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Date of Issue: August 13, 2008

Complaint to Bradenton Beach adjustment continued

The Bradenton Beach Board of Adjustment at its Aug. 6 meeting planned to continue a hearing it had begun July 16, when it couldn’t act because it lacked a quorum.

But the best-laid plans often go awry.

City attorney Ricinda Perry determined that the applicants - Cynthia Dagher and Mark Mixon of 2205 Gulf Drive - had not met the requirements to notify the adjacent landowners and public regarding their complaint to the board.

Dagher and Mixon are questioning the building official’s interpretation of the land development code that allowed its neighbor - Sunset Beach Motel/The Beach Club at 2201 Gulf Drive - to install 10 air-conditioning units that “exceed the city’s decimal [sic] noise levels” and are attached to a building that “exceeds the allowed setback requirement.”

The applicants claim the units have “created an ongoing hardship with the quality of life we had enjoyed before renovations [sic] of this project.”

But Perry said the applicants did not meet the code requirements for a board of adjustment hearing because they failed to supply the city with a copy of the public notice document that they mailed to adjacent landowners at least 10 days prior to the hearing.

With that news, BOA chairman John Burns said the board could not hear the complaint.

The board has “no leeway” in determining whether or not it can hear the case when the public notice requirement has not been met, he said.

It’s a matter of “due process” that all applicants must undergo, Burns said. “We’d like to proceed with the meeting, but we can’t. We are not permitted to hear the case tonight.”

Mixon responded, “If this is going to be another loophole and things get dismissed,” then he is “back to square one.”

Not so, indicated Burns, who noted that the next step is up to the applicants.

Burns said Mixon and Dagher had two choices: start the entire process over again, or continue the hearing to a “date certain” and meet the public notice requirement noted previously. The applicants have met all the other code requirements for notice of a public hearing, he said.

Mixon said he would “take the blame” for the error and asked the board to continue the hearing.

The board continued the hearing to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27.

In other business, Burns noted that the board of adjustment is supposed to have seven members, but currently only has four. Meetings have been canceled because a quorum was lacking.

He asked that a letter be sent to Mayor Michael Pierce requesting that he “pursue additional board members.”

In addition to Burns, board members are Barton Weeks, Dan Debaun and Karen Cunningham.