Public Hearing 2 of 4 – P&Z LPA Advisory Committee Outcome
LPA Advisory Committee Meeting: November 23
The Local Planning Agency (LPA) is a volunteer, unpaid member board appointed by the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). The LPA serves as the recommending body for the Board of County Commissioners in matters concerning comprehensive planning, zoning and land development matters. The LPA meets once per month, usually on the third Monday of the month except in June and December.
On November 23, 2020 at 3pm, the Local Planning Agency Advisory Board met to review 5 agenda items. The Vacation Rental rezoning was agenda item H.5.
The Board Chair, Mark Wadsworth, appointed by District 4 Commissioner Curt Smith, at 5:30 into the video, described the nearly 1,000 public comments in the meeting packet as “repetitious.” He requested the approximately 40 concerned residents in attendance to step outside and select a spokesperson to speak for 3 minutes, rather than allow each resident an opportunity to speak for 3 minutes on the record.
The crowd of concerned residents, many of whom had driven nearly an hour to attend the 3pm meeting held inside during a global pandemic, declined his request to condense the public comments of all in attendance to just 3 minutes. It is the right of the public to each speak for 3 minutes on the record for all Public Hearings.
After hearing nearly an hour of Public Comments from at least 18 concerned Brevard County residents, the LPA Board decided 4-3 to NOT recommend the proposed zoning changes to our County Commissioners.
You can watch a recording of the meeting here on YouTube. The video will start approximately 31 minutes into the meeting, at the start of the Vacation Rental rezoning agenda item.
Members who voted in favor of allowing our County Commissioners to change our zoning:
- Mark Wadsworth, Chair, appointed by Curt Smith – Asked approximately 40 concerned residents in attendance to elect a single “spokesperson.” Residents declined this blatant attempt to silence their concerns. Many times during the meeting asked the general public to remain quiet. Conducted the final vote in a very confusing and irregular manner, causing confusion among the Board and the public.
- Joe Buchanan, appointed by Curt Smith – Said he studied the public’s objections in depth. He said nothing is being changed in the zoning ordinance, which is simply untrue. He said there is nothing harmful occurring and no intent to take away individual rights, but then ignored the response when County staff corrected him to say that no new regulations or ordinances can be added to protect the rights of residents and communities. It is the opinion of No Daily Rentals that his comments were an incredibly inaccurate interpretation of the issue and the subsequent consequences that will occur by changing our current zoning code. It is difficult to believe someone with so little understanding of this proposed zoning change is part of an advisory board on this issue.
- Ben Glover, appointed by John Tobia – It was expected that John Tobia’s lone representative would vote in favor of John Tobia’s proposed zoning changes. Mr Glover asked only for clarification whether this zoning change would affect municipalities. It is worth noting that the traffic, crime and documented effects of legalizing daily rentals will indeed affect municipalities – as many unincorporated areas of our county are embedded on all sides within municipal areas. Crime and traffic do not follow city boundaries. If crime, traffic, beach destruction and long-term rents increase in our county as they have in other areas of Florida due to short-term rentals, we will all be affected by this zoning change, whether we live in an incorporated city or the unincorporated County.
We wish to thank Peter Filiberto, Ron Barchter, Brian Hodgers and Harry Carswell who made the logical choice to not recommend a proposed zoning change that has not been properly researched or evaluated and would have devastating effects on our county and communities. We particularly appreciate the commentary of Ron Barchter and Brian Hodgers, who eloquently explained the significance and repercussions of this proposed zoning change.
You can find the names of the LPA Board members here.
The Commissioners will now meet on Tuesday, December 8 @5pm to review and vote on this Vacation Rental rezoning item.
Previously our Commissioners have voted 4-1 IN FAVOR of this zoning change. The vote on December 8 will decide the fate of vacation rental zoning in our neighborhoods!
We hope EVERYONE is able to join us on December 8 at 5pm to speak directly to our Commissioners before they VOTE!!!
LPA 11/23 Meeting Packet: