By REID TUCKER
The DeFuniak Springs City Council took a first look Monday, Feb. 11 at the draft version of new zoning rules that deal specifically with the implementation of temporary land use permits.
The new zoning appendix, at least as it exists in draft form, aims to more effectively manage seasonal or temporary commercial activities not provided for according to the land use of the district where the activity is located, while also enabling thorough administrative review of these special land uses. The proposed zoning appendix applies to, but is not limited to, seasonal sales of agricultural products, sales of new or used cars, clothing, shoes or other tangible goods, low speed vehicle rentals and fundraisers, though this does not apply to local businesses, governmental agencies and non-profits. Such temporary land uses are limited to two-week durations unless otherwise approved by the City Council, and several other requirements are called for as well, among them a detailed site plan, adequate parking space, notarized authorization from the property holder, and a promise of debris removal.
The Council will hear the first reading of the finalized document at the next regularly scheduled meeting, set for Feb. 25.
Other items on the brief agenda at the Feb. 11 meeting included unanimous authorization from the Council for two Public Works Department projects. First was a $55,990 contract awarded to Gum Creek Farms, Inc. for the construction of a four-log removal system, a high-level disinfection process required by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, at the city’s #2 well. The city received two other bids for the project, but the Gum Creek Farms bid was far and away the cheapest, as the other two came in at $66,218 and $96,500, respectively.
The second Public Works project involved the clear-cutting and chipping of trees south and west of the DeFuniak Springs Municipal Airport’s main runway. The 41.4 acres included in the project were purchased through city funds and grants for the runway expansion project and the realignment of Gene Hurley Road. The Council voted 5-0 to award the contract to Register’s Enterprises.
In other airport-related news, the Council voted 5-0 to hire Ryan Adams for the airport services supervisor position, which had been vacant since last August. Adams, who started at his new position effectively immediately, was one of seven applicants to have applied for the job, which was filled internally via promotion.
The Council members also unanimously agreed to convene in a special meeting for the purpose of conducting interviews between the two finalists among applicants to be the city’s agent of record for medical insurance. The two finalists competing for the position are Steadfast Employee Benefits/Corporate Benefits, of DeFuniak Springs, and Barnes Insurance and Financial Services, of Pensacola. The meeting will be held Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. in the Council chambers at City Hall.