Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

County Rift Confronted in Planning Resignation

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

County Rift Confronted in Planning Resignation

Article excerpt

PONTE VEDRA BEACH -- The terse resignation of the chairman of

the Ponte Vedra Zoning and Adjustment Board this month has

prompted a promise to look at the interaction between that board

and the County Commission, which has been loudly criticized for

not responding to the needs and desires of residents in the

northeastern part of the county.

In Gene Cook's July 10 resignation letter, the chairman of the

Ponte Vedra Zoning and Adjustment Board said he had "lost all

confidence that this board can be effective in supporting the

residents of Ponte Vedra Beach."

County Commissioner Joanne Cody, who represents the region,

said the resignation has prompted her to seek a meeting between

the two panels.

"I'm going to request a workshop between the County Commission

and the board to see if we can work through some of the

differences," she said.

Cody said she has gathered information indicating that

commissioners overturn about half the appeals coming from the

Ponte Vedra Beach board compared with only four of the last 55

or 60 appeals generated by the Planning and Zoning Board that

reviews projects in the remainder of the county.

She said she did not think the problem was that the Ponte Vedra

Board was unduly stringent in applying regulations to zoning

matters as compared to the countywide planning board.

Cook said last week he was angered commissioners had overturned

an adjustment board decision to deny two screened enclosures and

said county commissioners routinely went against adjustment

board decisions.

"We have made a number of rulings here recently and are pretty

regularly getting overturned by the County Commission," he said.

Cook also said the county has allowed an increase in the amount

of commercially zoned land -- which brings higher tax revenues

-- in the northeastern part of the county. …

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