Sunday, July 11, 2004

At The LaBelle City Commission

by Donna Storter
LaBelle City Council Meeting July 8, 2004 The main agenda items were
the public hearings on four parcels being annexed into the city. They are
all between Live Oak Lane and Fort Denaud Road, owned by the Royal family,
deeded as Three R Company and LaBelle Land Company. Several adjoining
property owners appeared with questions concerning the zoning of the
parcels, and were assured that the annexation did not change the existing
zoning of the parcels, that any changes would require public notice and
meeting. Applicant Derrick Royal stated that no firm plans exist for the
properties but they were bought for investment. All four parcels were
approved for annexation. The neighbors were concerned that some type of
convenience store business would come in and destroy the neighborhood. The
Royals have the area Burger King franchise. The city adopted an amended
tree ordinance which will allow Public Utilities Director to make
determination of condition of tree to see if it qualifies for permitted
removal. The measuring of trees will now be from 4-1/2 inches from the
ground with caliper measurement at that point being 12 inches or less as
the maximum size a tree can be removed without a permit. It also included
the recommendation that live oaks be used as tree replacements (rather
than water oaks).
Discussion followed at length considering the request of a real estate
auction company's request to use the Civic Center for auction sale of
Gerber Groves. The unwritten city policy has been the building is not for
rent for any retail sales and only not-for-profit clubs or entities could
use it for sales events. Some concern was setting a precedent that would
invite other retail uses such as flea market. They decided they may need
to have their code review committee consider this issue. Finally it was
agreed to rent the building for the auction at the highest use rates.

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