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CRA district zoning could be consolidated

By Staff | Jul 30, 2012

A new ordinance could repeal the existing zoning districts within the Community Redevelopment Agency boundaries and replace it with a new, single district.

Council, along with several members of the CRA, discussed the proposal during city council’s workshop meeting Monday at City Hall.

The ordinance sponsored by Councilmember Marty McClain is paired with another that would amend the zoning map currently zoned Downtown Gateway, Downtown Edge and Downtown Core into the newly created South Cape Downtown District.

The ordinance was praised by John Jacobsen, CRA executive director, who said the old ordinance was perfect when times were heady, but were too “cookie-cutter with no flexibility.”

“It reduces the complexity of the existing code and combines three districts into one,” Jacobsen said. “The old codes were written when land flourished and we tried to create an environment of three- and four-story buildings.”

He also praised the removal of the proposed development project requirements which he said would streamline the process of permitting.

The ordinance was unanimously approved by the CRA, and the Planning and Zoning Commission considered the regulations at its June 6 meeting and also gave it unanimous approval, according to Mike Struve, AICP, LEED Green Associate.

Two public hearings are set for the ordinances, on Aug. 20 and Sept. 10.

In other business, Public Works Director John Pearson urged council to approve awarding a contract to Cypress Construction & Coating for the rehabilitation of a clearwell at the South Reverse Osmosis Facility.

Pearson said the clearwell is in desperate need of repairs, which he said are at least 10 years overdue, and that a longer wait could mean having to repair the steel and concrete inside the clearwell, or worse, build a new one.

Police Chief Jay Murphy asked the council to consider allowing the department to trade in 10 older police vehicles toward the purchase of 10 used vehicles for administrative purposes.

Murphy said Kelley Buick of Bartow would sell the department the cars to replace the 2004 Chevy Impalas, which have packed on miles and repairs, and that the used cars, 2012 models with less than 12,000 miles, would save the city up to $12,000 per car.

“I’m happy to see the chief save the city $120,000,” Mayor John Sullivan said.

Council also discussed approving contract renewals with PFM Asset Management for investment advisory services and a land use amendment changing certain properties from commercial activity and commercial/professional to single-family residential.

The city was also presented with a plaque and banner by Officer Joseph Wayland from his military service in Afghanistan.