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Date of Issue: May 25, 2006

Variance denial recommendation made in Bradenton Beach

The Bradenton Beach Board of Adjustment has recommended denial of a variance to a number of setbacks for reconstruction of a house damaged by fire.

Russ Snyder has requested permission to tear down and rebuild a house he owns at 100 Seventh St. S. The house received extensive damage in a fire last year, and he hoped to build a new home using the same non-conforming footprint.

Damage was too extensive to allow reconstruction and still have it conform to federal "50-percent" rules, which call for any property undergoing remodeling at more than 50 percent of its appraised value to meet more stringent laws, specifically elevation.

However, the house is situated on a non-conforming 100-by-43-foot lot, and has setbacks that creep far closer to the property lines than current codes permit - it is about 4 feet from Gulf Drive, where the code calls for a 25-foot setback.

Snyder said that to adhere to existing land-use laws, to demolish and rebuild his house would cause him to construct a house that measured 80 feet in length and 10 feet in width.

Wait a minute, Board Chair John Burns said. You could still build a 1,600-square-foot house of two stories in size, above ground-level parking, even though it would be only 10 feet wide. That doesn't seem to reflect a hardship to the property.

Burns, as well as city attorney Ricinda Perry, referred to another section of the land development code that states that a building can be elevated to meet Federal Emergency Management Agency rules and then undergo extensive remodeling.

"You have several options before you," Burns told Snyder, "that do not preclude you to have use of your property."

Board members unanimously recommended denial of the variance. The final decision will go before the city commission.

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