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Wednesday September 24, 2003
"The Best News on Anna Maria Island Since 1992"


City wants Villa Rosa answers before building permit decision

The controversial Villa Rosa housing project in Anna Maria is once again embroiled in controversy.

Villa Rosa developers Steve Noriega and Robert Byrne submitted an application last week for a building permit to construct a model home at the site on South Bay Boulevard.

But Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn said the city needs answers to a number of project issues before it can tackle the permit application.

A review of Villa Rosa's preliminary plat plan by the city's engineering firm, Baskerville-Donovan Inc., at the mayor's request, has raised a number of new concerns over that plan.

In addition, said the mayor, Villa Rosa recently received a new Southwest Florida Water Management District permit that may be at odds with the original Swiftmud permit approved by the city in 2002.

The mayor said she'd also understood that Villa Rosa was planning to use material dredged from canals in Holmes Beach as fill for the project and that may require city approval.

"BDI has a lot of questions and until we get all these issues resolved about the preliminary plat and the new Swiftmud report, we can't review the building permit application," she said.

"I just want to make sure the developers are using good engineering practices and meeting our requirements," the mayor concluded.

Noriega countered that Villa Rosa has done everything the city has asked and has an approved preliminary plat from the city that was already reviewed last year by Zoller Najjar and Shroyer Inc., at that time the city's engineering company.

"And we've already resolved the issues raised by BDI before we got the preliminary approval," he said. "Why is the city spending money twice for the same review?"

Noriega also denied Villa Rosa was buying fill material from the Holmes Beach dredge project.

"A simple phone call from the city to us would have resolved that issue," he said.

However, added Noriega, "We will once again work with the city and do everything we can to answer their questions and resolve any new issues."

After a number of controversial and often stormy public meetings, the Villa Rosa project was approved by the city commission in August 2002.

Plans call for construction of 17 single-family homes on canal front lots in a gated community. Homes prices would start around $1.5 million, Noriega said.




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