This weeks edition of the Hometown News has a letter to the editor from Cocoa Beach resident Danny Nail:
Violating the City Charter
The Cocoa Beach mayor and three commissioners are violating the City Charter requirements for five commission votes to increase the building height above 45 feet to 60 feet for a new condominium.
They are illegally using hte variance process to do this. Mayor Tumulty and Commissioners Malik, Miller and Martinez are responsible for ignoring the City Constitution, other wise know (sic) as the City Charter.
Two different procedures are spelled out in the Charter. One is a variance process ending in a four vote commission requirement for approval. The other is a Comprehensive Plan amendment process ending in a five- vote commission for approval of any amendment that addressed increasing height / density. By Florida statute, the Comp Plan is the controlling document for land usse.
The Charter states: “Any city comprehensive plan adoption or amendment that addresses increasing building and structure height or allowable density and / or intensity shall require an affirmative vote by (5) city commissioners. This is very broad and does not exclude variances. Likewise, the variance language does not address having any affect (sic) on the Comp Plan amendment requirement.for five votes. Both requirements stand on their own merit and must be met in order for a project that increases h/d to be legally implemented.
The mayor is giving precedence to the variance process over the Comp Plan amendment process. Both are spelled out in the City Charter so one does not take precedence over the other. Without approval of both the four-vote variance and the five-vote Comp Plan amendment, the 45-foot height cannot be exceeded.
However, the mayor says that the four-vote approval of the variance grants a permissible height increase; and, therefore, only four votes, instead of five, are needed to approve the amendment.
That view ignores the fact that until the amendment is passed, the variance is not in effect. That means that the variance does not make the height of the building permissible until the amendment is passed by five votes. Without the amendment, the height over 45 feet is not permissible because the variance does not legally exist until the Comp Plan amendment is passed. And that requires five votes.
Unfortunately, it will now take a judge to decide what is already clear to the residents who overwhelmingly voted for the five-vote requirement.
The City of Cocoa Beach responded to the letter: (more…)
Over the next few days, we are going to try to make some changes to the back end of the site. New plugins, some changing of the CSS, and other things to make the site hopefully run better and give us more control over the site. We hope to address some maintenance issues as well. None of these changes will affect what you see on the site down the road, but they may affect what you see this weekend as the site may be up and down from time to time as we test the new modifications out.
So if you come here and get a message saying, “unable to connect” or some 404 error message, we hope you will understand.
We aren’t going away, but we may have issues as we install and fix some things.
“The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and some place the seals are finding the water too hot,” McClintock read in a Wednesday hearing, adding that reports “all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard of temperatures in the Arctic zone.”
McClintock went on, then asked President Barack Obama’s top climate adviser Christy Goldfuss if “this the crisis you’re referring to?” — referring to a new guidance her Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) staff issued on accounting for global warming impacts of federal agency actions.
“It is a crisis we’re trying to address,” Goldfuss said, totally unsuspecting of what was about to happen. “I’m not familiar with that specific report…” Goldfuss added.
Turns out, Goldfuss should have been familiar with the report as it has been out awhile. (more…)
The Citizens Action Committee of Cocoa Beach will be hosting a candidate forum this weekend. The forum will take place on Saturday at the library, and will feature candidates for the City Commission.
Editor’s Note: We are not associated with the Citizens Action Committee and are only advertising this event as public service so people can met, greet, ask questions of candidates and listen to their responses.
Satellite Beach will hold a regular City Council meeting tonight starting at 7:00 PM. Lots of things on the agenda (found here.)
The big item on the agenda is probably the approval of the budget on the second reading. According to pages 39 and 40 of the support packet, Satellite Beach is reducing their millage rate from 8.2900 to 8.1518 mills:
The budget reduces the City’s millage rate from 8.2900 to 8.1518 mills and the City’s budget is balanced with total revenues and expenditures of $16,682,134.
Congratulations to Satellite Beach for lowering the millage rates as the increase in property values will more than offset the drop in millage.
The City is looking to ban polystyrene containers being used as food containers by the City and City vendors at City events and on City property. We won’t get into the reasons given as they are not quite accurate, but we understand the general intent of the ban. (more…)
The post was going to be a simple one of this video from Prager University:
What are the five biggest problems facing black Americans? Where do things like racism and police brutality rank? What about the absence of black fathers? Taleeb Starkes, author of Amazon #1 bestseller “Black Lies Matter,” lists the five. They may surprise you.
The video is an interesting one and makes many good points.
What makes this video even more relevant to us is that just today (as we write this post) we had a conversation with one of the staff members on the Star Spangled Banner “protest” that is taking place in both the NFL and with Megan Rapinoe of the US Women’s National Soccer Team.
The staff member to whom we were speaking said they had lost a lot of respect for the NFL because of their allowing players to disrespect the National Anthem. This was quite a revelation to us because as long as we have known this person, they have been a die hard Miami Dolphin fan. (They even walk around on game day humming the Dolphins’ fight song.)
When they said that they had not even watched all of the Dolphins’ game this past Sunday, it was quite a change from the undying fan of past years.
Part of the reason for his walking away from the NFL is the league’s refusal to do anything about what he sees as the disrespect of the anthem by players. Unlike the NBA which has a rule that players must stand for the anthem, the NFL has no such rule so the league has no authority to order the player to stand or punish those who do. Yet as the staff member notes, a player still is employed by a private company and that company has the right to say “stand or you’re fired.”
It is the lack of guts and intestinal fortitude from the teams and specifically the Dolphins, that has the staff member riled up and abandoning the NFL. (He may not be the only one as NFL game viewership is down this year from 2015.)
Then you have members of teams that represent the United States such as the women’s soccer team where Megan Rapinoe again “took a knee” during the playing of the National Anthem. The staff member noted that Rapinoe would stand for the national anthem of Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran and other oppressive countries, but would not stand for the US national anthem.
While US Soccer released a statement saying they expected players to stand during the national anthem, the head coach of the US team playing in the World Hockey Championships had a different message: “stand up or don’t play.” (more…)