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Date of Issue: July 29, 2009

Resident takes Bradenton Beach to court

A Bradenton Beach resident appealed to the circuit court to review a city commission ruling against him.

Ken Lohn lives at 501 Bay Drive S. and also owns a duplex nearby. He is challenging a city building official’s issuance of a certificate of occupancy for a neighboring duplex at 109 Fifth St. S.

In April, the city board of adjustment recommended that the city commission deny Lohn’s complaint regarding the Fifth Street property, also known as Hibiscus II and now owned by Synovus Bank.

In June, the city commission voted against Lohn’s complaint, which essentially is that a driveway built on an easement alongside his home is too close to his property line and not wide enough.

 Lohn’s 11-page complaint, filed in Manatee County Circuit Court by attorney Robert Turffs, seeks a judicial review of the commission’s decision.

“This complaint challenges the city of Bradenton Beach issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the multi-family condominium … despite the fact the location is in violation of express provisions of the Bradenton Beach Land Development Code.”

In the complaint, Lohn said he wants the court to issue an order quashing the commission’s order upholding the certificate of occupancy.

Responding to the complaint, city attorney Ricinda Perry said, “The issues raised by Mr. Lohn were reviewed three times by the city and were found to be without legal merit unanimously by the board of adjustment and the city commission.

“To interfere with, abrogate or annul the easement at issue would be a threat to the public’s health, safety and welfare, including Mr. Lohn, since there are no other options available to access Mr. Lohn's property and the adjacent lot.”