City Commission meeting for September 13

The meeting was preceded by the Local Planning Agency. It started with proposed ordinance No. 2018-09 amending chapter 4, article IV section 4-77 of the land development code. The current AG zoning district is very restrictive in terms of allowable excavations. This is historically very appropriate considering urban context and smaller parcels within the city. In the 2000’s large parcels annexed into City that could be appropriate due to size, access and lack of residential neighbors. Because there will be large developments in the future, they could be using lakes for interim developments. Currently excavation/mining is limited to five acres. Proposed is an amendment of the current land development code that would allow people to request a larger operation in terms of acres or 50.000 cubic yards. This has to be done by a special exception that has to be run by the city commission. Also a maximum of 25 percent can be used for mining which ensures future viable use of property after mining, and mitigates scale of operation. Also the excavation area has to be a minimum of 1,000 feet away from a residential area.

Another proposed ordinance considered the rezoning of Yeomans Avenue. This zone is a mixed use residential and general commercial which can be seen as a transitional area between downtown and SR 80. Proposed is a PUD rezone which should provide flexibility to property owners and balance the intent of protecting the neighborhood with property rights. B-2 uses of property are limited to parcels not accessed from or oriented to Yeomans Ave. B-2 uses require 50 foot setback to mitigate impact on Yeomans Ave. The only B-2 not included is fuel pumps. Also not allowed are a convenience store, all of the food and beverage categories, maintenance and repair, pawn shop and tattoo.

The regular commission meeting started with the LaBelle Downtown Revitalization Corp. seeking permits for Wharf Walk which includes closing of the road and an alcohol permit. Friday on Ft. Thompson every month would also need closing of the Ft Thompson Ave. And the Little Toot boat will get his own reserved spot in the dock for when it comes on Wharf Walk November 9 until 18.

The Hendry County Unmet Needs Coalition is an organization of volunteers, they are officially nine months old now. They applied for a world renew which will do needs assessment of the area for people who still have unmet needs from Hurricane Irma. Their purpose is to connect people who are still struggling with the appropriate resources.

Another topic of discussion was that the Hendry LaBelle sports complex needs permits for vendors to come and sell food and beverages on the complex grounds.

The Sherriff’s Office reported for the month of August; six batteries, eleven residential thefts, one vehicle burglary and one criminal mischief. They had 9,800 calls for service.

The next City Commission meeting will be on October 11 at 6 p.m.

Geoffrey Ionescu can be reached at cbnews@newszap.com

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