Yearly Archives: 2017

Island police blotter – 12-24-2014

Anna Maria

No reports.

Anna Maria is policed by the MCSO.

Bradenton Beach

Dec. 11, 103 Gulf Drive S., theft. A warrant arrest for a theft at the Circle K in August was made on a 20-year-old man, whose address is listed as the Bradenton Beach mooring field. He was allegedly caught on a surveillance camera stealing two bottles of wine.

Bradenton Beach is policed by the BBPD.


        Dec. 12, 4000 block of 129th Street, scheme to defraud/exploitation of elderly. The MCSO is investigating a report of unauthorized check writing on an account of an elderly couple in residing Smugglers Landing.

Cortez is policed by the MCSO.

Holmes Beach

Dec. 8, 5900 block of Marina Drive, license. Police issued a 25-year-old Sarasota woman a summons for driving while her license was suspended and ticketed her for no proof of insurance. The officer also seized the vehicle tag.

Dec. 9, 4200 block of Gulf Drive, license. A Palmetto woman who told police she’d been to court the day before for driving on a suspended license was issued a summons for a second DWLS and ticketed for no proof of insurance. The officer also took the vehicle’s tag.

Dec. 9, 100 block of 28th Street, license. Police stopped a 38-year-old man from Sebring, Florida, driving a sport utility vehicle with a trailer that had no license plate. The officer determined the SUV had no license plate assigned and issued the man citations for failing to register the two vehicles. The motorist also was cited for using a Washington driver’s license while his Florida license is under suspension.

Dec. 12, 5800 block of Marina Drive, warrant. A 49-year-old Anna Maria man was arrested on a trespass warrant.

Holmes Beach is policed by the HBPD.

        Streetlife is based on incident reports and narratives from the Bradenton Beach Police Department, Holmes Beach Police Department and Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Sports – 12-24-2014

KMS girl runners capture county cross-country title


King Middle School’s female road runners captured the Dec. 13 Manatee County middle school cross country championship at G.T. Bray Park in Bradenton, and they did it thanks to a little help from some islanders.

Brooke Capparelli, Annie and Tori Walter and Lila Naeher are part of the team that also included cousin Delaney Naeher, whose father grew up on the Island. Capparelli was the top finisher from Anna Maria island with a time of 14:46.87, while — ironically — the Walter twins had matching times of 8:11. Lila Naeher finished with a time of 9:13.

Other members of the King Middle cross country team are top King runner, second-place overall finisher Stephanie Bobrek with a time of 13:34.37, sixth-place finisher Molly Brown with a time of 14:04.58, seventh-place finisher Francesca Capello at 14:19.93, Sara Goeth at 15:25.74, Abigail Drapala at 15:46.21, and Tavionne Watson with a time of 16:10.43. Other King participants who helped the team compile a time of 1:12:11.49, first-place finish are Marisa Wilson, Camryn Carson, Marissa Armer, and Courtney Isom.

Congratulations to the team and Coach Syre for bringing the title home to King Middle.


Key Royale golf news

The Key Royale Club sent the men out for a couple of rounds of golf last week, including two rounds Dec. 15.

The morning round was a nine-hole, individual-low-net match that saw Tom Bode and Vince Mercandante both card a 5-under-par 27 to finish in a tie for first place. Earl Huntzinger was another shot back in second place.

Later in the day, some players took part in a nine-hole, modified-Stableford System match. Barry Anderson, John Estok and Dan Richardson all had rounds of plus-2 to tie for first place.

The men played a nine-hole, four-person scramble Dec. 18. The team of Nub Turner, Chuck Tencate, John Estok and Dan Richardson combined on a 4-under-par 28 to grab clubhouse bragging rights for the day. Second place went to the team of Bruce Allan, Gerry Dahl, Ron Pritchard and Earl Ritchie with a score of 3-under-par 29.

The women took the course Dec. 16 for a nine-hole, individual-low-net-in-flights match that included a couple of gifts from Santa. Each golfer received a pair of mulligans — one for a drive, one for a putt — in the round.

Helen Pollock rode a birdie on the eighth hole to a 5-under-par 27 to edge Phyllis Roe by two shots. Roe, who carded a birdie on the ninth hole, was alone in second, one shot better than third-place finisher Mary Lou Dreier.

Flight B winner was Marcia Helgeson with a 5-under-par 27. Jana Samuels took second place in the group with a 2-under-par 30. while Sharon Tarras was alone in third place with a 1-under 31.

Sally Martin fired a 1-under-par 31 to take first place in Flight C. Maryanne Kaemmerlen was a shot back in second place, while Joyce Lathrop took third at 1-over-par.

Penny Auch’s 4-under-par 28 gave her a five-shot victory in Flight D over Markie Ksizaek and Sally York, who both carded 1-over-par 33s to finish in a tie for third place. And Joy Kaiser carded a chip-in birdie on the ninth hole.


Horseshoe news

On Dec. 17, two teams met in the final at the Anna Maria horseshoe pits at city hall, after each went 3-0 in pool play. Walker Bob Palmer put it on Dom Livedoti and Dennis Johnson 21-6 and earn bragging rights for the day.

Two teams moved into the Dec. 20 final after posting 3-0 records. Palmer found his way to the winners circle again, this time with partner Steve Doyle, after taking out Karl Thomas and Bob Rowley 25-7 on a game ending double-ringer by Palmer.

Play takes place Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warmup begins at 8:45 a.m followed by team selection.

Everyone is welcome.


Real Estate – 12-24-2014

628 Key Royale Drive, Holmes Beach, a 4,041 sfla / 5,843 sfur 4bed/5½bath/2car canalfront pool home built in 2012 on a 14,000 sq ft lot was sold 12/03/14, Murphy Property Group LLC to Gauld for $1,170,000.

531 69th St., Holmes Beach, a 2,006 sfla / 2,991 sfur 3bed/3bath/2car canalfront home built in 1968 on a 95×122 lot was sold 12/08/14, Mendonca to Squires for $850,000.

525 Key Royale Drive, Holmes Beach, a 1,788 sfla / 2,929 sfur 4bed/3bath/2car canalfront pool home built in 1970 on a 11,211 sq ft lot was sold 12/05/14, Island Ocean View LLC to Kowalski for $770,650.

7204 Marina Drive, Unit B, My Island Place, Holmes Beach, a 1,319 sfur 3bed/2bath condo built in 2014 was sold 12/04/14, Derr to Musialek for $635,000; list $679,000.

109 10th St N., Unit 109, South Beach Village, Bradenton Beach, a 2,020 sfla / 3,490 sfur 3bed/2½bath/2car condo with private pool built in 2006 was sold 12/02/14, Hotel Homes Florida Vacation Rentals Inc. to Travis for $600,000.

5400 Gulf Drive, Unit 24, 5400 Gulf Drive Condos, Holmes Beach, a 1,188 sfla / 1,269 sfur 2bed/2bath condo with shared pool built in 1969 was sold Bystrom to Kile for $500,000.

6250 Holmes Blvd., Unit 40, North Beach Village, Holmes Beach, a 1,536 sfla / 2,504 sfur 3bed/2½bath/2car condo with shared pool built in 1991 was sold 12/01/14, Deur to Minarik for $460,000; list $485,000.

4255 Gulf Drive, Unit 107, Island Village, Holmes Beach, a 1,865 sfla / 2,472 sfur 3bed/3bath/2car condo with shared pool built in 1981 was sold 12/05/14, Lamb to Long for $395,000; list $425,000.

2212 Ave. C, Bradenton Beach, a vacant 50×105 lot was sold 11/28/14, Dinh to Green Sea Turtle Real Estate LLP for $287,500; list $295,000.

3601 E. Bay Drive, Unit 207, Sandy Pointe, Holmes Beach, a 1,004 sfla / 1,074 sfur 2bed/2bath condo with shared pool built in 1994 was sold 12/03/14, Meyer to Wandler for $220,000.

Jesse Brisson, broker/associate at Gulf-Bay Realty of Anna Maria, can be reached at 941-778-7244.

Fishing – 12-24-2014

Merry Christmas and happy holiday fishing


Those of you who are out working wet lines and hoping for a dinner catch rather than worrying about your last-minute Christmas shopping: You know trying to get a bite this time of year can be challenging.

Don’t be discouraged, because some of the best fishing you’ll ever come across awaits, if you know where to look and what to target. That is the beauty of fishing in our area — there is always something to target.

Typically, this time of year I lay off the flats fishing. The water temps are too cold to try to get the snook to bite and, most of the redfish, seeking refuge for the winter, migrated to canals and under docks. Trout fishing can be productive, although, again, you have to have water temps in the 60s to do some damage.

By now, I’m using shrimp as live bait offerings to catch fish. Actually, a lot of the targeted species this time of year prefer shrimp. Sheepshead, black drum and pompano will rarely turn down a tasty shrimp. I’ve also been acquainted with many a redfish that decided to gobble my shrimp. Other species that react well in December to shrimp include mangrove snapper, grunts, flounder and just about all the other inshore species you may encounter here.

This being said, try fishing with the season. Pompano, sheepshead, black drum, tripletail and bluefish are a few species that come to the hook when fishing in December. And, if you’ve ever been surrounded by a school of pompano, you know how good winter fishing can be.

Finally, back to the topic of fishing rather than Christmas shopping. You may only have a day left to shop. When in a pinch, it’s always good to remember the saying, “He went to Jared.” That should help you fill the stockings.

Merry Christmas, and here’s wishing you bent rods in the new year.

Capt. Rick Gross of Fishy Business Charters, when not mullet fishing, is targeting redfish, drum and sheepshead around residential docks on both Anna Maria Island and in the Manatee River. Live shrimp is the bait of choice and by casting these weighted shrimp under docks, Gross is finding success for his clients. Keeper redfish are patiently waiting for a tasty shrimp to fall in front of their noses.

Drifting and jigging over deep grass flats is producing a bite for Gross. DOA Cal jigs combined with a jig head are arousing suspicion from the spotted seatrout, ladyfish and bluefish. Not only do these fish provide great light-tackle action, but the trout are well suited for the dinner table, especially during the cooler months.

Capt. Aaron Lowman at Island Discount Tackle in Holmes Beach is catching flounder among the sandy ditches and potholes that are dispersed throughout the flats. To catch these “flatties,” Lowman’s preferred bait is a Berkley Gulp shrimp combined with a 1/4-ounce jig head. By twitching and jigging these artificials across the sandy bottom, Lowman can trigger the flounder to strike. Although most catches are following between 12-15 inches, larger fish are lurking. In fact, fish 20 inches and larger are being caught by some lucky anglers.

After catching flounder, Lowman is fishing the flats of Anna Maria Sound for spotted seatrout as well as ladyfish, bluefish and jacks, all mixed in throughout deeper grass areas.

Finally, dock fishing is producing redfish, black drum and sheepshead. Lowman is rigging a 1/2-ounce knocker rig combined with a 1/0 circle hook for rigging. By adding shrimp to the rig and casting under docks, Lowman’s clients are putting fish in the cooler.

Jim Malfese at the Rod & Reel Pier says black drum are the primary catch. Pier fishers using live shrimp cast under the pier are finding success with limits of black drum being reeled up. Mixed in with the drum are sheepshead and flounder. Most sheepies being caught are just above the keeper-size of 12 inches. As for the flounder, lucky anglers are catching fish that are big enough to fillet.

Capt. Warren Girle is fishing nearshore structure when the weather permits. By fishing artificial reefs and ledges between 30-50 feet of water, Girle is leading his clients to limits of mangrove snapper. Offerings of live shrimp or fresh-cut greenbacks are producing a bite. While targeting snapper, Girle is catching Key West grunts, flounder and juvenile grouper.

Moving inshore, Girle is migrating south to Sarasota Bay to target pompano. By drifting and jigging, Girle is reeling in 15-inch pompano. The other aspect to this bite, aside from pompano for dinner, is that there is potential to encounter a wide variety of other fish. While drifting, expect to hook up with Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, jacks and even a few keeper-size spotted seatrout — if you’re lucky.

Finally, canal fishing is yet another option for Girle. He reports residential docks in deep canals are producing bites on sheepshead, black drum and flounder.

Send high-resolution photos and fishing reports to

The Islander Classifieds: Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014


ACORN STAIR LIFT for sale. New, December 2012 for $3,000. Will sell for $1,000 or best offer. Excellent condition, used very little. 941-778-3895.

RIDING MOWER: KUBOTA-T 1460, 40-inch, $850. 941-778-9378.

COMPUTER: DELL DUAL core, refurbished, $80. 941-756-6728.

BIKE 26-INCH mountain, $75, TV, 32-inch tube-type, free, 18-inch Weber charcoal grill, $25. 616-608-2930.

CHRISTMAS VINTAGE: 85 balls, Shiny Brites, and others made in USA. Beautiful. $30. 941-761-1393.

WHITE WICKER FOUR-drawer dresser, $75, framed Korean silkscreen, $25. 941-545-0480.

CHRISTMAS ITEMS AND decorations, two jumbo boxes, $30. Keyboard, monitor, speakers, mouse, $30. 941-932-5595.

NEW IN-BOX chandelier: Hampton Bay nutmeg finish, cost $155, sell $55, antique cradle, $50. 941-778-7003.


SIX OAK OFFICE chairs: Antiques, perfect for eclectic dining set. The Islander newspaper, 5604B Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.


Individuals may place one free ad with up to three items, each priced $100 or less, 15 words or less. FREE, one week, must be submitted online. Email, fax toll-free 1-866-362-9821. (limited time offer)


WANTED: WORKOUT DVDs and retired but working XBox, Wii units with games for Ministry of Presence for kids and teens in Haiti. Deliver to The Islander, 5604B Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

WANTED: YOUR OLD cell phone for recycling. Deliver to The Islander, 5604B Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

ANTIQUES, ART, and collectibles. View at The Islander store, 5604B Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

AERIAL PHOTOS of Anna Maria Island. View and purchase online:

FREE GUN LOCK courtesy of Project Childsafe, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Holmes Beach Police Department. Pick up at The Islander office, 5604B Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. Don’t be sorry, be safe.


ROSER THRIFT SHOP: Open 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Annex open mornings same days. Donations accepted 9-11 a.m. Wednesdays. 511 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. 941-779-2733.

STEFF’S STUFF ANTIQUES and Consignment. Open daily. 941-383-1901.


FOSTER HOMES NEEDED! Rescued pets are looking for great new homes! Please, call Moonracer Rescue for information, 941-896-6701.


2013 GEM e6 electric car: 25 MPH, low-speed vehicle, street-legal, like new. 6-seater, full canvas doors, white. No gas! 941-223-5977.


BIMINI BAY SAILING: Small sailboat rentals and instruction. Day. Week. Month. Sunfish, Laser, Windrider 17 and Precision 15. Call Brian at 941-685-1400.

PONTOON BOAT RENTAL Create life long memories. Call 941-518-3868 or see

BOAT SLIP FOR rent: 10,000-lb lift, two finger piers, water, electric. $275/month. 410-782-9100.


EXPERIENCED REAL ESTATE sales associates wanted. Generous commission split. Call Julie Royal or Mary Ann Schmidt at SunCoast Real Estate. 941-779-0202.

IMMEDIATE OPENINGS: PART-time sales. Evenings and weekends a must. Retirees welcome. Inquiries, 727-244-5906.

REPORTER WANTED: Full-to-part-time. Print media, newspaper experience or journalism degree required. Apply via email with letter of interest to


RED CROSS-CERTIFIED babysitter and high school honor student. Call or text Isabel, 941-545-7995.

KIDS FOR HIRE ads are FREE for up to three weeks for Island youths under 16 looking for work. Ads must be placed in person at The Islander office, 5604-B Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.


CAREGIVER TO HELP the elderly: 30 years experience in Manatee and Sarasota, looking for part-time work 4 hours, 3-4 days a week. Call Diana, 941-761-1419 or 941-545-7114.

LPNS NEEDED FOR active quadriplegic using Hoyer lift. Morning shifts, 4-5 hours starting at 7 a.m. Overnight shifts, 9:30 p.m.-7 a.m. 941-685-5213.


TOASTED COMPUTER SERVICES. Your home and business specialist. On-site service, virus/spyware, cleanup, system setup, upgrades, diagnosis and repair, internet/wireless networking, custom system design. 941-224-1069.

I DON’T CUT corners, I clean corners. Professional, friendly cleaning service since 1999. 941-779-6638. Leave message.

ALL AROUND PAINTING: Quality work. Free estimates. Licensed, insured. Call native islander Jim Weaver, 813-727-1959.

ISLAND COMPUTER GUY, 37 years experience. On-site PC repairs, upgrades, buying assistance and training. Call Bill, 941-778-2535.

TRANSPORT SERVICE: LET me drive you to the airport or anywhere in Florida. Flat rates. Reasonable. Call Mike, 941-567-6634.

CLEANING RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL and resort. Love what we do, love to work. 941-756-4570.

PRESSURE WASHING AND windows: Commercial, residential and resorts. Roofs, buildings, houses driveways etc. 941-251-5948.

JOHN “THE FIREMAN” Island Cycle & Scooter Repair. 25 years experience. Affordable prices. 918-639-5002 or 941-276-1414.

CLEANING BY LAURA offers everything on your list, from kitchen and bath cleaning to dusting and emptying wastebaskets. 941-539-6891.

WILDLIFE REMOVAL AND relocation: Problem solving for all animals, big and small. Call Joe, Westcoast Nuisance Wildlife Service. 941-720-4152.

CARPET CLEANING: QUALITY Counts Carpet cleaning. Upholstery cleaning. Tile and grout cleaning. Pet/wine stain removal. Manatee Chamber member. Great price, free estimates. Local owner. Call 941-756-1082.

JUST THAT CLEAN: We’ll clean your home like our own! Free estimate. Jenise, 941-730-6773, Brad, 941-704-5609.

STRUGGLING WITH MATH homework? Fully certified grades 5-12, and 10 years experience, math teacher, looking to help you and your student to become more successful. Call Stacey Brebaugh, 941-524-4177.

D.L. HAYES CLEANING: Bonded and insured. Rachael Bidwell/ Sheila Darcy, 941-932-5347 or 941-224-1486. For all your cleaning needs.

WANT TO USE your rusty French? Call Geraldine for group (3 or 4) walks, coffee, visits all in French for an hour. 941-795-3034.

FRENCH TUTORING: Experienced, French. Can help students at any level. Call Geraldine, 941-795-3034.

NICK PATSIOS PEST Control and Lawn Care: 22 years experience on AMI. Roaches, ants, white fly. License # JF8348. Call Nick, 941-713-2071.

PROFESSIONAL CLEANING BY Ruth Howle: Over 25 years of Island cleaning. Excellent references. Please, phone 941-779-7970.

PROOF, POST, PUBLISH: Local editor-writer available for consulting, draft editing, final proofing and copywriting, as well as social media management for your group or business. Email Lisa Neff at

BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS JD’s Window Cleaning looking for storefront jobs in Holmes Beach. I make dirty windows sparkling clean. 941-920-3840.

BEACH SERVICE air conditioning, heat, refrigeration. Commercial and residential service, repair and/or replacement. Serving Manatee County and the Island since 1987. For dependable, honest and personalized service, call William Eller, 941-795-7411. CAC184228.

ANYONE CAN TAKE a picture. A professional creates a portrait. I want to be at your wedding! 941-778-2711.

RELAXING MASSAGE IN the convenience of your home or hotel. Massage by Nadia, more than 19 years on Anna Maria Island. Call today for an appointment, 941-518-8301. MA#0017550.MA#0017550.


CONNIE’S LANDSCAPING INC. Residential and commercial. Full-service lawn maintenance, landscaping, cleanups, hauling and more! Insured. 941-778-5294.

ISLAND LAWN SPRINKLERS repairs and installations, watering the island for 15 years. Jeff, 941-778-2581.

TREE-LAWN WORK: Serving Manatee and the islands 25 years. All phases of tree work, hedges and palm trees. Call Phil or Jeff, Brewer and Gunn Enterprises 941-809-7930.

JR’S LANDSCAPING AND MAINTENANCE Lawns, native plants, mulching, trimming, hauling, cleanups. Island resident 25 years. Call 941-807-1015.


SHELL DELIVERED AND spread. $50/yard. Hauling all kinds of gravel, mulch, top soil with free estimates. Call Larry at 941-795-7775, “shell phone” 941-720-0770.

STRAIGHT SHOT LANDSCAPE. Specializing in old Florida seashell driveways and scapes. Free estimates. Call Shark Mark, 941-301-6067.

NATURE’S DESIGN LANDSCAPING. Design and installation. Tropical landscape specialist. Residential and commercial. 30 years experience. 941-729-9381, 941-448-6336.


VAN-GO PAINTING residential/commercial, interior/exterior, pressure cleaning, wallpaper. Island references. Bill, 941-795-5100.

CUSTOM REMODELING EXPERT. All phases of carpentry, repairs and painting. Insured. Meticulous, clean, sober and prompt. Paul Beauregard, 941-730-7479.

TILE -TILE -TILE. All variations of ceramic tile supplied and installed. Quality workmanship, prompt, reliable, many Island references. Call Neil, 941-726-3077.

GRIFFIN’S HOME IMPROVEMENTS Inc. Handyman, fine woodwork, countertops, cabinets and wood flooring. Insured and licensed. 941-722-8792.

JERRY’S HOME REPAIR: Carpentry, handyman, light hauling, pressure washing. Jack of all trades. Call 941-778-6170 or 941-447-2198.

HANDYMAN SERVICE: 25-year Island resident. We do all repair, handcrafted work, interior/exterior. The Flying Dutchman, 941-447-6747.

ISLE TILE: QUALITY installation floors, counters, backsplashes, showers. Licensed, insured. Call Chris at 941-302-8759.

PAINTING: DONALD PERKINS Painting LLC. Interior, exterior. 40 years experience. Fully insured with references. 941-705-7096.

SOUTHBAY HOME REPAIRS: If it’s broken, stuck, loose, leaks, needs paint, etc. I’ll fix it. Affordable quality work. 941-720-2906.

EXPERT PROPERTY REPAIRS: 25 years, 24/7, locally owned, free estimates. Call Joe Naples, 941-487-0073.

SOUTHWEST HOME IMPROVEMENT: Michigan builder, quality work guaranteed. Affordable, timely, within budget. Call Mike, 1-616-204-8822.

ANNA MARIA HOME Accents: 20 years experience in building and remodeling. Local, licensed and insured. 786-318-8585.


WEEKLY/MONTHLY/ANNUAL rentals: wide variety, changes daily. SunCoast Real Estate, 941-779-0202, or 1-800-732-6434.

BRADENTON BEACH: SEASONAL rental 2BR/1BA. One house from beach. $1,000/week. or 941-778-4731.

PALMA SOLA 3BR/2BA possible 4BR. Large home, two-car garage, carport, $1,450/month. Call 941-809-6434.

WEST BRADENTON BEAUTIFUL home: Three miles from beach, won’t last!  2BR/2BA all amenities included. Seasonal, $2,000/month. Call Joani for details, 941-448-7119.

ANNUAL, SEMI-FURNISHED studio apartment. Downstairs. Clean, cozy. Walking to restaurants, beach, shopping. $700/month. Includes water. Small pet welcome with damage deposit and $25 more monthly. 813-892-4768. References.

ANNA MARIA: REMODEL 2BR/1BA. Weeks and months available:  December through April 2015. 114 Oak Ave., Anna Maria. 941-778-7933.

BRAND NEW! HARBOUR Isle, annual rental. 2BR/2BA, two-car garage, den, lanai. Granite, lake views, one mile to Anna Maria Island. 1,621 sf, unfurnished. $2,200/month. John, 917-218-7754.

HOLMES BEACH: NEWER annual or seasonal rental. Nicely furnished 2BR/2BA, great location. 847-530-8833.


WE’RE LOW, LISTINGS needed. Are you curious as to how much your home could be worth? Call us for a free professional consultation. Call Lynn at Edgewater Real Estate, 941-778-8104.

REAL ESTATE: BUY, sell, invest. Enjoy. Billi Gartman, Realtor, Duncan Real Estate. 941-545-8877.

FREE! WHAT EVERY real estate buyer or seller needs to know! Go to: 941-400-8735.

SANDPIPER CO-OP, 3BR/2BA for $229,000. 2601 Gulf Drive N., unit S-21, Bradenton Beach. Brock Real Estate Inc., 941-896-8822.

FOR SALE: VILLA. Ten minutes to beach, 2BR/2BA, 2,100 sf, garage. Bradenton. $200,000. 813-727-1959.

CANALFRONT: RECENTLY RENOVATED 2BR/2BA villa with dock. Near Intracoastal with no bridges. Great soon-to-be gated community. Pet friendly. Bradenton. Yes, you can have it all. $260,000. Katharine Pepper, RoseBay International, 941-751-0582 or 802-363-9973.

DISCOVER THE OTHER Island: Tidy Island in Sarasota Bay. Tastefully renovated lakefront condo, 3BR/2BA, two-car with storage. This condo has so much to offer! Pet friendly. $344,900. Katharine Pepper, RoseBay International, 941-751-0582 or 802-363-9973.

LOCATION, LOCATION: BRADENTON Beach Triplex. Three houses from the beach and three houses from the bay. Call for details, Patti Evans, 941-773-0877, Keller Williams on the Water.

GORGEOUS LOT: 14,160 sf, 80-by-177-feet. Located at 1107 Palma Sola Blvd., Bradenton. Stunning views of Palma Sola Bay with great potential for new construction. For more details, contact Gregg Bayer at AMI Beaches Real Estate, 941-799-9096.

FOR SALE: NORTHWEST Bradenton townhouse condo. 3BR/2.5BA, tiled, needs bedroom carpeting. Large two-car garage, $158,500. 847-530-8833.

GREAT LITTLE HOUSE, great big view: Open water view of AMI Bridge, 1950s cottage, block construction, pine accents. New appliances, etc. An island treasure. $849,500. FSBO. 941-730-2606 (leave message).





Anna Maria forges rental regs, grandfather provision

Grandfather’s clock is ticking in Anna Maria.

Fresh with an opinion from Sarasota attorney David Levin that the city’s 1996 residential zoning ordinance prohibits vacation rentals built after that year, commissioners elected for a kinder, gentler approach.

At their Dec. 11 work session, where Levin explained how he reached his opinion, the commission consensus favored grandfathering vacation properties over the draconian move of eliminating any vacation home properties built after 1996.

A coalition of citizens, attorneys and representatives of the vacation rental industry came together to draft a proposed ordinance for commission review Dec. 18.

Anna Maria resident Maureen McCormick spearheaded formation of the coalition and presented a rough draft of the coalition’s ordinance. Their draft was created before commissioners discussed what they would like to see regulated in the city’s vacation rental ordinance.

Armed with commission input from the Dec. 11 meeting, McCormick said the group will have a more substantial draft ready by Dec. 18, even if the group must work 24 hours every day.

“We’ll work around the clock if necessary to have something ready,” McCormick told commissioners.

Commission Chair Chuck Webb was concerned McCormick might make promises that the commission might reject.

“That’s not going to happen,” McCormick said. “We understand we do not represent the city and we’ve made that clear to the rental agents. The final decision on anything is up to the commission. We just wanted to save time, work with the vacation rental industry and be prepared,” she said.

Levin was retained by the commission to give an opinion on the city’s zoning code as it applies to commercial activities in the residential zone.

Commissioners had planned to seek a declaratory judgment if Levin’s opinion was favorable to the city. But Levin was so positive the ordinance would withstand legal challenges, he suggested the city need not take the matter to court.

“Your ordinance is very clear,” Levin said. “It outlines those activities appropriate for the residential zone and anything not permitted is thereby prohibited.”

Commissioners agreed not to proceed with a judgment and instead to go directly to adopting an ordinance for vacation rentals.

Levin said the city could prohibit vacation homes built after 1996 and force owners of such properties to abandon renting but, he added, that’s a harsh move.

No commissioner favored such a measure.

“Our intention was never to eliminate vacation rentals,” Webb said.

Levin suggested the practical solution is to grandfather existing vacation homes.

“Otherwise, you could be in court a long time because some people have made a big investment in a vacation rental and would spend a lot of time and money fighting the city,” he said.

Levin also said the city can “assume it will eventually end up in court” over any ordinance it passes.

Commissioners decided to proceed with an ordinance that legalizes older vacation homes.

Any homes that became vacation rentals after 1996 would be grandfathered. However, the owners of rental properties would have to apply to the city for a special exception to continue to rent the structure as a “permitted, non-conforming use,” Webb said.

Additionally, a “drop-dead” date would be in the ordinance, after which no further vacation rental homes could be built or expanded.

Webb said nobody “wants this city to become nothing but vacation rentals.”

Commissioners agreed in principle with allowing a vacation rental owner with a special exception to transfer the exception to a new owner. Otherwise, the sale of such properties might be difficult, Commissioner Carol Carter said.

“We have to recognize that vacation rentals are an integral part of our economy,” she added.

Commissioner Doug Copeland said he needed more time to consider whether allowing vacation rentals built after 1996 to be grandfathered with or without the need for a special exception     With an estimated 1,100 vacation rental properties in the city, the special exception process could be lengthy, he noted.

Commissioners agreed they could allow vacation rental homes to continue as a rental while the special exception application was in process.

Other regulations commissioners would like to include in the ordinance are to control noise, parking, size and number of bedrooms, duration of stay, annual licensing and a fee schedule.

Levin briefly discussed legal opinions received by the city Dec. 11 from two attorneys — both opposed to Levin’s viewpoint. The attorneys suggested the city would lose in what would likely become a lengthy and expensive court battle.

“I think the attorneys were representing their clients very well, but I have to differ,” adding the city’s zoning ordinance is very specific, he said.

Levin’s opinion that the 1996 zoning ordinance did not permit a single-family home to be used as a vacation rental is critical to developing the city’s regulations.

The Florida Legislature enacted a statute on June 1, 2011, that prohibited a local government from enacting any code that specifically regulated vacation rentals. Unless the local government already had an ordinance in place that controlled vacation rental properties, any regulatory ordinance affecting rental properties also had to apply to single-family residences as well.

Effective June 1, the Legislature amended that statute to allow local governments some regulation of vacation rentals. However, banning vacation rentals was prohibited in the amendment, as well as setting a minimum length of stay.

With a zoning ordinance in place as of June 1, 2011, the city has regulatory powers over the industry, Levin said.

Yetter said setting a length of stay should be discussed at a future work session. She does not want “party homes” in the city — those she characterized as large groups of unrelated people coming for the weekend to party.

With the clock ticking on pending building applications, commissioners agreed to move as quickly as possible to adopt a vacation rental ordinance.

Anna Maria Island Vacation Property Association president Larry Chatt said he was “pleased the city is involving the industry in preparing the ordinance.”

He noted, however, that there are a number of issues that must be ironed out before any ordinance is ready for passage, and he’s not positive this can be accomplished quickly.

“Still, working together with dialogue and understanding to reach agreement is better than a legal action.”

The urgency in regulating rentals is due to the moratorium on building a home with four or more bedrooms that was enacted Sept. 22.

High-tech groins planned for beach

It’s been so long since the groins at Cortez Beach in Bradenton Beach — sometimes called “Three Piers” — were constructed, nobody is exactly sure of the date.

The best guess Manatee County parks and natural resources director Charlie Hunsicker has is “sometime in the 1960s.”

That’s what Hunsicker told county commissioners at a Dec. 9 work session on 2015 plans for Anna Maria Island’s continuing beach renourishment project and the dredging of Longboat Pass.

What Hunsicker and marine engineer Tom Pierro of Coastal Planning and Engineering do know is that the groins have outlived their life span.

“They were only supposed to last about 30 years,” Pierro said. “And they were built with the technology of 50 years ago.”

In 2015, high-tech groins will replace the three groins at Cortez Beach.

“These will be permeable, adjustable groins, allowing us to control the flow of sand and water through the groins,” Pierro said. Gears will be mounted in 10-yard sections on top of the groins, allowing for manual adjustments.

The beachfront Islander condominium on Longboat Key has had a permeable, adjustable groin constructed, Hunsicker said, and, so far, it’s working fine. If the first groin does its job and keeps the beach sand in place, they plan to build two more.

That’s exactly the way Manatee County plans to build its permeable, adjustable groins, Hunsicker said.

Cayo Construction of Fort Worth, Texas, has been awarded the $4.7 million contract for the Bradenton Beach groins and construction should begin in late January. Each groin will be built one after the other to avoid confusion on the beach and ensure the groins work, Hunsicker said.

The groins will be built alongside as the old ones are torn down and removed. Each groin will be 300-400 feet long, Pierro said.

The project is estimated to take 285 days to complete, according to the contract.

While new groins are a great idea for erosion control, the first thing anyone will want to do is walk on them, Commissioner Carol Whitmore said. Then the surfers and anglers will come, she added.

Pierro, who is a former surfer, understands that surfers will walk to the end of the groin with their boards to avoid paddling through the on-shore waves.

But the groins can’t be built as piers.

Hunsicker said if handrails or benches are added, that’s a pier, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Piers are constructed under a different set of DEP rules, he said.

Even if a handrail was built on each side of the groin, the DEP would say it’s a pier, Hunsicker said.

“They would make us follow the rules for a pier and it would cost a lot more than $4.7 million,” he said.

A public pier must be built at least 15 feet above sea level, be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, have handrails, be built to withstand a 500-year wave event and meet other criteria, Hunsicker said.

The groins will have a smooth surface and be walkable. Hunsicker said he expects people will walk on the groins, even if they are fenced and chained, and no-trespassing signs are posted.

“Many communities solve this problem by putting up a sign that says ‘Danger. Proceed at your own risk,’” Hunsicker said.

Whether to allow pedestrians or anglers will be up to the Bradenton Beach City Commission, as that city will have the liability.

Regarding the dredging of Longboat Pass, that won’t begin until probably mid or late 2015, Hunsicker said.

Longboat Key is paying to dredge the channel on the condition it can use the dredged sand to renourish its beaches.

That’s fine with Hunsicker and other county staff.

“We just finished renourishment and our beaches have no need for more sand,” he said.

For Manatee County and Longboat Key to obtain federal funding to dredge the pass, it would have to be declared a navigational hazard.

“If we relied on the federal government to do anything, that might take some time. So, we have to take this up on our own,” Hunsicker said.

Longboat Key officials, the West Coast Inland Navigation District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will work with Hunsicker and Pierro on the specifications for dredging the channel.

Hunsicker said the estimated cost to dredge the pass is $2.5 million.

Sex offender visits Bradenton Beach

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement website reported a convicted sex offender moved temporarily to a Bradenton Beach apartment Dec. 10.

The 56-year-old man reported a temporary address in the 100 block of Ninth Street North, the FDLE reported. According to the FDLE website, the man was convicted of child molestation in Arizona in December 1992.

Under Florida law, any convicted sex offender residing in the state must report any change of his or her address to the FDLE immediately upon moving.

Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale said officers have visited the man’s residence and spoken with him. They will check the address again to ensure the move was only temporary.

Nearby residents also have been advised of his presence, Speciale said.

Bradenton Beach now has two convicted sex offenders. The other offender resides in the 2500 block of Avenue C.

Holmes Beach has two convicted sex offenders in residence, while two are living in the Cortez area.

2 judges recused from citizens v. Bradenton Beach case

Two judges are pushing away from the bench, saying relationships with a restaurateur prevent them from hearing a case.

Twelfth Circuit Judges Janette Dunnigan and Gilbert Smith Jr. recused themselves from a 2012 lawsuit against the city of Bradenton Beach due to their past association with Ed Chiles, owner of the BeacHhouse Restaurant.

In the lawsuit, Tjet Martin and Jo Ann Meilner have asked the court to throw out an agreement between Chiles’ company and the city that allows for development of a parking lot on the beach.

The city-owned beach access/park is adjacent to Chiles’ parking lot. “We are not encroaching into the city’s land,” Chiles said Dec. 14. “The city did this as a joint, public-private partnership. They wanted to take their 50 feet and have that redesigned to have some handicapped parking in there.” Cars would enter the parking lot on Chiles’ property and exit from city property, he said.

A hearing date has not been set, and likely won’t be until a new judge is assigned. Meanwhile Chiles’ attorney, Robert Lincoln of Icard Merrill of Sarasota, has filed a motion for Chiles’ company, ELRA, to intervene in the case.

Ralf Brookes, attorney for Martin and Meilner, says it’s good that judges who know Chiles have agreed to allow an independent judge to hear the case.

“We appreciate (the recusals),” Brookes said. “My plaintiffs wanted to have an independent judge who did not know Ed Chiles. I know it’s a small town, but Ed Chiles also happens to be the son of the former governor (Lawton Chiles). He’s very involved in the Democratic Party.”

This is one of two ongoing lawsuits filed by Martin, Mayor Bill Shearon’s life partner, against the city of Bradenton Beach. The other is based on failure of the city to produce public records.

Shearon also was a party to the parking lot lawsuit, which was filed after he and Meilner both resigned from the city’s planning and zoning board over the city commission’s approval of the parking lot plan.

Shearon dropped out of the lawsuit following his election as mayor.

“We don’t think it’s appropriate to tear down the trees and turn that city access park into a parking lot for a private commercial restaurant next door,” Brookes said. “That’s a city park. It should be used for city purposes for city residents.”

Brookes also said Chiles’ company has “exceeded the area that’s allowed for parking on his property, that he has gotten too close to the beach and that the second row of parking is in an area under which parking is prohibited under the comp plan.”

“I’ve got my property, with my rights to park on my property,” Chiles said. “I certainly am not going to allow someone to take those rights away from me.”

Brookes said Chiles is now seeking to amend the comp plan to allow parking in that area.

Meanwhile, records pertaining to Martin’s lawsuit against the city, regarding her public records request, have been posted online.

Brookes, who also is representing Martin in that case, says the suit has three parts: that the requested public records – emails from the city attorney to city commissioners – have not yet been fully provided; the fee Martin is being assessed for the public records is too high; and the claim that public works director Tom Woodard deleted a relevant Gmail account.

Brookes says Smith, one of the two judges who recused themselves from the parking lot case, has been assigned to hear this case.

“He will review the petition for writ of mandamus and we expect an order to show cause to be issued in that case very soon,” Brookes said. “That will give the city 20 or 30 days to respond to the petition.” State law requires courts to prioritize public records cases over other cases, Brookes added.

City attorney Ricinda Perry reviewed her emails to the city commission at an hourly rate of $90. She ultimately amassed a bill of $780 that Martin was asked to pay in order to receive the records.

“We don’t feel that is appropriate or fair,” Brookes said. “Ninety dollars an hour is so high that it discourages people from asking for public records.” Brookes said Perry has “not responded” to the lawsuit.

Reached by phone, Perry said she could not comment without first speaking to commissioners.