BELLEAIR BLUFFS -- A legal action by Belleair Bluffs against the owner of a residence on Bluff View Drive will apparently proceed now that a ruling by Judge Crocker Farnell has cleared the way.
John Hubbard, Belleair Bluffs city attorney, reported at Monday night's workshop meeting that the contention by the defendant that the city's code was unconstitutional was turned aside by the court.
Farnell, in issuing his order, said in effect that the language of the code was plain and understandable and constitutional.
The case arose when a fence was constructed in violation of the city code. The property owner has persisted in fighting the city.
Robert David, the city's public works director who also serves as the code enforcement officer, said there are further violations at the property, namely the installation of a driveway that violates the city's permeability ordinance.
Mayor Chris Arbutine wants to close down all work at the Bluff View property. Hubbard advised that the county could be contacted and asked to "red tag" the property.
In other action, Arbutine, who serves on the Pinellas Suncoast Transportation Authority board, said that there is lots of infighting going on, with members of the board from the County Commission wanting to eliminate the two civilian members of the board, that is, the two who are not elected officials.
An ongoing fight on the PSTA is the effort by the county to force some jurisdictions into the system and thus tax their residents. Belleair Beach and Belleair Shore are among the cities and towns that eschew membership in the PSTA.
The other jurisdictions not in the PSTA system are Kenneth City, Treasure Island, St. Pete Beach, South Pasadena and Tierra Verde.
As it is, the county authorities have their hands tied on the matter because the PSTA is a creature of the state Legislature. Any action taxing non-participating residents would have to come from the state.
Mayor John Robertson of Belleair Shore, a strong opponent of having his town in the PSTA system, has said that he has mustered the support of state Sen. Dennis Jones in killing any effort to extend the PSTA taxing authority.
The commission re-appointed the members of the Planning Board and Board of Adjustment as presently constituted.
The Planning Board members are Al Simpson, chairman, Lee Stratton, John Diller, Grace Erdman, Warren Andrews, and Randy Greenbaum, alternate.
The Board of Adjustment is made up of Wally Witham, chairman, Paul Kuykendall, Willard Miller, Robert Schmidt, Fordyce Thorne, and Peter Ferrera, alternate.
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