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Here’s The Scoop … 6/16/10 LBTS – P & Z Board Meeting … Some Proposed Ordinances Were Hard To Swallow …

“CERTAINLY HAD A LOT TO CHEW ON AT YOUR FIRST MEETING “…LBTS Town Atty. Susan Trevarthen 6/16/10…

Dear Readers … The first meeting for the new P &Z Board took place last night…It lasted 2 hours and put the newly appointed in an uncomfortable position… through no fault of  their own… The Board began with four members Yann Brandt /Ben Freeny/George Hunsaker/Alfred “Buzz” Oldaker
on the dais…Lawrence “Peanuts” Wick was not present…Alternate Eric Yankwitt came in a little late…(after the vote for Chair/V Chair positions)… The first order of business was to chose a Chair and  Vice Chair… Yann Brandt nominated Alfred” Buz”  Oladaker…(appointed for the second time by VM Dodd)…. and was 2nd Ben…a roll vote was taken and it was a 4-0 vote for the position…Ben nominated Yann Brandt (appointed by Comm. Sasser)…for Vice Chair and George Hunsaker 2nd…again a 4-0 vote ….

Town Atty.Trevarthen was sitting in for James White and she asked the Chair to move item 1 ..the Comprehensive plan last to give the new committee time to get their bearings and to have time to wade through it…It was accepted by the Chair …and so they began…

Questions arose concerning the return to the P & Z of the front yard/ corner lot pools which as previously posted were back due to the lack of the prev. Asst. TM standing in for the always absent Dir. of Development Jeff Bowman… and misrepresenting the recommendation of the prev. board…Now the new board was faced with 2 versions…the one that was turned down making pools allowable in front yards as well as corner lots…and the 2nd version for corner lots only… The start of the exchanges between the new members and the new Int. Asst. Town Manger was a little rocky…and called for both to spend time searching for answers…for some reason Dir. Bowman was again not present and neither was his staff… TATTY. Trevarthen made mention of the lack of assistance leaving Bentley at a “disadvantage” due to the absence…Question is…with such a full agenda… where was Bowman?…No explanation was forthcoming ….The questions ranged from the differences …of the versions..requiring some background from Trevarthen to the fence setbacks and problems that may arise from Vice Chair Yann Brandt…Asst. TM Bud Bentley responded he saw a problem with this as well and Trevarthen stated the setbacks came from the absent Jeff Bowman… Chair Buz Oldaker wanted to know why version 1 was returned when it did not pass the last time… The TAtty. explained to the new members that version 2 was highlighted in yellow to show the differences…problem was the copies the new members received were not highlighted even though Trevarthen thought they went out that way… She read what the difference were… As they discussed version 2…Yann Brandt made the point he saw an inconstancy with allowing fencing in front yards on corner lots with pools but not for corner lots without pools… Trevarthen acknowledged it was for pools to fulfill the requirement to enclose a pool…Walter Keller was brought up to give a brief history of pools in Town…not in the front yards unless there had been a change since he was the Town Planner ..continuing on to explain corner lots and the decision of the front yard being up to the owner… Hmmm. this writer seems to recall that was not the way it was handled for Karen D’Uva last year… A further look needs to be made into fence placement…Yann Brandt moved to table the item until they received drawings if there was no rush for version 2… George Hunsaker wanted to add to that the enclosures allowed would only be for pool and not just a yard…  Asst. TM Bentley brought up a shocker of sorts stating the way the code read with this change you could have a pool on a corner lost in the front yard…the side yard or both…essentially you could have an L- shaped [pool that wrapped around 2 sides of your house…Atty. Trevarthen said that would be covered under the development code not allowing it to proceed… Me thinks that will be worded differently when it returns… Yann again made the motion to table with George’s addition and to check the lot lines …Buz asked to receive the drawings and version 2 in advance of the meeting in July before they sit down at the dais… Ben 2nd Yann’s motion and it passed 5-0…

Item 3 was the fences around developments… to maintain the properties during construction…Buz commented on the poor quality of his backup…as did the others… problems with underlining and print along with no highlights… Ben wanted to know if the verbage could be changed from within 45 days approval to getting a permit noting delays …Later on Bud Bentley said the approval covered more than that…and permit would not work… The discussion moved on to demolition and enforcing greater protection for the neighborhood… Yann thought it might not be necessary for all construction to be required to be fully fenced in…comparing construction continuously underway to inactive sites..George disagreed and said not only did it offer  security it offered a way to keep the dust down…Yann respectfully disagreed feeling that the example of kids getting inside a site would not be deterred by a fence… Buz addressed the snafus that come from owners that have no money and if the Town fences the property then seeks funds from the owners…Ben thought the biggest issue was public safety… Erik wanted to know about some points including the property owners expense when breached and the percentages involved… Yann  asked how the previous boards presented their recommendations to the Commission…George acknowledged  they “purified” it before turning it back …but often the changes never made i back to the Commission…Yann made a motion to approve the ord. with the recommendation to strike paragraph 2 and return to the original language… Trevarthen wanted to add some more language about  SF Management making it impossible to irrigate…Buzz questioned on the need ..Trevarthen said it added “clarity”…Yann n also had concerns about conflicting governments citing a property…Bud Bentley was concerned the removal of paragraph 2 would conflict with paragraph 3…Trevarthen said her office would take the direction and clear up any conflicts… Buz asked one more question about property owners leasing fences ..not payiing ..the lease company comes and takes the fence…who will re-fence …Bud said the owner has a continuing obligation to comply..Looks like another item staff will need to include…as Trevarthen stated there is no such thing as a perfect ordinance…The motion to send and approve with the changes was made by Yann 2nd by Ben passed 4-1 George voted no…

Item 4…was the ordinance dealing with foreclosed/ abandoned  properties…and it brought forth a whole new set of concerns from the members… Buz relayed problems he runs into being the director of condo properties trying to get maintenance done… and foresaw lots of problems with enacting this ord.    Bud Bentley was most amusing in his remarks stating this was an “emerging field” and the staff would face it with “vigor” and “professionalism” going on to discuss it coming out of the recent events in upside down mortgages etc… He touched on conflicting legislation for financial institutions… Buz made reference to this day’s Sentinel and the cover story on the backlog of foreclosures… Yann agreed and touched on the 10m day timeframe when it can take 9 months to realize someone is in foreclosure…He added maintenance is already in the existing codes for properties and this was not worth the paper it was written on… George said it was helpful to identify in our code and that mortgage companies might not notify the Town for single homes as they do with condos who are notified the same time owners are…Atty. Trevarthen offered up staff providing the use and success or lack thereof in other communities and bringing this back… adding a bank faced with fines might pay more attention if they are required to pay,… Ben made that motion with staff looking at Margate/Coral Springs…Yann added a friendly amendment to have Hillsboro/Lighthouse Point ..A rollcall produced a 5-0 vote …

Item 5 was extended hours for businesses …This came from Walgreens wanting 24 hours in season Bud Bentley pointed out it did not include the sale/ service  of liquor…but added it did not prevent an establishment from extending without liquor… George was not for it stating the need was not there and citing CVS who had 24 hrs…and reduced it to midnight ….Ben was not for it either…Yann moved to approve with a 2nd by Erik…it passed 3-2 George ans Ben opposed…

Now it was time for Consultant Walter Keller and the “Amendments to the Town’s Comprehensive Plan to include revisions to address the Broward County Planning Council’s Provisional Certification of the Future Land use Element, the new Public School Facility Element”…Walter explained the history of the plan…along with the long process that takes  up to a year to get through all the meetings…reviews…comments and approvals…with state agencies and the Broward Planning Council… It  covers housing…conservation..transportation…future Greenhouse gases …We were exempt from the school portion until we joined…Walter stated the state determined we needed to have a school facility element….Hmmm. this writer remembers discussion that we could have opted out as SRLakes did…but it was the Town Manager pushing this through…I figured it was another resume builder such as Broward County grants…Walter stated these are mandated changes …He acknowledged this was a lot for anew board to digest in their first meeting and offered to come back… This came after question from Yann on the impacts and rules… Walter touched on the Greenhouse gas …and the impacts on developers…He also spoke about the transportation portion…This writer quickly saw the “transportation” plan that puts this right alongside the Transportation presentation we had last year with Broward Transit and as one “Avid Reader” pointed out to me the plans PBS&J and FDOT have to showcase bus shelters…All to get us out of our cars and on the bus if we want to or not!…He stated the Comprehensive Plan has been in place since 1989 … http://www.broward.org/planningcouncil/Pages/Default.aspx ….Concurrency 20 years  http://www.broward.org/development/traffic.htm and “smartgrowth” is new… http://www.smartgrowthpartnership.org/ ….Ben asked about the relationship between the school element and the interlocal agreement as well as the recently voted down level of service wanted from municipalities…Walter said the element we have did not change due to that vote…but a change by the Commission will bring changes to that as well…Don’t hold your breath… Atty. Trevarthern explained further this Comprehensive Plan is unique to Broward County after a vote of the people in 1978 …http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:VcrObgfgDtoJ:www.broward.org/Charter/Documents/Charter.pdf+broward+county+1978+comprehensive+vote&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShwxsUNT5_yzWAeqzFu6AkGhXGq_kC21u6YHe4Qe45JK17GRkX4j-7mr2RP8_j4WCfV_mZZinCdBupEDxyWqpKf3wMpgwR_X6528Ff8iXit8d7chwPy8msGVGUGT73chxPB3FVB&sig=AHIEtbSODGmXPV4Px9dNPeZ_pXp0ZNrOpg

After some more impact examples on building in the future…new requirements… that will be needed to reduce greenhouse gases…and talk of the rising sea levels (according to some)….Walter offered up this meeting could be a workshop as Atty. Trevarthern offered up the range and scope of the elements could be put together for the board to meet again….Yann was looking for some sort of road map…categorizing and cataloging it  to make decisions…Buz wanted it abbreviated …and George though it was a waste of the taxpayers money due to it being mandated to be done in the end… Yann felt it was too important to not take the time to decipher the content first before approving or not…It was decided to do the road map along with a 5-10 minute premer on the topics…The members would also submit their questions to staff to save time on the dais… It would continue at the July meeting…a vote was taken 5-0 …

No old business…Buz was the only member to comment and apologized for stumbling through… after the meeting was adjourned Buzz could be heard to say to Bud Bentley he thought some staff would be there to assist…

All in all.. the Town’s Development Director and staff need to be improved upon sooner rather than later….

more to come…

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