Tag Archives: 05-30-2012

Holmes Beach takes neighbors to court

Two neighboring cities on Anna Maria Island and the mobile home park that separates them are now on a path to the courthouse over rights to 27th Street.

The city of Holmes Beach filed an action for declaratory relief May 24 against the city of Bradenton Beach and Sandpiper Resort Co-op Inc., 2601 Gulf Drive N., asking the court to decide the ongoing border dispute.

Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Diane Moreland was assigned to the case and issued summonses to the defendants May 24.

In the action, Holmes Beach requests the court void the 2008 quitclaim deed Bradenton Beach used to transfer the 27th Street property to Sandpiper, a nonprofit association of mobile home owners in Bradenton Beach. It also asks the court to declare the 27th street right of way to be a public street.

The portion of the platted street in dispute runs east of Gulf Drive to Sarasota Bay along the northern border of the Sandpiper, and mostly has been used for parking by the mobile home park residents.

Among the allegations in the complaint, signed May 22 by Mayor Rich Bohnenberger, include the city’s contention that Bradenton Beach improperly relied on a state law that allows municipalities to re-convey property because the rights of way “were never conveyed to Bradenton Beach.”

In addition, the lawsuit states that when Bradenton Beach enacted its ordinance authorizing the quitclaim, “there was evidence that portions of the rights of way, specifically the north 30 feet of 27th Street … were improved and had been used for right-of-way purposes, including vehicular use, pedestrian use and utility use for decades.”

Before the city of Bradenton Beach authorized the quitclaim to Sandpiper, Holmes Beach contended the conveyance was improper in a Dec. 3, 2008, letter to the city of Bradenton Beach.

Holmes Beach commissioners dropped the matter shortly after the letter was sent, but again addressed it last summer when the Sandpiper erected a fence, installed gates and posted “no trespass” signs along the border.

In October, Holmes Beach instituted a state process required before one municipality sues one another, attempting to settle the matter with Bradenton Beach. However, the process stalled in February after the two governmental entities could not resolve the deed to the Sandpiper. Further frustrating officials was the fact the Sandpiper was not compelled to participate.

During the conflict resolution process, Bradenton Beach representatives alleged Holmes Beach had no standing in the matter. Bradenton Beach Mayor John Shaughnessy maintained that no part of the subject property was within the jurisdiction of Holmes Beach.

Recent attempts by Holmes Beach Commission Chair David Zaccagnino to resolve the matter with Sandpiper officers were reportedly made and rejected. At a March 27 city meeting, Holmes Beach commissioners gave Sandpiper two weeks to notify its residents, hold a meeting and make a decision as to whether it will pursue a quitclaim of the property.

In April, the Sandpiper owner’s association president Doug LeFevre was waiting for Holmes Beach’s formal settlement offer to resolve the dispute, but, he said, the association had never received such an offer in writing.

In addition to asking the court to declare 27th Street a public street, the city of Holmes Beach also is asking Sandpiper be ordered to remove the gates and “private property” signs from the fence, and also remove a portion of the fence to provide access from an adjoining alley to 27th Street.

At press time for The Islander, neither LeFevre nor Shaughnessy returned calls to comment on the lawsuit.

AM election toss up: Mattick mom no, daughter maybe

The announcement last week by Anna Maria Commissioner Jo Ann Mattick that she would not seek a fourth term in office, coupled with Mayor Mike Selby’s earlier statement he would not run for another term, has left the race wide open for one of the two commission seats and the mayor’s office in the November election.

And there appear to be a few people interested in running for either position, including Sandy Mattick, Commissioner Mattick’s daughter, who was unsuccessful in her 2010 bid for the mayor’s office against Selby.

Janet Aubry, wife of former Commissioner Gene Aubry, who also has picked up an election packet, said Mattick asked her to get two packets for her from city hall. Janet Aubry said she did not know why Mattick wanted two packets.

Efforts to reach Sandy Mattick for comment on her possible bid for office were unsuccessful before press time for The Islander.

Incumbent Commissioner Chuck Webb has picked up his qualifying packet and said he will run for a third term.

Environmental education and enhancement chair Billy Malfese has a packet, but efforts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful.

Gene Aubry served as commissioner from September 2010 to November 2011, but did not elect to run for a second, full term last November. Aubry was elected 363-333 over Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus in a special September 2010 election that also saw Stoltzfus recalled from office.

Aubry said he has not made up his mind to run for commissioner as he must consider his workload as an architect against commissioner duties.

On Friday, May 25, Commissioner SueLynn — who is not up for re-election — picked up two packets.

Efforts to reach SueLynn to determine if she was planning to give up her commission seat to run for the office of mayor, or who she pulled packets for  also were unsuccessful before press deadline. SueLynn was mayor of Anna Maria from 2002-2006.

As a sitting commissioner, SueLynn could run for the office of mayor, but would have to resign from the commission before seeking the office.

Another potential commission candidate is planning and zoning board member Nancy Yetter, who said she is “seriously considering” running for the office of mayor, but has not yet made a decision or picked up a packet.

Yetter was unsuccessful in her 2011 bid for a commission seat.

Anna Maria city clerk Alice Baird said anyone could pick up a packet for himself, herself, or someone else. What counts is who has qualified for the election by the deadline — noon, Friday, June 8.

There are now seven election qualifying packets circulating in Anna Maria for three positions up for election in the November city vote.

Baird said she would get more election packets from the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections after handing out four packets May 25.

“I started with eight and only have one left, so I better get more right away,” Baird said.

When a candidate does qualify for the election in Anna Maria or any county office, that person’s name will be posted on the supervisor of elections website at www.votemanatee.org in the candidates section.

HB code enforcement board remains a force

Holmes Beach code violators will continue to go before local residents serving on a code enforcement board rather than a special magistrate if the commission stays on course.

Holmes Beach commissioners May 22 went against a prior consensus to move forward with an ordinance to implement a special magistrate system of hearings for code violations.

Had the commission stayed the course, the new system would have replaced the current seven-member board of community members with a paid professional, such as an attorney or retired judge as its magistrate.

But after hearing from code board members — Chair Don Schroder, Tom Creed and John Wize and alternates Marvin Grossman and Renee Ferguson — who opposed the change, commissioners voted 2-3 to deny the special magistrate ordinance.

Commission Chair David Zaccagnino joined commissioners Jean Peelen and John Monetti voting against the magistrate ordinance. Commissioners Pat Morton and Sandy Haas-Martens voted for the change.

Zaccagnino introduced the proposed special master ordinance, saying it may be a way to “avoid the uneasy, uncivil and awkward” situation of one community member sitting in judgment of another, and Peelen agreed.

However, after hearing from the code board members, Zaccagnino and Peelen joined Monetti in opposing the motion.

“I am extremely impressed,” Ferguson said about the code board she has served on since January.

Addressing previous comments about an April code board hearing that Morton said was “not a pretty sight,” Ferguson said, “It was not pleasant because certain things ran amok, not because of the code enforcement board.”

The April code board heard a stop work violation, and Schroder had criticized the city for not having the proper official at the hearing to testify.

“It’s not broken,” Ferguson added. “It seems to be working very, very well.”

Appointed to the code board at the same time as Ferguson, Grossman said, “When I first heard about going to a special magistrate, I definitely thought it was a good idea.” But after sitting on the board, he said, “I was amazed.” The board is “so concerned with the truth.” And, he said, members had no problem recusing themselves when a conflict arose. He said they were “not uncomfortable” with the notion the violator might be their neighbor, he said.

Recently reappointed, Creed objected to the city paying a special master when a competent code board of citizens serves without compensation.

He said he “seriously doubted” that bringing in a special magistrate who “doesn’t know the Island that well” could serve “nearly as well” as the current board. Creed complimented Schroder’s recent handling of a violator who was brought into compliance.

Schroder also asked the commission to reconsider its position, and noted the special magistrate was rejected about five years ago.

“I was dismayed to read in the newspaper that once again” the city was looking to disband the code board, and “doubly shocked” because it was not based on facts, but perception.

Never in his 14 years on the code board, Schroder said, had there been a problem getting a quorum.

“I see both sides of that coin,” Monetti said. “It seems like the city has been more contentious than in the past,” and code board members more “likely to get beat up by their neighbor, but it seems they’re happy to take that on.”

Morton said his recommendation for the special magistrate system was “not about our local citizenry” and their ability to serve on the code enforcement board. They’re doing “a great job,” he said, but rather it is about a desire to protect citizens as “things are changing.”

In other business, at the recommendation of Zaccagnino, Petruff and Mayor Rich Bohnenberger were asked to jump-start a resolution to flooding issues near Gulf Drive in the southeast area of the city. Zaccagnino said he lives in the area, and a heavy rainfall “last Tuesday was a horror show,” at 31st Street near Gulf Drive.

Joseph Snow, a resident of 31st Street on the west side of Gulf Drive, also told commissioners the water was so high he was unable to park in his driveway without having water flood into his car.

To alleviate the problem, swales need to be improved, but first an exemption is needed from the Southwest Florida Water Management District to allow for mangrove removal, according to Bohnenberger. He also reported funds for the work may be available if an ongoing stormwater project comes in under budget.

Commissioners next voted 3-2 to approve an ordinance eliminating the current practice of requiring citizens to swear to the truth before speaking at work sessions. Monetti and Haas-Martens dissented.

The commission unanimously approved:

• A mutual release of all claims in the William Sorg, 3707 Gulf Drive, fourplex code enforcement matter.

• A contract between the city and Wood Dock & Seawall of Bradenton to install 28 docks in three T-end canals on Marina Drive for $58,760.

• Two-year reappointments of Darcie Duncan to the police officers’ pension board of trustees and Jim Dunne to the parks and beautification committee.

County names new TDC members

The Manatee County Board of Commissioners voted to appoint Holmes Beach Commissioner Jean Peelen May 22 to the Tourist Development Council. Peelen will take the seat June 1 from 12-year TDC member/Holmes Beach Commissioner Sandy Haas-Martens.

The TDC is a county advisory board that makes recommendations on how to spend the 5 percent tourist development tax, also known as the bed tax, collected on short-term rental properties — nearly $7 million in revenues countywide last year.

“I’m very excited,” Peelen said after her appointment. “I’m very honored to be appointed, and look forward to representing the islands and the city.”

Haas-Marten’s four-year TDC term expires June 1, and although she sought to retain her seat, it drew competition from Peelen as well as Longboat Key Commissioner Hal Lenobel.

While saying she was disappointed not to be returning to the TDC, Haas-Martens, who first joined the council in 2000, expressed pride in her TDC work and affirmed her run for re-election as a city commissioner in November.

Before the county board’s 4-3 vote, the chair took nominations for all three contenders from the floor and public comment from Holmes Beach Commission Chair David Zaccagnino.

With an influx of visitors this season on Anna Maria Island, Zaccagnino said, tourism “is reaching critical mass.” He pointed to Manatee County Area Transit figures to support his claim.

Thirty-five percent of the MCAT riders are from Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key since October, he said, adding the transit system recorded 65,000 Island trolley riders in the month of March.

In comparison, Anna Maria Island is approximately 3 square miles and Longboat Key is 4 square miles with only 40 percent of the key in Manatee County, according to the Sarasota/ Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization. County and census records show Manatee County has 741 square miles.

Zaccagnino said he supported Peelen for the TDC because “it’s time to make a change,” and he said she could provide a fresh perspective “to help us alleviate the critical mass and keep the product we’re all trying to promote.”

Since December, Zaccagnino has been lobbying the TDC and county officials to address the impact of tourism on Island infrastructure and city services.

He repeated his concerns last week, telling county commissioners that while Holmes Beach received $1.9 million in property taxes, the city’s rental property owners paid “the same amount of money” in resort tax dollars to the TDC.

In addition to the $1.9 from Holmes Beach, approximately $2.34 million in resort tax was generated from unincorporated Manatee County, $1.12 million from Longboat Key, $728,000 from Bradenton Beach, $484,000 from Anna Maria and $303,000 and from the city of Bradenton, according to TDC records.

After the meeting, at-large Commissioner Carol Whitmore, who also serves as the TDC chair, said Zaccagnino’s comments may have swayed the commission to select Peelen.

Whitmore recommended Peelen to the county board, saying she “wrote Title IX,” and describing her as a “smart woman.”

Whitmore said, “As much as I love Sandy — Sandy helped me open my first bank account — I never got a report from her on what’s going on at the TDC” during her time on the TDC, which included some years when Whitmore was mayor of Holmes Beach.

Haas-Martens received support from Commissioners Joe McClash, also an at-large representative, John Chappie of Bradenton Beach, District 3, and Larry Bustle, District 1, who praised Haas-Martens service before the 4-3 vote.

In addition to Whitmore, Commissioners Robin DiSabatino, District 4, Donna Hayes, District 5, and Michael Gallen, District 2, voted for Peelen.

The county board also appointed Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston, replacing Bradenton Commissioner Harold Byrd, to the city’s seat on the nine-member TDC board.

After the meeting, Whitmore said, “It was a very hard decision for me. Jean lobbied us better.”

She also noted that Peelen’s efforts — attending TDC meetings and talking directly to county commissioners — likely contributed to her appointment. Peelen might disagree with her on some issues, she said, but she may also provide “a breath of fresh air” on the council.

Whitmore said while she didn’t believe the TDC could assist with city services and infrastructure as requested by Zaccagnino, the TDC could help in other ways.

The TDC received letters in support of Peelen for the appointment from Zaccagnino, two Bradenton Beach city commissioners, Bradenton Beach Mayor John Shaughnessy and Anna Maria City Commissioner SueLynn, according to Whitmore.

Whitmore said the TDC received a letter in support of Haas-Martens from Holmes Beach Mayor Rich Bohnenberger.

In addition to beach renourishment for Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key, the TDC supports the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Manatee Convention Civic Center, Crosley Estate, McKechnie Field and a host of publicity and marketing projects.

The next meeting of the TDC will be 9 a.m. Monday, June 18, at the county administrative building, 1112 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Art league closure temporary, donations sought

Anna Maria Island Art League president Laura McGeary told artist Rob Reiber May 26 at the gallery, that “nothing is canceled.”

She quickly corrected herself to say the children’s summer art camp has been canceled, but even that may be resurrected if she can find volunteers to put it on.

The gallery and art league facilities at 5312 Holmes Blvd., Holmes Beach, were abruptly closed May 19, when then-executive director Christina Reginelli resigned, put notices on the doors stating “closed until further notice,” and locked the doors behind her.

McGeary was at the league facilities last week to make arrangements with artists who need to collect their artwork from a recent show at the gallery.

McGeary said artists were scheduled to collect work May 29-30.

She said artists also may contact her to arrange picking up their work.

Last week, the signs posted on gallery doors that first read “closed” were changed to “on vacation.” Also last week, the league’s website was updated, cancelling all classes and workshops “until further notice,” including Kids Camp 2012.

While McGeary said she would not comment further on why the league closed its office and facilities or any plans to reopen the art center, she stood by her previous comments that the league closure is not permanent.

She sent a statement last week saying the league is struggling financially and is need of assistance.

“Together,” she said, “we can keep the art league you’ve appreciated and helped by volunteering, open and growing.”

She said donations — $25, $50, $100, or more — “can help make this happen.”

McGeary urged donations be made quickly, setting a deadline of June 16. She asked checks be mailed to the art league address, 5312 Holmes Blvd., Holmes Beach FL 34217.

She also suggested that anyone wishing to make a larger donation should call her directly.

She said assistance is needed to “continue providing the community visual arts educational resources and numerous events.”

The league has a 22-year history on Anna Maria Island, showcasing local talent, offering art classes, camps and workshops.

It also sponsors two art and craft festivals each year at the Holmes Beach city field that draw crowds of 10,000 or more eventgoers, Winterfest and Springfest, which, according to the league’s website, provide funds for the art center and its scholarship program.

McGeary said the two annual festivals put on by the art league not only help sustain the league and its scholarship programs, but also benefit the participating artists and the community.

The league’s landlord, artist Richard Thomas, also said he expected the closure to be temporary. He declined further comment.

Reginelli recently told The Islander the league board met May 16, and she believed there were financial problems. She said she resigned May 18 and posted the signs on the door.

Several board members also told the newspaper they had resigned, but declined to comment on the closure.

“When there needs to be an announcement,” McGeary said of the league reopening, “it will be made.”

McGeary can be reached at 941-704-3708 or 4art4ever@gmail.com.

1 of 2 BB commissioners ready for re-election bid

With time starting June 4 for candidates in Bradenton Beach to collect signatures and file papers with the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office to qualify for the Nov. 6 election, only incumbent Ward 4 Commissioner Jan Vosburgh has filed.

Vosburgh and Ward 2 Commissioner/Vice Mayor Ed Straight are up for re-election in November, and while Straight has not yet filed, his run is “likely,” he said.

“It’s very likely, but I’ll discuss it with (wife) Gail first,” said Straight, who operates Wildlife Inc., a wildlife rehabilitation center from his home in Bradenton Beach.

“The only reason I wouldn’t is because we are so busy (at Wildlife),” he said. “But I enjoy it very much. I know controversial things come up and there are times when you make a decision based on what the people you serve want. There are also times you base a decision on what you know is best, and you hope to God you know the difference.”

Straight was elected to office in 2010, but is no stranger to public service. He was in public safety for 29 years, including serving as EMT chief for 13 years and chief of the Manatee County 911-emergency center for seven years.

Straight also was a reserve Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputy for 27 years, retiring in 2010 to run for his seat on the commission.

Vosburgh was first appointed to her Ward 4 commission seat in June 2010 when former Mayor Michael Pierce resigned. Bob Bartelt then vacated his Ward 2 seat to fill the mayor’s slot, and Vosburgh served out the remainder of Bartelt’s term. She was elected to office in November 2010, beating out mooring committee member Michael Harrington.

Vosburgh refers to her residency in Bradenton Beach as a blessing and her opportunity to serve the residents of Ward 4 as “an honor and a privilege.”

She is a successful businesswoman, who owned and managed a furniture and appliance retail business for 28 years in Utah, and has served on two Bradenton Beach committees and private condo boards.

She has lived in Bradenton Beach for 10 years and has been a property owner in the city for 24 years. She has many business and personal accolades, including being named Utah Citizen of the Year.

She has posted a website at www.janvosburgh.com and a slogan, “Taking Action, Getting Results.”

She lists lowering taxes, remaining fiscally responsible, protecting property rights, streamlining city ordinances, and maintaining the charm and uniqueness of Bradenton Beach as her top priorities.

The last day for voter registration for the Nov. 6 election is Oct. 9.

HB commissioners air FAR concerns

While more discussion is expected on focus group recommendations, the concept of floor-area ratio to stem the proliferation of mega-homes and duplexes in Holmes Beach appears to be coming under the most scrutiny by city commissioners.

Commission Chair David Zaccagnino tasked the commissioners at the end of a work session May 22 to “think about your FAR number and do the research” before any future meetings.

First, though, commissioners aired their opinions on the concept of FAR.

“There’s nothing to prevent the Island from becoming an Island of big houses and big rentals,” said Commissioner Jean Peelen, who chaired the building focus committee recommending FAR, which sets square footage for a home in relation to lot size.

Zaccagnino appointed commissioners to lead focus groups to address the short-term rental issues after residents made complaints about problems relating to duplex parking, garbage and noise.

Commissioner Sandy Haas-Martens said incorporating FAR as part of the building code will be opposed by those planning to develop or sell property. She used an example of people who might inherit property, saying if FARs are imposed, people may discover they can’t develop according to their expectations because of changes in marketability.

Peelen countered that investors have been “busting neighborhoods” with the duplexes.

Commissioner John Monetti said he didn’t think the answer was “slapping a blanket on all of Holmes Beach,” when the party houses are small in number. “If we enforce our codes, you’ll get rid of 95 percent of the problem,” he said.

“I don’t believe it’s an issue of our tourists,” Peelen said.

Commissioner Pat Morton agreed.

“I’m in favor of FAR,” he said. “I hear this thing, property rights. It’s not just for developers, but also for people who’ve lived in the neighborhoods.”

But the R-2 area is the city’s rental district, Zaccagnino said.

“There’s another issue,” Peelen said. “It’s called huge houses,” and the city’s comprehensive plan and community vision plan say “we do not want that.”

City attorney Patricia Petruff said FAR could be ripe for unintended consequences, including nonconformities.

While her previous advice was that new regulations should be imposed citywide to avoid legal challenges, she said the city could apply different FARs per zoning classification.

Haas-Martens asked if a house gets damaged, can it be rebuilt without a non-conformity arising?

Petruff said “if it’s an act of God” involving “a nonconforming structure on a nonconforming lot,” a FEMA provision allows rebuilding within the same footprint “if more than 50 percent is destroyed.”

Peelen suggested commissioners first agree on the concept of FAR, but commissioners next delved into a database of some 758 properties, representing 80-85 percent of R-2 properties.

Zaccagnino and Haas-Martens pointed to several examples in the 21-page database that appeared mistakenly entered, but Terry Parker, building focus group member responsible for creating the database said, “by and far these are pretty accurate numbers.”

Monetti next led the commission through the permitting recommendations from his focus group committee, including changes to improve procedures for posting inspections cards on job sites and inspection boxes that are more visible and closer to the property line.

Mayor Rich Bohnenberger said the posting is already regulated by city code.

Monetti said “our public asked for it” and “builders are on board” with putting inspection cards in accessible window boxes for the public to view.

Monetti also reported he was dropping a recommendation on demolition or performance bonds, saying research showed they usually don’t apply to residential, and it’s an unnecessary cost.

Petruff was opposed to Monetti’s group recommendation for an outside engineering firm to review plans and inspection.

“I don’t believe our department made any errors,” she said. “I don’t know why you would want this unless there’s an issue. I believe (public works superintendent) Joe (Duennes) has more certifications and licenses than anyone on the Island.”

She also said the building department has recently adopted a policy change, and now the public works superintendent goes to all construction sites. She said building inspector Bob Shaffer does the initial inspection, Duennes does the second and both do a third.

The next work session when short-term rental recommendations will be on the agenda is following the regular commission meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 5, at city hall, 5801 Marina Drive.

HB commissioners flip-flop on pool rule

Prompted by threatening calls about its decision to impose a one-pool-per-platted-lot limit —  including one from a pool contractor who said he’d be bringing in 30 permit applications before the proposed June 1 start date — the Holmes Beach city commission reversed its one-pool rule at the city work session May 22.

Commission Chair David Zaccagnino said he didn’t want to see the city become the “pool police.”

Contractors were looking for ways to get around the proposed restriction, suggesting to him the use of an underground connector for pools, he said. In addition, if applications began to flood the city, Zaccagnino said he feared the one-pool rule would place undue pressure on the city’s building department.

The pool rule was agreed to during a May 8 work session where commissioners began sorting through numerous focus group recommendations, looking for ways to alleviate problems related to the city’s influx of multi-level, multi-unit rental properties.

Zaccagnino appointed commissioners to lead focus groups earlier this year after more than 100 residents turned out in December with complaints relating to duplex construction and short-term rentals.

Zaccagnino said some of the callers also offered suggestions to address the “noisy pool” problem without limiting the number of pools on duplex lots.

Their suggestions included requiring fences with special sound-inhibiting insulation, fencing pool equipment and 6-foot-tall hedges to buffer pools. Commissioners also discussed prohibiting pool accessories, such as water slides and diving boards.

Zaccagnino led off the work session, following comments from Kathy Morgan Johnson of 57th Street. Johnson said she believed she should have the right to develop her property with two pools.

But Commissioner Sandy Haas-Martens said she understood the one-pool limit wasn’t part of any focus group recommendation.

Commissioner Jean Peelen agreed, saying it was discussed by her group, and she liked it as a possible method to address the neighborhood-busting houses, but it was not one of the group’s recommendations to the commission.

Zaccagnino said he had summarized all focus group recommendations for city attorney Patricia Petruff, but the one-pool rule was “not one of them.” He said he was “blaming Patty for this one.”

Peelen said, “I think this is one of Ms. Petruff’s unintended consequences, adding, “it’s my recommendation that we just bump it.”

The commissioners agreed they should address the underlying noise problems more directly. Commissioner Pat Morton asked the city attorney whether the commission could “say no” to slides and diving boards.

Petruff replied that commissioners had the ability to change regulations based on the commission’s vision, but they should have reasonable justification and address all residential zoning districts with their proposed changes to avoid legal challenges.

“If you have one lot, it is reasonable to have one pool,” she said, “or one pool per unit is OK.”

Rules against water slides, “akin to Wet ’n Wild,” could also be regulated, Petruff said. She also said the city could include pools in its lot-coverage restrictions.

With respect to the one-pool rule, Zaccagnino said he didn’t want to see “one big pool with twice as many people making twice as much noise.”

Officials celebrate Coquina Beach concession reopening

“You should have seen it before the renovation” was a common theme amongst speakers at the May 23 grand reopening ceremony of the Coquina Beach concession stand.

United Park Services Inc. took over concession operations in July 2010 and, after a short time working in the old facility, moved concession operations to a trailer while awaiting the building’s renovation.

Mark Enoch of UPS said it was worth the wait.

“It’s wonderful,” said Enoch. “It was no fun working out of a trailer for the last six to eight months, but it’s been worth the wait because the old building was pretty rough.”

The concession stand will offer beachgoers plenty of food choices, but beer and wine is off the menu, unlike Enoch’s sister operation on Manatee Public Beach, in Holmes Beach.

Earlier this year, Bradenton Beach commissioners rejected an alcohol permit for the stand, despite an official request from Manatee County Parks and Recreation director Cindy Turner and support from Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore.

Enoch said he will continue to work with the county to alleviate the city’s concerns with selling beer and wine at Coquina Beach.

“We’ll work with the county and the city to address their security concerns,” he said. “We are happy with the building, but are hoping we will eventually get to sell beer and wine so we can start having entertainment here and expand the menu.”

Manatee County Commissioner John Chappie, a 38-year resident of Bradenton Beach, congratulated Turner and her department for producing a good facility.

“It was a long time coming to do this concessionaire,” said Chappie. “Manatee Public Beach was recently named as one of the state’s top 10 beaches for families and they got that designation because of the hard work of (Turner) and her department.”

Chappie said Coquina Beach is now worthy of that level of recognition.

“(Coquina Beach) is number one in my book,” he said. “Not only in Florida, but in the country. This is not the end of what we are doing here. It’s only the beginning.”

Turner confirmed that statement with a list of projects along the beach that have been completed, and more to come. Turner said the Gulf-side rest rooms are scheduled to be remodeled, paving and landscaping is planned for the bus loop and a new ship-themed playground area is two-thirds completed.

“Since 2006, we have worked hard to significantly improve our beaches,” said Turner. “But we have a particular focus on Coquina Beach.”

More than $300,000 was invested by the county for concession renovations, including a new roof, wood deck, wiring, expanded gift shop, an ice cream station and much more.

United Parks Service invested an additional $50,000 in the concession interior, which features new cooking and serving equipment.

Island police blotter – 05-30-2012

Anna Maria

• May 13, 500 block of Bayview Place, noise. A Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to a noise complaint and arrived to hear loud music and talking from the pool area. The city’s noise ordinance was explained and a warning issued. The deputy reported the occupants to be cooperative.

• May 19, 200 block of Periwinkle Plaza, noise. While responding to a noise complaint in the afternoon, a MCSO deputy arrived to find a man working in his yard with music playing. The man responded by telling the deputy the complainant is harassing him and would seek a decibel meter. He was issued a warning.

• May 18, 500 block of Loquat Drive, noise. A MSCO deputy responded to a noise complaint and arrived to hear music and talking. The deputy reported the residents moved indoors.

• May 20, 100 S. Bay Blvd., criminal mischief. While checking on the Anna Maria Pier, a MCSO deputy was approached by the pier restaurant manager, who reported someone had kicked loose a pier bench. The bench was found floating in the water. The manager also reported a table had been damaged. The manager reported the damages were about $100.

Anna Maria is policed by the MCSO.

Bradenton Beach

• May 20, 400 Gulf Drive S., resisting arrest. Bradenton Beach police officers responded to a report of a man wandering around aimlessly and making incoherent statements. Upon seeing the patrol car, the man allegedly tried to run, but officers were able to stop him. According to the report, police asked the man why he was acting strange, but the responses were incoherent and he became increasingly aggressive toward the officers. Police went to place the man in custody, at which time he allegedly attempted to pull away and tried to kick one of the officers. He was arrested for misdemeanor resisting arrest without violence.

• May 20, 1600 Gulf Drive S., damaged property. A man attempting to launch his brand new boat at the Coquina Beach boat ramp forgot to engage his parking brake. As he exited his vehicle, his jeep, boat and trailer rolled into the Gulf of Mexico. A tow truck was called.

• May 23, 100 block of 112th Street South, disturbance. Police responded to a disturbance call where the officer made contact with, “an emotionally distraught woman,” according to the report. The woman had a packed bag in her hand. The report states she was upset with her boyfriend, who had announced he was going to Orlando to attend motorcycle mechanic school and intended on leaving her. Good Samaritans gave the woman $60 to stay in a hotel for the night. The man claimed the woman had pushed him during the argument, but did not want to pursue charges.

Bradenton Beach is policed by the BBPD.


• April 27, 4500 block of 119th Street, petit theft. A woman reported leaving her iPhone in a public rest room. When she returned, it was gone. The phone was equipped with a tracking device and the woman’s husband located it at 10004 Cortez Road. The couple confronted a man at the location, who became confrontational. MSCO was contacted, but the man left the area before deputies arrived.

• May 23, 12000 block of 45th Avenue, theft. An 82-year-old man reported someone had entered his yard and stole a 40-inch shrimp boat propeller. A witness reported seeing the propeller in the back of a Ford truck that left the area.

Cortez is policed by the MCSO

Holmes Beach

• May 19, 5406 Marina Drive, criminal mischief. A Holmes Beach police officer responded to the Feast restaurant and observed the front window had been shattered and a table inside the restaurant was turned over. While investigating, a man arrived with cuts to his arm and head, who reported that he and another male had been in a fight and the two had gone through the window during the scuffle. The second man was located en route to the hospital for lacerations. The two men said they would pay the $800 in damages to the restaurant owner, who agreed to not pursue criminal charges.

• May 20, 4900 Second Ave., suspicious circumstances. While conducting a traffic stop, a police officer observed a woman “making no sense,” according to the report. The woman was mad because construction workers had “no place to pee or poop” and that residents were “stealing power from her.” Police made contact with the woman’s husband who said she likely needed medication. He arrived to the scene to take his wife home.

• May 21, 3400 block of Gulf Drive, theft. A woman reported someone stole her light gray beach bike, valued at $260, from the side of her residence during the night.

Holmes Beach is policed by the HBPD.

Streetlife is based on reports from the Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach police departments and Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.