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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Holmes Beach adjustment board grants setback variance

The Holmes Beach Board of Adjustment granted a variance request for a side-yard setback for Patricia Thompson's property at 100-108 36th St. at its 9 a.m. meeting Thursday, Aug. 26.

Acting as Thompson's agent, Patrick McConnell requested a 10-foot setback on the ground and first level of living space and 15-foot setback on the second floor of living space.

The Holmes Beach land development code contains provisions allowing a variance to be granted to property owners with buildings or structures on property that fronts more than one street, provided that one street is a dead end.

Thompson's property, which is under contract to McConnell, fronts Fourth Avenue and 36th Street, which is a dead-end street.

The property exists of two cottages built in the 1940s, a ground-level house built in the 1950s, and a duplex built in the 1990s.

Plans for the property include renovating the existing duplex and house, removing the cottages and adding a new fourplex, all of which will become condominiums. The proposed buildings are not expected to occupy more than 30 percent of the property, according to McConnell.

Neighboring property owners Ellen Longsworth and Eckehardt Hamamm oppose the removal of the cottages, citing a historical value to the community.

McConnell stated the cottages were being removed because they are infested with termites and have the potential to become missiles in a storm.

McConnell also noted that the structures there now don't meet current setback requirements. The cottages are currently 9 feet off Fourth Avenue, and 12 feet off 36th Street. The 1950s house is set back 11 feet on 36th Street. The new construction will be setback 25 feet from Fourth Avenue.

The board of adjustment granted the variance request with a stipulation that building depth shall not exceed 100 feet starting from the corner of Fourth Avenue and 36th Street.

The lot is also restricted by a previous Florida Department of Environmental Protection permit limiting the construction at 122 feet from the coastal construction control line as measured when the duplex was built. McConnell said in order to proceed with current plans, he will also be applying for a 30-foot variance from DEP.