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Date of Issue: September 30, 2009

Sunrise Lane variance request withdrawn

The owners of a Sunrise Lane lot recently withdrew an application for a variance request due to opposition from neighbors.

The withdrawal of the application for the project at 5311 Sunrise Lane in Holmes Beach prompted the cancellation of a city board of adjustment meeting scheduled for Sept. 24.

“Please accept this letter as our client’s request to withdraw the … variance application,” stated a letter from attorney Scott Rudacille to the city. “Our client does not want to proceed with a request that does not have the support of the neighboring property owners. The property owner will continue under the code with the original project.”

The property owner, FLM of Brandon, has a 35,279 square foot parcel on Sunrise Lane. The property is zoned Residential-1 and the owner, under city code, could build multiple single-family structures on the parcel because the total density of the site does not exceed 5.8 units per acre, and the structures meet R-1 zoning requirements for spacing, setbacks and lot coverage.

In other words, current code allows FLM to build up to four single-family units on the parcel and sell the units separately upon the recordation of a condominium plat. The owner, however, has plans to build only two units.

FLM was seeking a variance to construct two single-family homes on two lots. The pulled application stated, “When this plan was brought forward, neighboring property owners on Sunrise Lane expressed a preference to have the property divided into two fee simple lots rather than building two units on a single parcel and recording a condominium plat.”

The owners needed a variance to split the property into two 70-foot lots, because city code requires 75 feet of frontage per lot and the parcel has only 140 feet of street frontage.

The application indicated that neighbors supported the variance and the decision to build two single-family homes on two lots rather than four condominiums, but Rudacille’s letter to the city indicated otherwise.

Last week, the attorney said that FLM had pursued the variance at the suggestion of one neighbor but then learned other neighbors did not support the application.

Instead, Rudacille, said, FLM plans to build two single-family units on one parcel, which will be sold as condominiums.

“The only difference,” he said, “is the form of ownership.”

The city commission took up a discussion on the broader issue of the applicable code Sept. 22.

“There is kind of a loophole in the ordinance where you are allowed to condo-ize houses,” said Commissioner David Zaccagnino. “Possibly we should look into that.”