INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Mayor Bill Ockunzzi has called for a six-month moratorium on certain development aspects in Indian Rocks Beach.
The pace of development in this beachside, resort city with large residential areas has been rapid and is beginning to overwhelm city control of what is happening.
Ockunzzi proposes that a moratorium ordinance be ordered immediately to last for six months and to apply to certain areas. He specifically asks that the business triangle be exempted from provisions of the ordinance.
The ordinance would affect remodeling and additions, single family homes, duplexes and repair and maintenance.
Ockunzzi says the purpose of the moratorium would be to allow for "thoughtful consideration" regarding Planned Unit Development ordinance revisions as to minimum size, quality standards, etc.; revisions to code regulations governing small lots (substandard and legal non-conforming) to enable and facilitate the preservation and/or construction of smaller single family, duplex, triplex structures in place of combining lots to create large parcels.
Also covered would be revisions to Code regulations governing mixed use development to encourage and facilitate more mixed use development in certain areas of the city, revisions to Code regulations to adjust maximum allowable building heights in certain districts in the City.
Ockunzzi also wants included in the new law a consideration of going ahead with establishing a Community Redevelopment Agency, an idea that has been strongly pushed by Commissioner Jose Coppen.
The moratorium ordinance request is wide ranging and brings in many aspects of planning in the city, including the completion of the Comprehensive Plan Evaluation and Appraisal process, and consideration of preliminary plans and development concepts for city owned complexes.
Ockunzzi says the inclusion of his ideas in such an ordinance will be eliminate errors created in the transformation from the "black code book" to the current "green code book."
"If the commission does not take action (to hold up development) until we have an opportunity to enact the necessary ordinances, it may be too late," Ockunzzi wrote in a memo to the commission.
"The stealth-like nature of continuing to allow consideration of 'one project at a time' does not provide for consideration and mitigation of the cumulative impacts of all development and will result in a change to the very character of our community," Ockunzzi wrote.
He cited other reasons as well for a pause in development in the city until the commission could put together some comprehensive rules.
They are - an over-burdened city staff, no permanent building official and the increasing complexity and cumulative impacts of new development proposals.
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