HB addresses noise complaints, approves LDC changes

A measure aimed at preventing a rush on building permits in Holmes Beach was pulled Oct. 23 minutes before a multi-faceted ordinance to address renter-related noise issues was voted into law by the commission.

Commissioners amended the city’s land development code to require one parking space for each bedroom; 5-foot setbacks for swimming pools; 6-foot height restrictions for slides and other pool structures; and noise baffling enclosures for pool equipment in new homes or remodel projects.

Before the vote, during public hearing on the second reading of the ordinance, code enforcement board chair Don Schroder equated the language in the ordinance, “zoning in progress,” with a moratorium, because the new ordinance would have required builders to adhere to new rules on jobs in progress.

City attorney Patricia Petruff said she recommended the language to prevent a rush of permit applications while the city was working on zoning changes similar to other municipalities as prompted by recent case law.

“Once you do it, it is a defacto moratorium on any residential building,” Schroder said, adding it would allow the commission “to drag its feet.

“While it’s not a moratorium, it is a moratorium,” he said.

Schroder also objected to the rules regarding pool enclosures and one-parking space per bedroom requirements, calling it a “ludicrous” intrusion into what he can build on his property. He claimed it could lead to zoning nondisclosures in real estate transactions.

Before the vote, Petruff and the commissioners discussed Schroder’s points.

Under the new rules, according to Petruff, if there’s a room addition, or new construction of three or more bedrooms or rooms suitable for sleeping purposes, an additional parking space to the two already required will be needed.

Petruff defended the city’s right to legislate land development restrictions.

Commissioner Jean Peelen said sellers are only required to disclose known issues.

“It’s an interesting point,” said Commissioner John Monetti, pointing to previous commission discussions on rules, such as floor area ratios. “At what point does it become a zoning in progress.”

Commissioners also talked about two versions of pool enclosure in the ordinance language.

Monetti said, from his research, “this is a product that isn’t commercially viable.”

Alex Richardson of 85th Street attested that, according to his personal research, pool baffling equipment exists for about $200.

Commissioner Pat Morton said the calling for “commercially manufactured with specifications to baffle” in the ordinance was “too cumbersome.”

On motion by Monetti to remove the zoning in progress language and return to a more general pool equipment baffling requirement, Monetti, Morton and Commissioner Sandy Haas-Martens voted in favor, with Zaccagnino and Peelen voting against the LDC changes.

Peelen said she’d favor the zoning in progress language be further researched, but included in the ordinance, in accordance with Petruff’s recommendation.

After a second reading of an ordinance to allow an alternate member to the planning commission, the commission voted unanimously in favor. The change allows the alternate to attend meetings without voting.

The commission had approved Barbara Hines, a recent candidate for the planning commission vacancy, Oct. 9 to fill the alternate spot, contingent on the legal review.

In other matters, Mayor Rich Bohnenberger recognized the Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Island’s 60th anniversary celebration. He also proclaimed Nov. 13-17 Farm-City Week to recognize agricultural producers and urban cooperation.

Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore, county liaison on the BP oil settlement, reported she expected $4-19 million as the county’s allotment from the fund.

She told commissioners she wanted to determine whether the community supported a fund allocation of what could be several million dollars for a new pier at Manatee Public Beach.

City commissioners agreed at recent meetings a new pier was its No. 1 priority from any allocation it might be able to direct.

Commissioner John Monetti said, “We want a pier.”

“Is this really what the island wants?” Whitmore asked, pointing out it can take years to accomplish such projects and she wanted to gauge current public support, looking back to the some 40 people in the gallery.

“I’ve got to make sure before we spend all this money and time,” she said.

While she said there are two other possible sources for pier funds, she wasn’t ready to discuss them.

A show of hands indicated a majority of the audience supported a new pier to replace the 312-foot pier removed by the county in 2009.

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