property at the corner of Gulf and Marina drives. A continued public hearing to revoke the site plan approved in 2001 will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 26. Islander Photos: Kathy Prucnell

A view of the Mainsail property through a broken fence at the site. The property includes a broad field of rebar markers left by developers after the 2001 city commission approved the original Tidemark Lodge site plan.

Going into the March 26 continued hearing on the site plan for Tidemark Lodge — now Mainsail AMI LLLP — neighbor Lance Spotts, who has opposed the project since 2001, is pulling a punch.

        On behalf of Spotts, attorney Stephen W. Thompson wrote to the city Feb. 25, demanding the abandoned project be revoked and the property owner immediately brought into compliance with code requirements.

        “If the city does not determine this Tidemark project to be terminated and the plans expired, we will seek a judicial determination of this issue,” wrote Thompson of Najmy Thompson, P.L., of Bradenton.

        He describes the project as overgrown with cement and debris, and asks whether the city wants such a property to be the focal point of Holmes Beach.

        According to Thompson, the land development code provides several provisions containing 180-day deadlines, one allowing for a 180-day extension. He claims all deadlines expired more than 10 years ago.

        City attorney Patricia Petruff previously told commissioners that because some permits were issued over the years, an argument can be made that the city waived its objections.

        But Thompson stated, “To make the argument that there have been incremental permitting or approvals does not meet the test or intent” of the code’s abandonment provisions.

        “This project has been legally abandoned, and if the current owner wants to develop this property, a new plan should be submitted.”

        Asked for his position on the Mainsail revocation, Mayor Carmel Monti pointed to Petruff’s position — that the commission does not have to revoke the original site plan. He said the commission could instead work with the developer to revitalize the central downtown.

        He said he didn’t expect code enforcement to go forward on any possible code violations until the commission sets a direction.

        “It’s a decision for the commission on March 26 …” and it likely will come up after that, too, he said.

        Spotts and Sunrise Lane residents Dan and Tina Howe sued the city over Tidemark’s rezoning in July 2001 and, in the same year, settled with the original developer, Carlingford Development Company.

        Spotts and the Howes dismissed the lawsuit based on a settlement agreement that granted them deed restrictions to curtail future nuisances, rezoning and expansion.

        The settlement also required the developer to make site plan changes that would prohibit outdoor dining and amplified music, among other limitations on the facilities, such as swimming pool hours.

        Other requirements included a 50-foot setback for the building adjacent to Spotts, construction of a 6-foot-tall concrete wall from the seawall to Sunrise Lane abutting Spotts, as well as a continuous vegetative screen of cedar trees and 4-foot-high sound baffling between the pool and the waterway.

         Spotts contends the developers should not receive exceptions to rules everyone else is required to follow.

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