Bradenton Beach declares open commission seat

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Mayor-elect John Chappie and outgoing Mayor Bill Shearon shake hands at city hall Nov. 16 prior to Shearon leaving office and Chappie’s swearing in. Islander Photo: ChrisAnn Silver Esformes
The Bradenton Beach commission and mayor are seated Nov. 16 for their final meeting. Mayor Bill Shearon and Commissioner Ralph Cole were to give up their seats Nov. 20, following the 1 p.m. swearing-in ceremony for new officials at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N.

In a series of unanimous votes, the sitting Bradenton Beach commission and mayor utilized their final meeting to take care of some lingering business.

The commission addressed the vacant seat on the dais and an ordinance to enact approved charter amendments.

The commission seat held by Mayor-elect John Chappie will be filled by appointment at a special meeting immediately proceeding the Dec. 7 commission meeting.

A motion was made to advertise the seat, which became open as of the Nov. 20 swearing-in ceremony, when Chappie assumed his role as mayor.

Applicants have until Dec. 1 to complete the process.

The motion passed unanimously.

The commission also discussed the charter amendment approved by electors on the Nov. 7 ballot that removed the four-ward structure, allowing commissioners to serve citywide.

As a result, nominees for Chappie’s seat can reside anywhere in the city.

Additionally, commissioners unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance to enact the three charter amendments that were approved Nov. 7.

The public hearing and final reading of the ordinance will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7.

Commissioners next approved a three-month extension of the building moratorium.

The most recent extension lapsed Nov. 6. However, because it had previously been adopted, city attorney Ricinda Perry said enacting the extension would not be a problem.

The moratorium — enacted in November 2016 — is now set to expire in February 2018.

This is the third three-month extension of the original six-month moratorium, which prohibits the review of applications and issuance of permits for structures in the R1 and R2 zoning districts containing more than four bedrooms.

The moratorium was enacted to stop the construction of large short-term rental homes while the city commission develops rental regulations and licensing.

Commissioner Jake Spooner said he hopes this is the final extension.

“We really need to buckle down and get this taken care of,” Spooner said.

City planner Alan Garrett said the planning and zoning board would review rental regulations at its Dec. 20 meeting.

The commission agreed to hold a workshop to sort out the specifics of the transient public lodging establishment license, to be effective in March 2018.


Parking violations
Commissioners and the mayor unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance modifying parking in city-owned lots.

Currently, public parking — other than for city business — is prohibited at city hall until 5 p.m., even though city hall closes at 4 p.m.

A consensus was reached to change signage to allow parking after 4 p.m., unless signs are posted indicating a city meeting is taking place.

Additionally, vehicles are prohibited from parking at city hall midnight-7 a.m.

Shearon said the commission may want to consider changing the time limit on some parking spots from three hours to two hours.

Police Chief Sam Speciale said he does not have enough staff to enforce such a regulation but he suggested the city could take up paid meters to limit parking.

Additionally, the commission reached consensus to increase the parking violation fee from $35 to $50. Chappie suggested certain violations, including blocking crosswalks or parking within 10 feet of an intersection, carry a $100 penalty.

The group agreed to hold a workshop to discuss time limits on parking and increased fines.

The first reading of an ordinance to set the increased fee schedule and a resolution for the fee schedule both passed with a unanimous vote.

A public hearing and final reading of both ordinances is planned for the Dec. 7 commission meeting.

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