Holmes Beach rezone applicant files new plan, hearing May 21

A new application concerning a contentious rezoning issue at 214 54th St., Holmes Beach, was filed with the building department May 6.

The application, requesting a small plan amendment and rezoning for the property, will be reviewed during a public hearing May 21.

The applicants, Ben and Keren ten Haaf, filed a continuance for the original application days before the April 2 planning commission meeting.

A miscommunication in the building department followed the request for a continuance, resulting in the planning commission members arriving unprepared to city chambers, which had filled with concerned citizens who expected to hear the matter and give input.

Residents in the surrounding neighborhood were sent registered letters by the applicant, as required, alerting them of the public hearing, but building department clerk Robyn Kinkopf had been told not to distribute materials to the commission members due to the continuance.

The new application asks to rezone the area from the present medium-density residential R-2 zone to a low-density commercial C-1 zone. Both the original and new application ask to extend the commercial zone’s mixed-overlay boundary line to the property.

The low-density commercial zone request allows for office space.

The original application was for a rezone to high-density commercial C-3. Monica Simpson, an agent for the applicants and Ross Built Construction Co. of Holmes Beach, the project contractor and planner, said at the April 2 meeting that the applicant asked for C-3 zoning because it conformed with the abutting commercial zoning.

The property, which sits on the corner of Holmes Boulevard and 54th Street, has C-3 zoning to the south and east, and residential zoning to the west and north.

It faces Holmes Boulevard and the Island Shopping Center, and it is across 54th Street from Island Lumber. The single-family home on the property is adjacent to two residential properties, both duplexes.

The owners of the property recently circulated a letter noting changes to their plans to neighbors, many of whom voiced strong disapproval to the zoning change at the April 2 hearing.

“We believe our revitalization plan for this property will create a more natural transition from commercial to the residential neighborhood … please, consider our proposal as we are not aiming to create animosity in the neighborhood, but doing what we believe is a positive improvement for both residents and businesses,” ten Haaf wrote.

Applications for rezoning and small plan amendments require a public hearing. In this case, there will be two public hearings at the same meeting, one for the rezone and one for the comprehensive plan amendment.

A staff review by the city planner is prepared based on the application and the planning commission makes a suggestion. The application and the planner’s and commission’s recommendations go to the city commission for a final decision.

The April 2 planning commission hearing was continued to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, at Holmes Beach City Hall, 5801 Marina Drive.

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