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Published: Apr 26, 2023
Updated: May 24, 2023
The County Commission meeting began at 5:03 PM, with Commissioners from Districts 1 through 5 in attendance. The Board of County Commissioners acts as a quasi-judicial body when addressing rezoning and Conditional Use Permit requests. Both applicants and opponents must provide evidence or expert testimony to support their stance, and the Board must decide whether the request aligns with the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance.
The Commissioners are required to disclose any communication they've had regarding a request, as well as any site visits, inspections, or investigations conducted prior to the meeting. Applicants are allowed 15 minutes to present their case, with the option to reserve a portion for rebuttal. Other speakers are given five minutes to speak, and they cannot transfer their time to another person.
The County Commission approved the temporary site plan (23SP00006) for Space Coast Daily Park Fairgrounds, submitted by applicant Giles Malone. The associated waivers were also approved, subject to conditions for issuing Special Event Permits and adherence to Chapter 10, Article II, of Brevard County Code of Ordinances. The motion was proposed by Commissioner Kristine Zonka and seconded by Commissioner John Tobia. The County Commission's approval of the temporary site plan for Space Coast Daily Park Fairgrounds and the associated waivers was proposed by Commissioner Kristine Zonka and seconded by Commissioner John Tobia. The motion was approved.
Commissioner Zonka disclosed she had made a phone call today at roughly 3:00 P.M. to the applicant, Jason Steele; she just had a question about the number of units; she just wanted to confirm, and the phone call lasted just a minute. She advised everything else she has submitted.
Lori Ann Halbert requested a zoning classification change from RU-1-13 to RU-2-15 for a property in District 5. After hearing from the applicant, Jason Steele, and several concerned residents, the Board approved the zoning change. Commissioner Kristine Zonka proposed the approval, and Commissioner John Tobia seconded it. The decision was made with the understanding that the property would have a maximum of eight units, would not exceed a height of 35 feet, and would be consistent with the Future Land Use Plan.
At a County Commission meeting, Brian and Dana Scholz requested a change of zoning classification from AU to RR-1 for a 3.91-acre parcel located in District 1. The rezoning request was presented by Stuart Buchanan, who mentioned that although the requested zoning is RR-1, the actual lots would be 1.3 acres each. He also highlighted that the Future Land Use has been RES-1 since 1989, and approving this rezoning would make it difficult for quarter-acre lots to expand further into the neighborhood. After discussing details such as sewer or water availability and plans for subdivision, the Board approved the request with a unanimous vote.
During the County Commission meeting, Norman Leigh Sherman Jr. and Karen Denise Turowski requested a Small Scale Comprehensive Plan Amendment (22S.18) to change the Future Land Use designation from Agricultural to RES-1. Jeffrey Ball, Planning and Zoning Manager, provided details on the application and tax account number, and mentioned the property was located in District 1. Chair Pritchett suggested tabling the request until a better description of the property could be obtained, and the Board unanimously approved the continuation of the request.
Represented by Richard Bartley Spangler, during a County Commission meeting, Jerry W. Solomon and Violet Shirley Solomon Revocable Trust requested a change of zoning classification from BU-1 to BU-2.
Jeffrey Ball, Planning and Zoning Manager, presented the application details and mentioned that the Planning and Zoning Board recommended approval for all BU-1 uses and the use of recreational vehicle (RV) and boat storage only.
Chair Pritchett expressed comfort with the request as long as the Binding Development Plan (BDP) is acceptable. The Board unanimously approved the zoning classification change with a BDP limiting it to BU-1 uses and use of RV and boat storage only.
During the County Commission meeting, Edita Realty requested a change of zoning classification from BU-1 to RU-2-10. Jeffrey Ball, Planning and Zoning Manager presented the application details. A local resident, Julie Benson, expressed concerns about the potential impact of the development on traffic and safety in the area. Chair Pritchett argued that the proposed zoning change would reduce density compared to the current commercial zoning, making it a better fit for the neighboring residential area. After discussing the concerns raised, the Board approved the request to change the zoning classification from BU-1 to RU-2-10.
During the public comments section of the County Commission meeting, local residents Jalaine Spears and Mike Dillon expressed their concerns about the zoning change from BU-1 to RU-2-10. Spears highlighted the small size of the lots and potential traffic and sewage issues, while Dillon worried about the loss of property value and increased crime. Both residents felt that the Board was not taking their concerns seriously. Commissioners responded to these concerns, emphasizing that property rights need to be respected and that the zoning change is more compatible with the neighborhood than the current commercial zoning. Chair Pritchett reiterated that the decision to approve the zoning change was not taken lightly and was made to ensure the least amount of harm to the community.
Residents express concerns over RU-1-7 residential zoning in Port St. John Residents of Port St. John, Florida, expressed their concerns about the proposed RU-1-7 residential zoning at a meeting in February. One resident, Jalaine Spears, lives near Manth Street and believes that the lots are too small for multi-family homes. She believes that there will be no space for children to play in the backyard, and the tenants' cars will take up all the parking space. Spears mentioned that there are no multi-family homes in the area and that the board has no idea what it is doing to the neighborhood.
Another resident, Mike Dillon, expressed his concern that the proposed zoning will devalue his property and increase crime in the area. He believes that the only people who will benefit from the new zoning are the builders and that the proposed tiny houses will not fit in with the rest of the single-family homes in the area. Dillon believes that if anything is done on those lots, it either needs to be one house per lot or make it commercial.
Commissioner Tobia asked Dillon if he consulted a real estate appraiser, and Dillon responded that he had not. Commissioner Zonka noted that the proposed residential zoning is more compatible with the neighborhood, and that Dillon's concerns about crime and devaluation were unfounded.
Chair Pritchett also believed that the proposed residential zoning was better for the neighborhood, as it could have been any large business instead. She hopes that residents will become comfortable with the proposed zoning and have wonderful neighbors.
Overall, residents expressed their concerns about the proposed RU-1-7 residential zoning, citing issues with small lot sizes, lack of parking space, and potential devaluation of their properties. However, some board members and residents believe that the proposed residential zoning is more compatible with the neighborhood than a large commercial business.
During the County Commission meeting, Chair Pritchett and County Manager Frank Abbate discussed the proposed Bluefin Energy Storage project by Malta Inc.
The project would involve utilizing the property owned by Orlando Utility Company (OUC) for long-duration energy storage using solar, wind, or natural gas power sources. The facility would create about 250 high-paying jobs during construction and 50 jobs for ongoing maintenance.
Chair Pritchett expressed her support for the project, highlighting that it would help revitalize an underutilized area. The Board approved and authorized the Chair to sign a letter addressed to Benjamin Bollinger, PhD, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives with Malta Inc., expressing their support for the Bluefin Energy Storage project.
The motion was approved unanimously by the commissioners. However, it appeared that the Brevard County Commissioners discussed two different topics in this meeting. The first topic was a proposal by Malta Inc. to build an energy storage project in the area, which the Board of County Commissioners supported. The second topic was about the Brevard Zoo's policy on event rentals and whether or not political events should be allowed.
Commissioner Tobia suggested that if the zoo receives tax dollars from the government, they should not prohibit political figures from renting their spaces, as long as they remain content neutral.
The other commissioners had varying opinions on the matter, with some wanting to wait and see what the zoo board decides and others wanting to ensure that all entities that receive government funds do not discriminate based on political views.
Additionally, Commissioner Tobia expressed his disapproval of the Port Commissioners' decision to give Captain Murray a $51,000 annual raise, bringing his salary to $561,000, which he deemed ridiculous.
Present were Commissioner District 1 Rita Pritchett, Commissioner District 2 Tom Goodson, Commissioner District 3 John Tobia, Commissioner District 4 Rob Feltner, and Commissioner District 5 Kristine Zonka. Upon consensus of the Board, the meeting adjourned at 6:01p.m. 
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