Florida Keys News - Islamorada/KL Free Press
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Variance hearing on dock delayed

ISLAMORADA -- At the request of property owners Don and Shelley Byrne, the Village Council last week delayed a variance hearing for a 208-foot dock immediately to the south of the Founders Park beach.

"I believe we can make changes to this project that will eliminate most, if not all, of the objections of staff to this project," Nick Mulick, attorney for the Byrnes, told council members as the hearing was set to begin at the Aug. 7 council meeting.

The dock faced an uphill battle for approval. The Islamorada Planning Department had recommended that the council deny the variance. The town's parks committee also voted against it last month. And in 2010 the Village Council unanimously denied a long dock variance application put forward by the previous owner of the property.

No new date has been set for the hearing.

Qualifying period

ISLAMORADA -- The deadline for signing up to run in the November Village Council elections is noon Tuesday, Aug. 19.

Any registered voter who wants to be a candidate for one of the five council seats must submit paperwork to Village Hall and pay the $480 qualifying fee by that time. Individuals who pre-qualified to run by July 15 can submit 49 petitions from registered village voters in lieu of the payment.

Through Aug. 11, just two of the five council seats were set to be contested this year. Former State Attorney Dennis Ward planned to challenge two-term incumbent Dave Purdo for Seat 2 on the dais, while two-time former councilman Bob Johnson, hotelier Paul Bates and real estate agent Janet Wood planned to vie for the council's Seat 4, which Mayor Ted Blackburn is vacating.

Incumbents Deb Gillis, Ken Philipson and Mike Forster haven't drawn challengers.

Election day is Nov. 4.

Sanctuary meting

KEY LARGO -- The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary advisory council will meet from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19, at the Key Largo Hilton Resort, mile marker 97, bayside.

At 9:20 a.m., the Ecological Reserves, Preservation Areas and Wildlife Protection Working Group will report its recommendations. The advisory council will discuss the recommendations and potential actions at 10:45 a.m.

Following this discussion, Sanctuary Superintendent Sean Morton and Refuge Manager Nancy Finley will give a 1:30 p.m. briefing on the next steps in the development of a draft environment impact statement. At 2:45 p.m., state and federal agencies will provide updates to the council on their latest activities.

Public comment for agenda items will be taken prior to council action. Public comment for items not on the agenda will be available at 1:15 p.m.

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