INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – There is no confusion on where Mayor Bill Ockunzzi stands on key issue facing voters in the March election.
Ockunzzi wants to be elected mayor in his own right after succeeding Bob DiNicola last spring. He has three opponents – Cookie Kennedy, Larry Sandefer (both former commission members) and Victor Wood.
The issue, which will be a referendum question for the voters, is whether to approve the rezoning of the 2500 block of Gulf Boulevard, now vacant, to allow the construction of multi-use building that will include a Publix super market.
Ockunzzi opposes that and has laid out, to voters, his reasons why in specific terms in a written document.
He says the developer’s plan is too big and exceeds what the city’s comprehensive plan and code allows. He also claims that the planned 46 feet height of the project exceeds city limits by 11 feet.
The referendum mentions “granting variances and other approvals” that Ockunzzi says is vague and wants to know the specifics of what variances and approvals would be sought.
“The project described in the referendum is just too big,” Ockunzzi writes in his message to voters. “It is not consistent with IRB’s Comprehensive Plan. It requires plan and zoning amendments, special exceptions and variances to be approved.”
Ockunzzi says the project, as described in the referendum, “will destroy the integrity of the adjacent residential neighborhoods with commercial traffic, truck traffic, noise, etc.”
He calls the elements of the referendum a “blank check” that he finds very troubling.
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