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Date of Issue: June 08, 2006

City to Rosa Del Mar: Move the dirt

A city's "desires" have become reality for one developer in Bradenton Beach.

Code enforcement board members last week ordered GSR Development LLC to re-grade a Gulffront lot it owns in the 2500 block of Gulf Drive. The property was destined for development as a 14-unit condo project called Rosa Del Mar until some problems arose.

In site preparation, though, existing buildings were demolished and the property graded, with soil amassed on the westernmost - beachfront - area of the parcel.

Building Official Ed Mc Adam said that the pile of soil constitutes a safety issue in the event of a storm. He had originally noticed GSR, whose principals are Robert Byrne and Steve Noriega, in May 2005 of the problems with the soil.

The matter was not dealt with, and the building permit for the project later expired.

Mc Adam again brought the matter to GSR attention in April 2006 and, failing to have a response, initiated code enforcement proceedings to move the dirt.

To explain, Mc Adam cited a section of the city codes that reads, in part, "The city of Bradenton Beach desires to protect public safety, lives, buildings and structures by adopting regulations maintaining its coastal area free of accessory uses and obstructions that can cause public danger in the event of a hurricane or major storm event."

He suggested the code enforcement board give GSR five days to move the soil or be found in violation, with a $250 per day fine assessed.

GSR attorney Fred Moore said the code doesn't mention piles of dirt on the property. He also questioned the danger the soil posed to surrounding properties in a storm.

Byrne said the Rosa Del Mar property had had several setbacks with engineers and plans not correctly drawn and other issues. Those matters have taken time, he said, "but we're ready to go now. We have to pay the $137,000 in building permit fees again, and we're prepared to do so, so why push the sand back and then have to move it again?"

Board member Herb Stump said he didn't fault the building official's decision to have the dirt spread out, but questioned the citation used.

"It says ‘Bradenton Beach desires' these things," he said. "I believe there is a hazard there, but I don't believe this is the code to enforce it."

In the end, the board gave GSR until June 7 to have the dirt pile relocated or face the levy of $250 per day in fines.