Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Note to Boaters: Move It City Enforces Parking Law

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Note to Boaters: Move It City Enforces Parking Law

Article excerpt

ATLANTIC BEACH -- About 30 boat owners voiced their objection Monday night to an ordinance restricting the storage of their boats on their property.

Although the ordinance was not on the commission's agenda, the citizens came to the meeting to ask the city to change the ordinance, which requires that boats be stored at least 20 feet from the city's right of way.

Michael Patterson, a boat owner who lives in Marsh Oaks, was recently cited for storing his boat at the end of his driveway, which does not comply with the city's ordinance. The citation required he move his boat within 30 days or the city could legally remove and destroy it at his expense. He could also face fines of $500 each day he fails to remove the boat.

Patterson said the city had been lenient on boat storage until about six months ago. He attributes recent citations to the hiring of a new code enforcement officer.

"It would cost between $50 and $200 a month to have my boat stored," Patterson said. "I don't live in a gated community so I should be able to store my boat on my own property where I can keep an eye on it."

Mayor John Meserve said some people view boats as an eyesore and the ordinance would be addressed in the current zoning changes. He thanked the boat owners for coming, but said that nothing could be done about the issue at the meeting. He advised them to get a representative to talk with City Manager Jim Hanson about the proper procedure to formally voice their concerns.

The city's core development board is also looking at placing stricter requirements on those wishing to build secondary dwellings on property zoned as single-family. The city wants to deter people from building guest houses, then renting them out as separate units.

Meserve proposed requiring home owners to build at least 20 feet from the original structure and five feet from the city right of way, placing a 25-foot maximum height restriction and minimizing the dimensions of the structure to 50 percent of the original. …

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