Variance requests denied in Bradenton Beach
A spa that nudged into the setback zone at a resort in Bradenton Beach
was recommended to be moved by city officials last
week. Final decision on the matter will be made by the city commission
at a later date.
Members of the city’s board of adjustment
recommended denial of a variance to RAPS Development LLC for its property, Sunset
Beach Motel, 2201 Gulf Drive N., for the spa to be 7 feet from the rear property
line where 10 feet of setback is required.
Steve Gilbert, the city’s building
official, said the plans for the resort renovation indicated a single pool, which
he found to be properly located on the site. On inspection, he noticed the spa
encroached on the setback area, and he requested the developer come before the
board of adjustment for a variance.
He issued a stop-work order for the spa.
RAPS Development’s Richard Spanski
said that a spa is “very important to motel users.” He added that
the spa had been dug and steel and concrete was already installed, contributing
to the hardship by the owners and contributing to the request for the variance.
of adjustment members disagreed.
“It is a desire, but not a necessity,
to put in the spa,” BOA Chair John Burns said. “The applicant has
the opportunity to locate the spa elsewhere on site.”
Board member Dan DeBaun
“The code is clear,” he said. “There
were changes made which did not meet the setbacks. There are hardships, but it’s
not clear enough for me [to vote for the variance].
The denial was unanimous.
In other board action, members also vetoed
a boat lift variance requested by Jerry and Connie
McKee at their home at 2101 Bay Drive N. — or 1909 or 2102 Bay Drive N., depending on which records
Jerry McKee said he bought the property
in December 2005 and spoke to building officials regarding
the creation of a boat lift on the canal side of the waterfront property.
He said he was told there would be no problem with such an amenity.
In September 2006, he retained the services
of a boat lift contractor, who applied for and received
permits for the lift construction. In March 2007, the work was completed
and the contractor was paid, but a final review by the city spurred a
At issue, according
to Gilbert, is a city code which states that boat lifts,
docks or pilings should not project more than 5 feet into the water.
The McKee pilings are 13 feet from the seawall and the canal edge.
Gilbert quoted the city’s land development
code, which states in part that “no piling, boat dock or pier shall project
more than 5 feet into the canal.”
There are two canals in Bradenton Beach.
Neighbor Michael Southwick said he is
opposed to the lift and objected to the variance.
“Most lifts are on the bay,” he
said of the McKee project. “I believe it will impede ingress and egress
to the canal.”
Southwick said that the extensive mangrove
fringe on the south side of the canal also contributed
to navigational issues in the narrow waterway.
Neighbor Jaroslav Urbanek concurred.
“It’s the only canal in Bradenton
Beach with mangroves,” he said. “It’s unique, and it’s
only deep on one side.”
Chair Burns said the plans appeared to have
been issued in violation of city codes. Adjustment
board member DeBaun agreed, and made the motion that the issuance of
the building permit was in error and should be revoked, which was unanimously