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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Another Anna Maria lawsuit

Anna Maria is rapidly replacing Holmes Beach as the Island city for litigation.

Dr. John Guggino of 102 Maple Ave. filed a lawsuit Nov. 29 against the city commission for denial of his Oct. 28 variance request for a new home on the property.

Guggino was denied a five-foot variance to the required 15-foot setback, despite his argument that the location of his house is no longer a corner lot, and hasn't been for more than 60 years. According to Anna Maria city codes, a corner lot requires a 15-foot setback, while a side lot needs only 10 feet.

At the time of denial, attorney Ricinida Perry, representing Guggino, had said her client would consider "all options," including a lawsuit. The commission vote was 3-2 against the variance.

Anna Maria now faces three current civil suits for commission decisions and two of those have been filed in the past four months. A fourth legal action against the city could be in the offing, depending upon whether or not the city passes an ordinance restricting construction in the residential-office-retail zone on Pine Avenue to just two habitable floors.