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Historic preservation is done deal in Belleair
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Supporters of the Belleview Biltmore Resort and Spa are delighted with passage of the town’s new historic preservation ordinance.
BELLEAIR – Town residents were clearly thankful, as they eagerly applauded after the town’s new historic preservation ordinance passed by unanimous vote at the Oct. 26 Town Commission meeting.

Mayor George Mariani Jr. was not in attendance.

The ordinance preserves all historic property more than 100 years old. Although Nancy Stroud, historic preservation lawyer for the town, was unable to attend the meeting, the second reading was completed without a glitch.

Town Manager Steve Cottrell complimented the historic preservation and planning and zoning boards for doing a good job and thanked the public for its input.

[Image]
Photo courtesy of www.SAVETHEBILTMORE.com
Features of the original lobby of the Belleview Biltmore are protected under provisions of the town’s historic preservation ordinance.
“I advise that those of you who are in favor of the hotel adjourn after this meeting and go have a cocktail,” Commissioner Stephen Fowler said, in reference to efforts to save the historic Belleview Biltmore.

“I think it is a wonderful ordinance,” said resident Laurie Adams.

Adams initiated the campaign to gather signatures to give the residents the authority to vote on zoning and land-use changes. She gathered 400 signatures and turned the petitions in to Town Clerk Donna Carlen at a recent meeting.

“We have no intention of changing the structure of the variances. The petition clearly states zoning and land use,” Adams said. “Whoever suggested that the variance procedure is intertwined with that, needs to read the petitions. If an area is designated residential and they want it to be designated multi-family land use, we want to make that decision.”

The petitions were verified by the county Supervisor of Elections. Town Attorney David Ottinger is reviewing them for legal sufficiency in all regards.

If all passes muster, a March referendum would be scheduled.
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