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Date of Issue: March 30, 2005

Board of adjustment grants Moreland Marine variances

The Holmes Beach Board of Adjustment granted two requests from Moreland Marine Development for variances at a hearing held Thursday, May 27.

Moreland Marine is planning to redevelop the Holmes Beach Marina at 202 52nd St. to provide "first-class, high-end condominiums" Mark Barnebey, the attorney representing Moreland, told the board.

The property has been rezoned from commercial to residential and the proposed redevelopment of the 1.68 acres includes nine condo units.

The board granted Moreland Marine's request for a 3-foot front-yard setback to provide relief for the second story of unit nine, which would be located adjacent to 52nd Street.

Barnebey said the variance ensures that the building will not be too close to the road and it will allow there to be a uniform front for all the buildings. He said that since there is no traffic along 52nd Street, the impact of the variance to the public is small, although it relieves Moreland of the financial hardship of redesigning one building.

Moreland was also granted a height variance for the fence located along 52nd Street. The property currently has a 6-foot chain-link fence surrounding the property, which was permitted under its previous commercial zoning.

Residential fence heights are permitted to be 4 feet. Moreland plans to maintain a 6-foot fence, but will replace the chainlink with a masonry-type wall covered with decorative stucco.

Barnebey said they believe neighbors to the north of the property will consent to the 6-foot fence along their property line, and the city allows a 6-foot fence to be erected between commercial and residential lots. And Moreland is adjacent to commercial property at its west property line, therefore it was not required to obtain a variance for that property line.

The board granted both requests unanimously.

In other board business, attorney Stephen Thompson advised the board that his law firm, Porges, Hamlin, Knowles and Prouty, will be seeking a reconsideration of the board's decision last month to deny a variance request for property owners of 106 74th St.

Thompson said the purpose of the request is to address a number of issues, including traffic, that were raised at the hearing in May.

"In reviewing the record, it appears that there were a number of issues raised by the board that can be addressed," Thompson said.

He told the board a lawsuit will be filed.

Finally, board Chairman Hugh Holmes Jr. announced his resignation from the board.

"It's time for some new blood up here," he told the remaining board members. He said he lost track of the number of years he served on the board and believes "we made some good decisions."

Holmes has been a member of the board of adjustment since June 1985.