L.P.A and City Commission vote on PUD and ordinances

The June 8 meeting at city hall started with the Local Planning Agency (L.P.A.) hearing a motion for rezoning for the proposed Belle Arbor community (Ordinance No. 2017-16) north and south of Shady Oaks Avenue, between SR 80 to the east and Live Oak Lane to the west. The original PUD was approved in 2006 (Ordinance 2006-36) and represented approximately 18 acres located between SR 80 and Shady Oaks Ave. The PUD was approved for 156 town-homes and 60,000 square feet of commercial development.

The applicant, LaBelle Landings, LLC, has since purchased the original PUD property and has also added an addition 32+/- acres to create a cohesive development plan that is represented via a mix of uses, establishing a maximum of 250 residential units and a maximum of 75,000 square feet of commercial development.

A number of concerns were voiced at the meeting over the height of the commercial buildings and a proposed beach on the river in the development.

The L.P.A. made a motion to recommend adoption of Ordinance No. 2017-16 to the City Commission. Later on that night during the Commission meeting, Mary Jo Wilson read the ordinance by title into the record. It was a first reading and that was all that was required at that time. At the July 13 commission meeting there will be a public hearing on the ordinance and the commission will vote on it then.

City Commission meeting
The LaBelle City Commission meeting started with a prayer, Pledge of Allegiance and roll call. Three of the four commissioners were present, Hilda L. Zimmerly was absent.

The May 2017 vouchers and bills and the minutes for the April 13 Commission meeting were approved unanimously.

Public Hearings, Resolutions, Ordinances and Citizens Concerns
Mayor Dave Lyons chose to start the meeting with agenda number 7 the Public Hearing on proposed Ordinance No. 2017-15 Miller Avenue to Suwanee Avenue Small Scale Comp Plan Amendment City Initiated. The proposed ordinance highlighted issues due to a discrepancy between the land use map and the zoning map in the Sunset Park neighborhood. The land use map showed the land zoned residential, but the zoning map showed the land zoned as commercial. A mixed land use had been designated for the area. After a lengthy public discussion the ordinance was passed by the Commission by a vote of 4-0.

Ordinance No. 2017-10 Voluntary Annexation O’Reilly Auto Parts was approved 3-0 with Commissioner Thomas A. Smith abstaining.

Ordinance No. 2017-09 O’Reilly Auto Parts Small Scale Comp Plan Amendment was approved 3-0 with Commissioner Thomas A. Smith abstaining.

Ordinance No. 2017-11 O’Reilly Auto Parts Rezone was approved 3-0 with Commissioner Thomas A. Smith abstaining.

Ordinance No. 2017-12 Derek Beck Small Scale Comp Plan Amendment was approved

Ordinance No. 2017-13 Main Street Executive Suites, LLC Small Scale Comp Plan Amendment was approved 4-0.

Ordinance No. 2017-14 Main Street Executive Suites, LLC Rezone was approved 4-0.

The board heard the first reading of the proposed Ordinance No. 2017-16 Belle Arbor PUD and the proposed Ordinance 2017-17 Solar Regulations.

Staff Reports
There were only 79 calls for service according to Fire Chief Josh Rimes down ten from last month. The Burn Ban has been lifted on the county level but the City of LaBelle is under a permanent burn ban.

Hendry County Sheriff’s Deputy Shawn Reed said there were 6,733 calls for service, 244 traffic stops and 99 arrest in the May. The Sheriff’s office plans on having three extra deputies in Barron Park and a boat on the river during the July 4th celebration.

Finance Director Ron Zimmerly told the Commission about the Vista Volunteers Program available to the city through a grant from the Promise Zone Program. The program creates a full time position that looks for and applies for grants for the city. Hendry County EDC has moved ahead with the position and the county will be doing the same. Ron encouraged the City Commission to move forward with the position and authorize the Mayor to execute any and all documentation related to the position. A motion was made to do so and was approved 4-0.

Dale can be reached at dconyers@newszap.com

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