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Date of Issue: January 14, 2009

BOA hearing continued

The Bradenton Beach Board of Adjustment continued a hearing on a complaint regarding building official decisions at the Sunset Beach Motel and The Beach Club at 2201 Gulf Drive.

Neighbors to the property, Cynthia Dagher and Mark Mixon, filed the complaint, officially called a third-party administrative appeal.

The BOA was scheduled to re-open a hearing Jan. 7, but Dagher and Mixon requested a continuance, which was set for 6 p.m. Feb. 11.

The complaint has been before the BOA repeatedly but has yet to be considered on its merits.

That’s because the BOA’s first task is to determine whether Dagher and Mixon made a timely filing of their completed complaint, which involves a number of allegations regarding city decisions that led to a certificate of occupancy for 2201 Gulf Drive.

At a meeting last August, the BOA determined they did not file on time, but the city commission bounced the case back to the board for reconsideration following a court ruling in a separate, unrelated complaint.

Last fall, a judge ordered the city to take another look at concerns raised by resident Ken Lohn about properties neighboring his at Fifth Street South and Bay Drive South.

Lohn filed an administrative appeal of the city building officials’ issuance of certificates of occupancy for 109 Fifth St. and 502 Bay Drive S.

He raised numerous concerns about the properties.

In February 2008, the BOA voted 4-0 to recommend that the city commission dismiss Lohn’s appeal because it was untimely filed since appeals of COs, under the city’s land-development code, should be filed within 30 days.

But in late September, Judge Paul Logan issued an order granting part of Lohn’s petition seeking a city review of his complaint.

Logan said Lohn’s appeal of the certificate of occupancy for 502 Bay Drive S. was filed too late, but that his appeal for 109 Fifth St. S. was timely.

The judge additionally said that a letter to the city from Lohn’s attorney on Jan. 4 “gave the city timely notice of the petitioner’s appeal.”

The judge added that an appeal that is deficient in form and substance is not the same as an untimely appeal. The judge’s decision not only prompted the city commission to ask the BOA to review the Lohn case but also to reconsider its ruling in the Dagher/Mixon case.

The BOA is scheduled to take up the Lohn case at 6 p.m. Jan. 14.