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Date of Issue: June 08, 2006

Handley code violation matter referred to city commission

Call it the never-ending story ....

The Bradenton Beach Code Enforcement Board has deferred a decision of fines to the city commission on property owned by Patrick Handley at 2417 Gulf Drive. City code enforcement board officers found the property to be in violation of a number of city codes regarding landscaping and general upkeep of the property, findings borne out by the city's code enforcement board.

The property first drew city attention in 1989. In 1990, foreclosure action was initiated. In 1991, more violations were found, more liens assessed.

It is estimated that fines against the property total more than $600,000.

Attorney Donald Hemke, representing Handley, said that the four original issues with the property - grass, debris, rotten wood and a broken window - were corrected long ago. "We contend this old case should be dismissed," Hemke said. "It's time for this matter to be closed out."

CEB Chair John Sakelaris said that in his opinion the matter had not been closed by Handley "and the fines have been allowed to proceed since 1999. Where is the document that clears the matter of the four violations?"

City Attorney Ricinda Perry said that the burden of bringing the property into compliance with city codes - and notification to the city of that act - rests with the property owner.

Board member Michael Pierce said "there appears to be an ongoing track record for the property owner not to comply [with city codes]. It is the responsibility of the property owner to be responsible for what goes on with his property."

After much more debate, the board voted to refer the matter to the city commission to determine what fines, if any, should be levied, but recommended the matter not be summarily dismissed.