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Date of Issue: March 25, 2009

City seeks larger planner pool

Bradenton Beach city commissioners voted March 19 to readvertise for a planning consultant to help with updating the city’s land-development code.

The commission made the decision after receiving just two bids in response to a request for proposals advertised by the city for three weeks.

Alan Garrett, a consultant in Anna Maria, and ZNS Engineering in Bradenton submitted bids.

Commissioners agreed that they soon want to begin work with a planner to fold proposed comp-plan amendments into the land-development code. The city, under Florida law, is required to update its land-development regulations within a year of submitting its revised comp plan to the state.

But the commission also wants to look at more bids because the planner might work on a long-term basis with the city, which needs someone to help with a rewrite of the LDC and assist with planning department services.

The planning board has previously indicated its desire to hire a planning consultant to assist not only with the LDC and comprehensive plan work, but on an ongoing basis.

The RFP that city attorney Ricinda Perry drafted sought planning and consulting professionals to bid on a contract with the city “to assist with the tasks associated with the preparation of a comprehensive update to the city of Bradenton Beach Land Development Code following the evaluation and appraisal update to the city’s comprehensive plan.”

The RFP said a contract will be awarded for the proposal deemed “most advantageous to the city” based on price, as well as other factors.

Mayor Michael Pierce was the first last week to say he was reluctant to move forward with just two bids.

Commissioners Janie Robertson and John Shaughnessy said they were eager for the planning work to get under way, but they and Commissioners Bob Bartelt and Bob Connors agreed to seek more proposals.

City project and program manager Lisa Marie Phillips said in addition to publishing the RFP in a daily local newspaper, the city should use an online service called DemandStar, which allows free postings of RFPs.

“It’s the most popular site for this in the state of Florida,” she said.

“I think there would be some merit to advertising and see where you could get a couple more to look at,” added building official Steve Gilbert.