Planning and Zoning Board Meeting
July 17, 2018

Tonight’s Planning and Zoning Board Meeting was my first and came out of it with some understanding of why the disconnect between the city and its residents have issues getting on the same page.

Understanding the members of the board, is the reflection of the disconnect between the residents and the City of Plantation. My impression of the Planning and Zoning Board is that, of the seven appointed members, the five that were present are or were developers themselves with no residential representation.

Totally agree that these boards need to have the most qualified individuals staffing them BUT when the residents themselves are not given any type of input, other than an open public question time, with no documentation of the project or issue provided to the public during the meeting, requiring the public to make extraordinary effort to be informed, it makes it difficult for the public to responsibly question any project or issue.

Agenda

Three items of substance were on the agenda.
  1. Burger King – Conditional Use, Site Plan, Elevations, and Landscape Plan
  2. Reasonable Accommodation City Ordinance
  3. Comprehensive Zoning Code Update

Burger King

The Planning and Zoning Board unanimously approved a new Burger King on the 900 block of North State Road 7. Although some debate did occur because three of the five board members felt the building was too bland using brown and beige colors as recommended by the city staff and thought better to recommend red be added to the building.

The new fast food, two-lane drive through Burger King will now be forwarded for consideration at a future City Council meeting.

Reasonable Accommodation City Ordinance

From all the residential upheaval over this issue, was surprised to see only one other person in the room other than the city employees and board members.

The Reasonable Accommodation Ordinance needed to have some verbiage modified, such as the definition of Community Residents. Bear with me, because my notes were taken quickly but, here is what I got:

  • Code already allows for three unrelated individuals to live together
  • Four or more unrelated individuals or Community Residents will trigger the requirements under the Reasonable Accommodation ordinance
  • Under the ordinance
    • Disclosure of modifications to the building required annually
    • Building and Fire Inspections required annually for approval and renewal
    • Medical records may be required to be submitted for Community Residents
    • Reasonable Accommodation Permits must be spaced 660 feet.
    • Less than six Community Residents will trigger the regular process for approval (including all above)
    • Seven or more Community Residents will need a Special Magistrate Approval
    • Annual Inspection for renewal

Through the process any city department will be able to deny the permit and ability to appeal the denial within ten days.

I’m sure there was more but have to say that a couple of suggestions that were offered by board members reflected that this was a personal issue:

  • Space between permits moved up to one mile from 660 feet
  • Require a Licensed Monitor Community Resident residing at all times
  • Three strike rule – if there are three Police Responses permit revoked
  • No Variances to the ordinances

There was a three for and two against vote.

Comprehensive Zoning Code Update

Danny Holmes, Director of the Department of Planning, Zoning and Economic Development, has been tasked with rewriting the Comprehensive Zoning Code. He reviewed the first couple of chapters with the board and some good debate entailed and this is really where the thought of not having a resident on this board is detrimental to the residents.

The topic of residential notification of new development was brought up. City of Plantation code presently requires a 300 foot notification buffer. A board member volunteered that other cities have a maximum of 1,000 and 500 feet requirements, but no more than 1,000.

They also brought up notification signage. This issue was not popular with the members. The Wood Stone 311 North State Road 7 project had one sign in the middle of the property facing SR7. Had driven by that property a number of times but never saw the sign except, when I actually walked the property after the project had already been approved. This sign was adjacent to a bus stop structure and trees.

Don’t understand why two signs on either edge of the property was not required.

Mr. Holmes was shooting for a September date to have the Comprehensive Zoning Code Update complete but after discussion about the budget time frame it is looking like an October City Council date for completion.

Mr. Holmes did mention that he wanted to complete the project before the election. Not having to get newly elected members of the city council having to bring them up to speed continuing to delay the update.