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Date of Issue: April 21, 2005

Commission considers fee schedule, Gulffront Park plan

The Anna Maria City Commission worksession April 14 actually discussed a variety of issues other than parking (see separate story).

Commissioners got a report from Gary Comp of Environmental Affairs Consulting on a management plan for Gulffront Park, which is located along the Gulf between Oak and Magnolia avenues.

Comp recommended that the Australian pines and Brazilian pepper trees in the south section of the 11.5 acre park be removed to encourage wildlife and natural vegetation, but the city should retain the pines in the northern section.

He also said five walkways through the park to the beach have been built over the years by residents and he encouraged the city to remove them.

Commissioner Dale Woodland, however, noted that residents are accustomed to using those paths, and the commission agreed it should keep at least three pathways to the beach until it could build beach access ramps across the vegetation.

Commissioners did question Comp's estimate that he could remove the Australian pines in the southern section for just $4,400. Comp said that was only an estimate, and admitted he did not have an exact count of the number of Australian pines and pepper trees in the park.

Mayor SueLynn noted that she paid more than $3,500 to remove one Australian pine on her property.

The commission also had the first reading of an ordinance that will provide a new fee schedule for permits and city services, special use permits, special exemptions, variance and vacation applications and other fees.

Under the proposed ordinance, a building permit would cost $50 for the first $1,000 of the cost of construction and $19 for each additional $1,000.

If approved, a building permit for a $1 million cost of construction home in Villa Rosa would require an $18,986 permit fee from the developer.

The commission also heard a proposal from Manatee County to "piggyback" on its emergency debris management contract, and agreed to proceed with an ordinance clarifying procedures for a vacation that are already in two separate sections of the city code book. The proposed ordinance would combine those sections.

The commission also agreed to have City Attorney Jim Dye draft an ordinance reducing the amount of time between homeowner improvements from five years to one year. The new ordinance should assist property owners in lowering their flood insurance premiums.

As its last order of business, the commission scheduled a special meeting at 6 p.m. May 12 to review a final plat submission for the Villa Rosa housing project on South Bay Boulevard.