is this you? Claim your profile.
is this you? Claim your profile.
Community Development Director
+ Get 10 Free Contacts a Month
It's free and takes 30 seconds
Director of Planning
Citizen Member of The Editorial Board
Lee County's Smart Growth Committee
University of Illinois
Town Community Development Director Walter Fluegel told Council members in June that the code language for elevated pools and accessory structures was going to be an issue, according to Councilwoman Jo List.
An investigation involving an outside attorney (the Town attorney firm was deemed not an objective third party) was requested by Fluegel, the person the whispers are about and who brought the matter to light through a inter-office memorandum. That investigation has begun, but there is no time table for finding. "Walter Fluegel was perfectly within his authority and right to grant those permits," said Councilman Joe Kosinski earlier this month. "I firmly believe in the innocence of Mr. Fluegel."
"In general terms, the draft ordinance hopefully is easier to understand and, from our perspective, easier to enforce," said Town Community Development Coordinator Walter Fluegel.
"It sounded like everyone seemed to be OK with the concept of limiting it to the porch or enclosed merchandise area so long as the existing (businesses) that were out on the patio could stay," said Fluegel. Instead of going out and doing a selected enforcement that was complaint-driven, we decided just to do a sweep of all outdoor display," said Fluegel. "Be careful for what it is going to look like out there if you allow t-shirt racks all over the place," warned Fluegel. "We have not been able to find any zoning approval there or any official zoning signature or anything that gives us any indication that it was out there legally and approved by the Town," said Fluegel.
"The property maintenance code we had in our land development code was kind of subjective and arbitrary to as what a property in state of disrepair meant," said Town Community Development Director Walter Fluegel.
"There will not be any changes on how we handle violations," said Fluegel. "Generally in code enforcement, we go out and work with the property owners, first and foremost, to inform and educate." That procedure involves a conversation with the violator on how to bring the violation up to code. "We want to work with them and give them a reasonable time frame to bring the infraction into compliance," said Fluegel. Fluegel believes the International Property Maintenance Code works to the property owner's advantage due to the elimination of subjectivity. "It's no longer our subject of standards. It is definitely more definitive," he said.
During their monthly meeting this week, LPA members heard Town Community Development Director Walter Fluegel explain the results of staff research into the COP issue.
He emphasizes that the research is not yet complete. A May 4, 2011 memo from Fluegel summarized the issue's history: In 2009, the LPA passed Resolution 2009-24 recommending that the Town restrict expansion of alcohol consumption on Gulf beaches. In 2010, Town Council rejected that Resolution, which in essence deemed COP a permissible use on the beaches. This action, termed a Legislative Determination, as provided for in Chapter 15 of the Town's Comprehensive Plan, means that to reverse this determination requires a formal amendment of the Comp Plan. Council also determined that the Land Development Code is the most appropriate place to regulate permissible uses related to COP on the beach. In December of 2010, Council directed staff to prepare an ordinance dealing with COP on the beach as a permitted ancillary use. In April, Fluegel brought the issue back to the LPA and asked for their input in developing a draft for regulating extension of COP on the beach. The LPA consensus has been that the LPA does not want any expansion of COP on the beach, period. Fluegel has made the point that the Town needs some sort of regulatory mechanism relating to COP (consumption on premise) on the beach. In zoning terms the sandy beach portion of beachfront property is known as the EC (environmentally critical) zone, making shorthand for this issue: COP in the EC. Fluegel explains that right now the only regulations regarding alcohol on the beach are the Open Container ordinances (Part II, Article IV; Sec 4-64 to 4-67). Fluegel and Town staff have expressed concern that the language in that ordinance is vague and susceptible to challenge. The Open Container ordinance prohibits possession or consumption "on a semi-public parking lot, public street, parkway, beach or parking lot located in the town. The definition of "public beach" refers to any beach below mean high-water lines, owned by the town or county or beaches customarily used by the public. Prohibition of consumption on the "public beach" could be interpreted to apply only to the area below the mean high water line. According to Fluegel, this definition could lead to "a substantial imposition on private property rights." Member Tom Cameron seemed amenable to some sort of regulation, stating, "We've got to give (Fluegel) something to enforce. Fluegel has offered the LPA the option of expressing their desire to prohibit any expansion while also weighing in on a regulatory framework for COP in the EC. Fluegel indicated that his staff would continue to pursue answers on the status of Lani Kai and Top O'Mast's COP in the EC.
Walter G. Fluegel, AICP
Director of Planning and Design