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Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay, Satellite Beach: If You Like Meetings, You Have Your Choice Tonight.

Like a seemingly endless items at a buffet, tonight there are lots of meetings that people can and should attend in their local communities.

COCOA BEACH: Tonight Cocoa Beach hosts a Charter Review Board meeting. The agenda for the meeting can be found here. There are some interesting things within the proposed changes to the Charter as we suggest that people read them as they will affect everyone.

The City also has two more meetings this week. Tomorrow night there is a Special City Commission Meeting concerning the budget which starts at 6:00 P.M.

The Commissioners will be right back at it on Thursday night at 6:00 PM again for a CRA meeting followed by a regular Commission meeting at 7:00 PM.

PALM BAY: The City Council will meet tonight at 6:30 PM for a budget meeting as well. Ordinances will be read, discussed and voted upon concerning fees and millage increases.

The Council takes a day off and then hosts a regular meeting on Thursday at 7:00 PM.

SATELLITE BEACH: Satellite Beach has a Board of Adjustment meeting tonight concerning a variance request made by the developers / architects of the proposed Solar Hotel. We wrote about this variance request and why it does not meet any legal standard for a variance yesterday.
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Satellite Beach: Solar Hotels And Building Variances. UPDATED WITH ADDENDUM!

EDITOR’S NOTE: We have added an addendum to this post below.

Satellite Beach is looking to have a new hotel built within the City limits:

SATELLITE BEACH — A development group is looking to build what is believed to be the state’s first solar-powered hotel in Satellite Beach.

The project, which received approval Monday from the Satellite Beach Advisory Board, is on 1.2 acres on the southwest corner of State Road A1A and Desoto Parkway. That was the former site of a once-popular beachside eatery called Peg Leg’s.

The building’s architect, who specializes in environmentally sustainable projects, said the three-story project would use 80 percent less energy than a conventional structure of its type.

The property is owned by the city’s Community Development Authority, and officials were particular about what type of development they wanted to see there. Most notably, the wanted a project that fit in with the city’s environmental sustainability efforts.

What is not said in the article is that while the City wants structures consistent with its “environmental sustainability efforts,” the City is taking a fiscal bath on this deal. Originally, the City purchased the property for $1.525 million dollars in 2006 and is now selling the property for $860K, a loss of $665K.

(We don’t want to be too sarcastic here, but it seems difficult to us to be funding “sustainability efforts” when you are giving money away like that.)

After the project was approved, the architects of the project, Spacecoast Architects, PA, submitted an application for a variance on the property. A Board of Adjustment meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 7:00 PM to hear the variance request. The agenda for the meeting can be found here. The application packet can be found here.

We want to look at what is being asked for.

The image below is page 6 from the application. We have colored in red and yellow the two properties that are adjacent to the hotel.

The red property is not a part of the variance. The yellow property is the issue.

As you can see in the blowup of the site plan, the developers want to build right up to the lot line of the yellow property:
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Satellite Beach: Hurricane Matthew

The City of Satellite Beach has a “preparedness message” on their site which reads:

TO: CITY RESIDENTS
FROM: CITY MANAGER COURNTEY BARKER, AICP
DATE: 10/04/16
TIME: 10:50 A.M.
RE: HURRICANE MATTHEW

The City is carefully monitoring Hurricane Matthew as the projected path moves it closer to the east coast of Florida. We strongly encourage our residents to take this storm seriously and begin preparations to care for your family and property in the event this major hurricane directly impacts our area. Currently there are no evacuation orders in effect; however, you should take time to become familiar with evacuation routes and shelter locations if evacuating becomes necessary.

Secure lawn furniture, potted plants, political signs, lawn debris and other items that may become a hazard in heavy winds, which are likely even if the storm stays off our coast. Please monitor local news channels for the latest information on the storm and we will continue to provide updates to our residents as they
become available
.
All residents should purchase 3 days’ worth of non-perishable food and water for each household member, batteries and flashlights. Please fill all vehicles with gas and have some cash on hand for purchases such as ice and more food. City Hall staff will be open normal hours today. Operating department will allow non-essential personnel to leave early tomorrow to prepare their homes.

Please do not trim trees or create piles of yard waste as this may become debris that could cause damage if it is able to be picked up by Waste Management
before the storm.

The City also has sand bags available at the Public Works Department. The bags can be filled at the DeSota Ballfields off of DeSota Parkway.

Stay safe people.



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Satellite Beach: City Council Meeting Tonight.

Satellite-Beach-Roller-Stamp---ROH 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.
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Satellite Beach – City Council Meeting Tonight.

Satellite-Beach-Roller-Stamp---ROHTonight at 7:00 PM the Satellite Beach City Council will hold a regular meeting.

There are, as always, a couple of interesting things to talk about.

City Manager Barker is asking for approval of a letter to Ferrara Fire Apparatus for the purchase of a new fire truck. The letter seeks to place a “hold” on an in-stock truck until financing can be arranged. We are sure the truck costs something, but it is not in the letter or in the documentation within the agenda packet.

The other interesting idea is that the City Council will look at participating in the PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program. The program allows a property owner to apply for a loan through the PACE agency for improvements related to energy efficiency, hardening to weather, etc. The variable interest rate loan is then paid back to the PACE program through a non-ad valorem assessment to the tax bill for the property. The assessment stays with the property (not the individual) until it is paid off. That means people taking part in the program can leave the next owner of the property with the bill.

Interestingly, any tax credits or rebates will go to the property owner but any carbon credits will go to PACE to help pay for costs.

There are a couple of other odd things in the program as well.
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Satellite Beach: Hiding Losses And Spending Money.

Satellite-Beach-Scales-Fence-and-Coin-REV-ROH

We mentioned the other day that the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit had ruled in favor of the Goersch’s in their lawsuit against the City of Satellite Beach with all three judges concurring in the opinion (no dissent.)

The opinion was issued on July 13, 2016, a week before the July 20, 2016 regular City Council meeting and 21 days before the August 3, 2016 Regular City Council meeting.

At the August 3rd meeting, something a little strange happened.

At the very end of her City Manager report, Courtney Barker brought up the issue of the decision and wanted to know whether the Council wanted to pursue an appeal of the case.

What made this odd to many people was that the items was not on the City Manager’s Report:
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Satellite Beach Loses To Goerschs On Fence Permit And Variance.

Satellite-Beach-Scales-Fence-and-Coin-REV-ROH

In case you missed it, Satellite Beach lost again in Court to the Goersch’s. Previously, the Goersch’s had beaten the City in court when the City tried to take back property that was vacated to the Goersch’s.

This time the issue was that the City failed to issue a variance for the fence the Goersch’s had built upon their property. (See the decision below.)

Saying that as the “Board’s denial was not supported by competent, substantial evidence, the Petitioners’ application for a variance should be granted,” the three member Court quashed the denial of the variance and sent it back to the City for an “Order consistent with this opinion.”

The Goersch’s are said to be seeking reimbursement for their legal fees in the first case. We have no idea if they will seek the same lawyer fees in this second case.

No matter what, it is impossible to say that the City has gotten anything but a black eye from this case. Whomever is telling the City to go forward with these suits seems to be giving questionable legal advice.
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Satellite Beach: Council Meeting Tonight.

Satellite-Beach-Censored-Sign-ROH For a couple of reasons, we have stayed away from Satellite Beach for awhile, but no longer.

Tonight the City Council will meet at 7:00 PM. The agenda can be found here and the agenda packet can be found here.

There are a couple of items of interest on the agenda.

Chickens are back for a second time. On July 6, 2016, the Council passed an ordinance on its first of two required readings to allow people to raise up to four chickens (no roosters) in coops in their back yards.

It is an interesting proposal and one we support on a trial basis. Obviously, there are some concerns with predators and things like that, but that is what coops are for – to keep predators out. Chickens are rather smart, tidy animals and they shouldn’t be a bother to any neighbor which should be the only objections the government should have when trying to control what people do on their own property.

What is interesting is that Lorraine Gott voted against the ordinance the last time and yet she and John Fergus are very much into the Anthropomorphic Global Warming (AGW) theory and are looking to do everything they can to raise money and pass regulations in support of that theory.

Yet here is a simple way of lowering carbon levels even a tiny bit. If you have chickens, you don’t need to go to the store to buy eggs. That means a truck doesn’t have to deliver as many eggs to the markets. It means that more chickens can be free ranged on farms because the density of chickens and egg production can be lowered.

Local chickens are good for the environment so why is Gott against them?


The City Employee Clinic is back on the agenda.
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