BRADENTON -- At Thursday's Land Use meeting, during citizen's comments, Linda Byars addressed the commission with a problem that doesn't occur frequently; she found out that she is a one-lot subdivision. County says, "We'll fix that."
Byars bought her 4.4 acres off 69th Street East many years ago, and in 1997 sold a one-acre lot to her sister. Years later, Byars sold another lot to another relative. Partitioning her property resulted in the county deeming her remaining 2.4-acre lot a "subdivision."
An adopted 1981 Manatee County Land Development Code states: any property divided more than once (creating three properties) within the boundaries of the said property and regulations, is a subdivided property.
For Byars to exercise any action to her remaining 2.4 acre lot, she would have to do so under the pretense that her said property is in fact its own subdivision, and would be required to pay the county a $10,000 fee prior to doing the work.
Leo Mills of Leo Mills & Associates, INC. spoke on behalf of Byars. Mills said, "A one lot subdivision, is an oxymoron." Mills added that he occasionally sees this predicament and believes the county should correct the part that penalizes small property owners who invite relatives or friends to share their property.
Manatee Planning Division Manager Bob Schmitt agreed.
"Yes I believe a one lot subdivision is an oxymoron," said Schmitt, "and we have started to do something about it, on and off, for years." Schmitt said there will be action on this within the next two months, and that this problem has also been cited in the recent review of the Land Development Code (LDC).
Currently, the county is holding a series of workshops on a proposed overhaul of its LDC. This is a prime example of what one of these changes might accomplish, yet those who are opposed to the present lavish rebuild of the LDC argue that these issues are handled easily enough through a special request and don't justify a complete overhaul.