talks move on without Anna Maria
By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer
HOLMES BEACH City commissioners have directed
Mayor Carol Whitmore to work with Bradenton Beach
officials regarding a committee to study Island
Whitmore told commissioners last week that the city
has an obligation to initiate a study based on the
results of a non-binding referendum held Nov. 8.
The referendum asked, "Shall the city of Holmes
Beach consider without being obligated to conducting
a study or studies of the merits and feasibility
of consolidating the Island cities?"
A similar referendum was held in Bradenton Beach,
and the referendum was approved by a two-to-one
margin in both cities. However, in Anna Maria, the
commission voted not to put it on the ballot.
Commissioner Rich Bohnenberger said the city should
do nothing until Anna Maria "is on board. The
bottom line is the referendum was to look into the
consolidation of three Island cities, not two.
"I dont know how you can have a comparative
analysis unless you have an agreement between the
three cities as to what form of government youre
going to have, what services are going to be provided
and how much youre going to pay your department
Commissioner Roger Lutz disagreed and noted, "The
citizens voted for us to look into consolidating.
Its clear that we need to go forward and look
at it and come up with some numbers."
Lutz said each city should have its own committee,
and it should be comprised of the mayor, one or
two commissioners, the city treasurer, the building
official and one or two citizens. The committee
would report back to the commission, which would
take the next step.
Whitmore said she would contact Bradenton Beach
officials and "come up with a plan and bring
it back to the next work session."
moratorium debate escalates
By Laurie Krosney
sun staff writer
With not-so-veiled threats of lawsuits floating
around commission chambers, city officials have
slowed their rush to control building in the coastal
Last fall, a moratorium was imposed on subdividing
and replatting lots in the coastal overlay district
(COD) that sweeps from the south end of the city
around Bean Point and south to Galati Marine on
At a city commission meeting Dec. 12, Commissioner
Chris Tollette again asked the city to hire an expert
land use attorney to help ensure the city is litigation-proof.
She suggested Ron Weaver of Tampa.
Commissioner Duke Miller said he agreed, and hes
heard that Weaver is "terrific." Miller
pointed out that there is a moratorium in place,
so the city should slow down and give careful consideration
to the ordinance.
City Attorney Jim Dye said he has taken land use
seminars under Weaver, and he would have no objection
to working with him.
Commissioners agreed that Tollette would contact
Weaver to check on his availability and rates and
report back at the January work session.
Several members of the audience, including Bradenton
Attorney Kevin Hennessey who represents the Galati
family, Lockwood Holdings, Inc. and Weld, Inc.,
which is the name under which Ed Chiles, does business,
objected to the ordinance.
"Im warning you," Hennessey said.
"This action you are considering will engender
The attorney referred to "takings" actions,
the Bert Harris Act and other land rights protection
"The overlay district is burdensome, arbitrary
and doesnt meet its stated intent," Hennessey
The proposed ordinance would have no effect on lots
already platted and on the books, according to City
Planner Alan Garrett.
"It doesnt take away any rights of any
existing platted parcels of land," Garrett
said. "If someone wants to replatt or create
a new parcel or combine lots, then it would go into
The purpose of the overlay district is to control
development in the sensitive lands close to the
beaches and to protect inland parcels from what
might happen to that development during storms.
delays sought in restoring beaches
By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer
If renourishment contractor Goodloe Marine, Inc.,
gets a delay on finishing the project now stalled
in Bradenton Beach by bad weather, Manatee County
may seek another two-month extension to alleviate
the effects on our tourist trade.
Thats the word from Manatee County Ecosystems
Administrator Charlie Hunsicker, who said he doesnt
know if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will grant
Goodloe announced it would ask to disengage from
the project until the weather patterns change. Goodloe
Safety Engineer Larry Chapman told The Sun last
week that the company has had problems with cold
fronts coming in ever since hurricane season ended.
He said that when cold fronts pass through they
bring high winds that whip up the waves, especially
over the shoal where their barge gets the sand for
the renourishment, and it makes digging to the precise
depth impossible. Chapman said if it gets the delay,
it would likely remove the pipes on the beach and
take itsvessels back to home port.
"The county is asking to extend the project
from March to May 1 in respect to the high season,
tourist business," Hunsicker said. "We
are trying to balance what is the essence of the
Island its natural beauty, protection of
property and protection of sea-going mammals and
animals, along with the tourist trade."
The project is being financed by the Army Corps
of Engineers as a follow-up to the extensive erosion
caused by the hurricanes of 2004. It has been plagued
with delays by the record number of tropical storms
and hurricanes this past summer. After the hurricane
season wound down, a number of cold front spassed
through the area forcing Goodloe to wait out the
weather until the waves died down. The project has
been stalled at Katie Pierola Park in Bradenton
Beach for more than three weeks.
When Goodloe finishes the project in Bradenton Beach,
it will renourish the beaches of Anna Maria City
that were part of the 2002 renourishment project,but
were not part of the original project of 1992. Manatee
County is paying for that portion of the project.
continues to Kingfish plan
By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer
Commissioners continue to question Manatee Countys
request to request to remove Brazilian peppers on
the west side of Kingfish ramp in order to add parking
"This isnt about refurbishing the boat
ramp; its about doubling the size of it,"
Commissioner Roger Lutz pointed out. "Theyre
not doing us any favors by removing our trees and
putting in more parking places for people from Lakeland.
"If the first thing you see coming into our
city is a public toilet, its not in our best
interest," Lutz remarked about the countys
plan to install a bathroom on the east side of the
City Attorney Patricia Petruff said the assistant
county attorney contacted her "with respect
to the location of the city boundaries in and around
the boat ramp area. The reason for that request
is whether of not the city of Holmes Beach has jurisdiction
with respect to the upgrading of the boat ramp,
the installation of the bathrooms and the removal
of the exotic species.
"The city has no good information except for
the meets and bounds description in our charter
as to where the city boundaries are. The police
department does answer calls all the way up to the
bridge. The county is now asking a surveyor to map
out the meets and bounds."
The ramp is owned and maintained by the county but
is within Homes Beach city limits.
Commissioner Rich Bohnenberger said the Florida
Department of Transportation right of way extends
500 feet on both sides of the road, so we
may not have much to say about it anyway."
Residents of West Bay Cove also continue their flood
of letters to city commissioners opposing the plan.
"We are totally opposed to the proposed expansion
of the boat-launching facility on Manatee Avenue,"
said Sidney and Patricia Kilbank. "It makes
no sense to beautify one side of the avenue and
lay waste to the other side. If the Brazilian peppers
are considered to be invasive, they should be replaced
with native vegetation, not parking spaces."
Rob and Nancy Bell said removing the vegetation
and expanding the ramp area would increase traffic,
noise, dust and litter and reduce property values.
"The boat ramps are very clearly for the benefit
of the non-Island residents and visitors to our
area," the Bells pointed out. "But we
do feel that such access should be controlled to
provide the right balance between providing the
opportunity to non-Island residents to enjoy the
resource and providing Island residents with the
right to peaceful enjoyment of their property."
Bill Shuman said the plan would severely impact
West Bay Cove, and Barbara J. Knight said it would
increase noise, create more of a traffic hazard
and impact the habitat of shore birds.
Commissioners plan to discuss the countys
request at their Jan. 24 work session.
fields garbage complaints
By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer
Commissioner Pat Morton, liaison to Waste Management,
is working to resolve problems created by the new
garbage pick-up system.
Under the system, which was implemented Dec. 5,
each household gets a 35- or 64gallon garbage
cart on wheels. A truck with one driver picks up
the carts with a mechanized arm and dumps them into
At last weeks commission meeting, commissioners
voiced some complaints about the system.
This list of things," Why we left
some things behind, has me concerned,
Commissioner Rich Bohnenberger said, regarding a
bright pink list of rules for garbage pick up that
he received. "All the years Ive lived
here, if you did some work on your house, you could
put the debris in the trash. Now it says, Construction
debris removal is the sole responsibility of the
owner or contractor doing the work."
Bohnenbeger said during negotiations with Waste
Management, he asked about construction debris and
was told it would be picked up.
Commissioner David Zaccagnino said he is performing
an experiment in front of his house.
"I put out some two-by-fours that have been
sitting there since last week, he explained.
"Theyre cut to the right length and theyre
"I dont think our intention was to diminish
the services for our citizens," Bohnenberger
noted. "I dont know if weve been
sort of suckered here."
Morton said he received many complaints from
residents and planned to meet with David Smith,
district manager of Waste Management.
He said some residents complained that their garbage
was not being picked up and residents with medical
problems said that they are unable to pull the cart
to the street.
"Some people called Waste Managements
office (with their complaints) and the people answering
the phone didnt have a clue what they were
talking about," Morton said. "Some people
were told to call Manatee County. There was bad
information coming out of that office and people
Morton said one of the biggest problems is that
people with medical problems dont know that
they can get back door pickup.
"They should get a letter from their doctor
and mail or fax it to Waste Management," he
explained. "The driver will come to their door
and get their trash at no extra charge.
"I told four people about this today, and I
told them to give me copy of their doctors
note, so I can follow up and make sure they are
being taken care of."
Regarding Bohnenbergers question about construction
debris, Morton said it will be picked up but must
be a moderate amount and not too heavy.
"One person put out two trash cans full of
tile that he had removed from his house, and the
cans weighed 400 or 500 pounds," he said. "They
cant pick up something that heavy."
Another issue is people who generate a small amount
of garbage and put it in a plastic bag.
"They should write a letter to Waste Management,
so the driver knows where they live and can pick
it up," he explained. "
After the meeting, Morton said, "I think we
got things moving the way they need to be going.
My position is that I represent the citizens. If
they have a problem Ill stand up for them.
Well see how Waste Management does. If they
mess up, Ill be like a red-headed step child
to house dredge spoil
By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer
A dredging project in the citys only two canals
is expected to impact a nearby park for two to three
months next spring and it might mean some inconvenience
The project, financed through an $88,000 grant from
the West Coast Inland Navigational District, will
help clear debris from the two canals along Avenue
A in the northern midsection of the cit.
What they clean out, called spoil, will have to
go somewhere. That somewhere is in the northern
segment of Herb Dolan Park along 25th Street and
Bradenton Beach Public Works Director Dottie Poindexter
made the announcement at a neighborhood meeting
at Annie Silver Community Center Saturday, Dec.
"Some time between April and June, Herb Dolan
Park will be used as a temporary dredge spoil for
the canal dredging project," Poindexter said.
"The spoil will be trucked in the shortest
possible route, from the canals up Avenue A to the
northern section of the park."
Poindexter said the spoil would be piled up in the
park until it dries enough to be trucked away. She
said this was the cheapest method possible to get
the project done under budget.
The dredging project began as a request from canal-side
residents two years ago and Poindexter found out
about the grant, which might come with future cleanings
To alleviate concerns over the smell of the spoil,
Poindexter said the city would use a chemical to
control odors. She also said the dredging would
bring drainage benefits to the area.
"When we do the dredge engineering, we will
work on the drainage outfall problems in the area,"
she said. "What we come up with wont
take care of it all, but it will improve the overall
drainage of the area."
Resident Billy Wagner, who said he had lived in
Bradenton Beach all of his life, said the canals
were dredged earlier in the 1960s or 70s,
during the years when Dick Connick was mayor. He
said they used a dragline with a bucket and a dump
truck to get all of the dirt out and asked if that
would be the same method used this time.
Poindexter said they would contract someone to use
a device that would suck out the dirt from the middle
of the canal, so as not to disturb the seawalls,
and deposit it on a flatbed boat. From there, it
would be loaded onto trucks.
When asked why they didnt take the spoil to
the park via the boat, Poindexter said the government
agencies overseeing the bays water quality
would not allow it. She said times had changed since
the last time they dredged the canals.
The meeting at the community center attracted around
ficus tree likely to fall on Jan. 2
By Cindy Lane
sun staff writer
The ficus tree in front of Anna Maria Elementary
School will likely be destroyed on Jan. 2 as part
of the schools renovation.
Ficus is a non-native species, and the Department
of Educations State Requirements for Educational
Facilities require that school districts have "a
program in place to remove all invasive, non-native
plants," according to Sheridan Dowling, director
of Construction Services for the Manatee County
In a letter to Project Director Jane Dreger, Principal
Kathy Hayes cited that requirement and others as
reasons to remove the tree, including the fact that
its location is where the parent pick-up area has
been sited in the construction plan, and that there
was no opposition by the Parent Teacher Association
or anyone who attended an October community meeting.
She also cited the opinion of landscape architect
David Jones, who originally recommended the tree
be destroyed because its exposed roots pose the
danger of tripping and can lift up pavement and
soil, and that poor pruning has left the tree vulnerable
to potential rot and pests. He later agreed to support
the trees relocation if a suitable location
was found elsewhere on the site.
"The district has gone to exhaustive lengths
to see what we could do, if anything, to relocate
this tree," School Board Community Relations
Spokeswoman Margi Nanney said, including meeting
with Cortez landscaper Rob Crafts, who volunteered
to move the tree for free if the School Board would
rent a crane. The School Board tentatively agreed
to do it if an appropriate location could be found
on the school site, but Nanney said she couldnt
say whether the offer would be extended to an off-site
"Theres absolutely no place to put this
tree," she said, adding that she checked with
the Manatee County Parks department, which also
has restrictions against non-native species.
The city of Anna Maria is working with its Environmental
Enhancement and Education Committee to investigate
whether the city can take the tree, Public Works
Director George McKay said.
The city of Bradenton Beach has an ordinance against
planting non-native species in the city limits,
Commissioner Lisa Marie Phillips said.
City of Holmes Beach Public Works Director Joe Duennes
said Monday that he would inspect the tree and determine
whether the city has a location large enough to
But the approaching demolition deadline will make
it difficult to find alternatives, Nanney said,
adding that if anyone wants the tree, they would
have to act immediately to allow time to secure
"This is going to have to move at lightning
speed," she said.
The tree is not the first at the school to create
controversy. Several oak trees were cut down a year
ago over the objection of parents, children and
Last month, anonymous supporters of the tree placed
potted poinsettias around it and decorated it with
ribbons and a sign saying "We love our giving
tree." Hayes guessed that the sign was a possible
reference to "The Giving Tree," a story
by Shel Silverstein, about a tree that gives its
life for a man who played in its branches as a child.