Myerside Decision Delayed Until May Meeting


At the request of the owners of Myerside resort, a vote by the town council to approve or deny a zone change from Residential Conservation to Commercial Planned Development has been pushed back to May 3rd.

Beverly Milligan and her husband Rolland would like to add two additional cottages, a restaurant that serves beer and wine, and a boutique store for guests was delayed two weeks. Their request would require the zone change. The issue was discussed by the council for over 6 hours earlier this month with the town staff recommending the zone change be denied.

Community development Director Jason Green says the zone change from Residential Conservation to Commercial Planned Development is not consistent with the town’s Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code.

Town staff then created 31 conditions for the council to consider if they were going to grant the zone change. It appeared the council was leaning toward granting the zone change to Myerside so the council went through and discussed all 31 conditions put forth by staff. Some conditions were left in, some were kicked out, others were combined.

One example of a condition was for the owners of Myerside to “design, permit and construct a town approved sidewalk on School street. Another was a report for a professional arborist to submit a report to the town identifying trees to be installed. And yet another was for the owners to provide a public plaza with “appropriate community engagement features” along Estero Boulevard.

Town staff also wanted Myerside to certify its stormwater management systems every five years, something council members admitted has not been asked of any other business owner on the beach. That condition was deleted.

The final condition was a $500 per day fine of Myerside failed to comply with any of the conditions Town Manager Roger Hernstadt’s staff was trying to impose on the owners. Vice mayor Rexann Hosafros said “starting out at $500 per day is mean and stupid. This is complicated enough.” Hosafros said fines should be handled by the town magistrate. That condition was also deleted.

Along the way, according to attorney Beverly Grady and engineer Patrick Vanasse, who are representing the owners of Myerside, the town staff refused to cooperate with their clients. Meetings promised were never set up and e-mails asking for information were never returned. The town council didn’t inquire why their staff didn’t respond to the Myerside team. However the Town Manager was reprimanded by several council members after the meeting for the town’s lack of communication with the applicants.

Because the town staff has been trying to convince the council to reject the Myerside plan by imposing 31 conditions, owner Beverly and Rolland originally requested a two week delay to review whether or not they’d be able to operate the business at a profit with all the additional expenses they will face from the town’s conditions. This latest delay was requested so they had time to review the town’s updated changes. The changes were completed and presented to them just a few days ago.

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