CLEWISTON — A public hearing was conducted for the final reading of a zoning and land use change request from Mineshkumar B. Patel for the property located at 815 E. Sagamore Ave. at Monday’s Clewiston City Commission meeting. No one from the public asked to be heard, and the commisioners voted unanimously to accept the staff’s recommendation and rezone the property.
The applicant, Mr. Patel, voluntarily requested a zoning land use change from RM-1 to U.S. 27 Corridor Commercial District. He is seeking to redevelop his hotel. Clewiston’s Code Enforcement Officer Debbie McNeil stated: “There are absolutely code enforcement issues with this property. The owner is understanding that if he does not … bring the property into compliance with our rules and regulations that he has a lot of work to do with what’s currently there. And so that’s why he is seeking to do something else with the property.”
One part of the hotel, which consists of small cottages that Mayor Mali Gardner said were built in the 1940s, sits in an RM-1 area, the zoning for mobile homes. Ms. McNeil expressed that the cottages have deteriorated and that in order to redevelop the hotel, owner/applicant Mr. Patel needed to rezone the RM-1 parcel to commercial.
Clewiston’s Community Development Director Travis Reese emphasized that the motion to grant rezoning “brings the hotel into zoning compliance and makes it more developable.” The code enforcement issues will be followed up on and go before the magistrate, if necessary.
On another matter, a Transportation Off System Post Project Maintenance Agreement between Florida’s Department of Transportation and the City of Clewiston, regarding post-project maintenance and improvements on the sidewalk to be constructed by FDOT on the south side of Ventura Avenue from Lopez Street to Berner Road, was unanimously passed. This is a guarantee that the city will maintain the sidewalks after the project’s completion.
Clewiston Public Works Director Sean Scheffler said, “The state has had this project on the books for four years; it’s a five-foot walkway, and once finished it’s turned over to the city.” City Manager Al Perry added that “it should not be an issue with city traffic circulation.”
Also, a final payment of $12,469.95 to Edgewood Landscape for the U.S. 27 Highway Beautification Project phase one was unanimously approved. Lynne Mila, the city compliance manager, said the city has received a $30,000 grant to continue with the revitalization plan, and the cycle closes in October with 35 more trees to be planted. City Commissioner Julio Rodriguez half-jokingly shared his disappointment that no royal palm trees were planted in front of his business.
The city budget workshop was rescheduled to 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13.
Clewiston City Commission meetings take place the first and third Monday of every month. The meetings are now live-streamed and recorded, and can be seen via the City of Clewiston’s Facebook page.