Discussing a variety of zoning issues, the Florida City Commission agreed Tuesday to extend a church’s deadline and approved an increase in filing fees some large-scale construction projects while maintaining the status quo on fees for homeowners and small businesses.
Mayor Otis Wallace said the city’s tight spending habits allow planning and zoning fees to remain at current levels for small-scale projects initiated by homeowners and small businesses.
Fees for large-scale projects will increase—“housekeeping,” as Wallace described it. The new fee for a zoning verification letter will be $125, compared to the previous $50 fee. The base fee for a subdivision plat or waiver of plat goes to $1,125 regardless of property size, up from the previous base fee of $750 on property of 1.5-acres or less.
The mayor said that in the past he has told his directors to be sensible with spending.
“Or I’ll be sensible for them,” he said.
Commissioners granted a request from Branches United Methodist Mission Church, which burned to the ground in May 2010, for a four-month extension to submit plans to build a much larger church on its property at 145 SW Fifth Ave. The church now has until Oct. 12 to submit its application, according to Henry Iler, a city planner.
Wallace noted the city is generally reluctant to grant extensions as sometimes potential builders drag their feet and lose momentum.
Commissioners also tabled a request from the S.U.C.S.E.S. Foundation to expand its aftercare center’s hours because of the death of the learning center’s owner, Rolando Acevedo, 42, on July 3. Wallace said the delay gives the foundation time to regroup and see if it wants to move forward with the project.
Wallace also talked about illegal dumping in the city.
He said he has seen people from Homestead and the Redland come to Florida City to dump their garbage and industrial waste instead of properly disposing of it. The mayor asked police to be aware of the problem and to reprimand offenders.
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