Monday, August 3, 2015

Tuesday Mystery Meeting [UPDATE]

Despite the posted meeting agenda indicating that the City Council meeting this Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. will have another packed schedule, there are a lot of questions and confusion surrounding why many of these agenda items have been included on this agenda in the first place.

The Tuesday agenda includes two appeals of recent Planning & Zoning Board decisions which were heard and voted upon by Council at the July 7th meeting. These include the Council’s decision to grant a variance to Wood Spring Suites (formerly Value Place) permitting an over-height extended stay hotel and denying an appeal regarding a rear set back on a property in Oak Island. The reason that these appeals are back on the agenda is unknown, as the appeals were already decided and Council has not voted to reconsider its ruling with regard to either of these appeals.

Significantly more concerning is that the Tuesday agenda also includes a public hearing regarding the proposed preliminary plat for the six-home, walled and gated, subdivision at the intersection of Nela Avenue and Seminole Drive. This proposal was denied by the Planning and Zoning Board on July 28th, in-part due to an ongoing petition drive, a good resident turnout, comments from neighbors, and arguments from a citizen-retained attorney.

The inclusion of this issue on the Tuesday agenda is purported to be a public hearing scheduled for Council consideration pursuant to the Belle Isle Land Development Code, section 50-33(3)(a)(4). However, the Code requires that notice of such hearings be publicized in a newspaper and by mailings to all property owners within 300 feet of the subject property (see section 50-33(1)(d) in the link above).

It is likely that this hearing will not go forward on Tuesday, as the required publications have not been completed by the City (see update below). Clarification has been requested from the City Attorney on this issue, and this article will be updated if new information is received prior to the Tuesday meeting.

But regardless of whether the public hearing on the subdivision plat can proceed as scheduled, you are still encouraged to attend the City Council meeting this Tuesday, August 4, at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. You can download a PDF copy of the Tuesday meeting agenda at the link below.

City Council Meeting Agenda - August 4, 2015

UPDATE 8/3/15:

The mystery deepens. All information initially indicated that the required notices were not mailed to residents, but according to records just received from City Hall, notices of the public hearing regarding the proposed subdivision were mailed to the 20+ required households on July 24, 2015. However, a quick poll of six of these households which should have received this notice reveals that NONE have actually received a notice in the mail, despite it supposedly being mailed by the City a week and a half ago.

Regardless, the City Attorney now states that the public hearing will proceed on Tuesday based on the City's claim that the notice was mailed. Residents opposed to this proposed subdivision at the intersection of Nela and Seminole should be prepared to speak about their concerns at the 6:00 p.m. meeting on August 4.

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