Belleair… Is something fishy in Belleair? It's not from red tide…
October 10th's joint meeting of the town's planning and zoning committee and the historic preservation board went belly up when four planning and zoning board members were conspicuously absent.
Brian Battaglia, Charlie Robinson Jr., Roger Haydon and Steve Spencer were no-shows for October 10th's regularly scheduled meeting which is held every second Monday of the month. Because the Planning & Zoning Board is a quasi-judicial board, scheduling a new meeting will take an additional five days to post official notice.
"That was a major meeting," said Save the Belleview Biltmore preservationist, Rae Claire Johnson. "My opinion is that for the Planning and Zoning Board to not have a quorum for a meeting that is this important; they need to find new members. They should have people there who take this seriously."
Because a quorum was not met, the boards were unable to make recommendations to the town commission, who, by the way, will be shy one mayor and two council members for the second reading of the long awaited and much debated historic preservation ordinance.
"Mayor Mariani, and Commissioners Fowler and Shelley will not be attending the meeting due to unforeseen circumstances," explained Town Clerk, Donna Carlen Tuesday, October 11, a week before the scheduled meeting.
The town's historic preservation ordinance was approved on first reading during October 5th's Commission meeting, with two amendments made. A new date for a second reading will be set by those commissioners in attendance on October 18th. If passed, the ordinance will take effect within 30 days.
The second reading was slated for 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 18. With three commission members missing at the same time, there can't be a vote. If only two were missing, the majority of three could still pass the ordinance.
Save the Biltmore preservationist, Diane Hein, who heard town council members will be absent for the second reading stated, "It is unfortunate that three of the town commissioners will be absent for the second reading of the preservation ordinance scheduled for Oct 18th. Hopefully this meeting will be rescheduled as soon as possible so the preservation ordinance can be passed before any changes occur that might damage the Biltmore or other historic properties."
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