Bill Ganz suggested getting rid of the entire Board of Adjustment and making them part of the Planning and Zoning board. Huh! Well it seems he has a good reason.
At last night’s commission meeting a variance proposal, which asked that an owner be allowed a dock to extend 16 feet from the property line rather than the 8 feet allowed by code, came before the commission approved by the Board of Adjustment.
The mayor went ballistic – saying that pretty soon we’re going to have docks out into the middle of the Intracoastal! She questioned the competence of the board as this is the 3rd dock (non hardship) variance recently which the Board of Adjustment has approved.
In order for a variance to be approved there must be an underlying hardship. They looked over the entire minutes of the B of A meeting and saw absolutely no hardship. The owners can have a boat; the property was bought knowing there was an 8 foot dock restriction, so where they asked was the hardship which would make allowing the variance legal? And, why did the Board of Adjustment allow this to pass? Undoubtedly they don’t know how to do their job.
Because the B of A had approved it, a vote to overturn their ruling takes a super-majority of the commission, Noland, Popelsky and Ganz voted to overturn, but, Miller did not, and Poitier followed his lead.
The Mystery: Why did Miller vote to allow this illegal dock? Clearly he understood that the request didn’t meet the requirements for a variance, so what’s up with his vote. Did he do it because he knew the owner? Did he vote in favor of a friend? Did he vote to keep a District 1 voter happy? I can’t figure it out, but whatever reason he had he demonstrated a willful disregard for legal process.
I think he should have to explain his vote. I think this decision puts the city at risk as someone could sue the city over this decision, and they would surely win.