Friday, November 13, 2015

Hey Bobblehead...It Doesn't Get Clearer Than This

Here we are again, seems almost like yesterday we were in the middle of a comprehensive plan discussion with little or NO comprehension from the City. Remember the Manna Food proposal for construction of their new facility on the old Escambia School District site?

Time to whip out the actual City of Pensacola Code:

Sec 12-1-6 Nonconforming Lots Structure and Uses

(D)Nonconforming uses of land and structures. Where a legal use of land exists that would not be permitted under the terms of this title, as enacted or amended, such use shall be declared a nonconforming use and may be continued subject to the following provisions:
Extension of nonconforming use. No such nonconforming use may be extended to occupy any greater area of land or extended to occupy any land outside any buildings on the same parcel.

Time to whip out some case law:

455 So.2d 642
District Court of Appeal of Florida,
Second District.
Elisa INNOCENTI, Appellee.
No. 83-2422.
Sept. 14, 1984.
Property owner denied building permit to add second story to his residence brought suit against city. The Circuit Court, Pinellas County, Allen C. Anderson, J., entered judgment granting relief requested, and city appealed. The District Court of Appeal, Lehan, J., held that where town's noncumulative zoning code prohibited an extension of an existing nonconforming use, owner of residence in area zoned commercial tourist facility was not entitled to add a second story to residence.

Reversed and remanded.

An extension of a nonconforming use, which the record shows would occur here if the second story were permitted, is not lawful. See Bixler v. Pierson, 188 So.2d 681 (Fla. 4th DCA 1966). As in Bixler, appellant's zoning code prohibits an extension of an existing nonconforming use.

If you peel back all the layers of why this tower is wrong, at the basis is the NON CONFORMING USE based on our comprehensive plan.

The Zoning is Conservation District.  That is it. It's just that simple!!

We have not one but two opinions from attorneys, one for DWR and the other our City Attorney.

Fleming Opinion


Both appear to be wrong!

So here we are again with a non conforming use being rebuilt.  THIS IS NOT ALLOWED.  There are no exceptions, there are no continuous use options, the old tower was torn down and NOTHING can be rebuilt. 

The statute is simple.

Only in Pensacola...Ridiculous!


Anonymous said...

Amen Maren! Divine Word was allowed to continue their non-conforming use with their non-conforming tower, and perform maintenance on that non-conforming tower as long as it maintained the same footprint. Divine Word destroyed their own tower without a permit, and rebuilt a new, larger tower, in a different location, with a much larger footprint, also without a permit. They also expanded their non-conforming use footprint by building an accessory building on the property, with no permit that was evidenced and reported to the City by their OWN consultant earlier this year, yet no code enforcement occurred. If he was a 'regular' citizen they would have sent the police to secure the city-owned property, canceled his GOB lease agreement for $600 a month (which is by no stretch of the imagination close to market lease value for 6.5 acres) and started code enforcement proceedings. Look at the Code Enforcement agendas and see all the people who get served for much more minor infractions and tell me that Divine Word is not benefitting from a very "un-transparent" relationship with someone powerful at City Hall.

Gene Church said...


I didn't know you had a law degree. The lease is valid. It certainly could have been challenged by the public in 2012, but it was not.

The tower is a nonconforming use, but size is not the issue. If the City had a height limit on towers of say, 150 feet (which it does not), and we had a 200 foot tower, then we could not add additional height to it, because it would increase the nonconformity. However, it is the existence of the tower, and not the height, that is the nonconforming use. While nonconforming, the use is compatible with the actual use.

Divine Word Communications cannot build 10 towers on the property, but it can, and did, maintain its nonconforming status on the property.

As to yesterday's questions, yes, I work 40 hours a week for no pay, because Catholic Radio has been a calling for me. My wife and I have personally contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Catholic Radio over the last 9 years.

Divine Word Radio will continue to own the tower, just as it is not selling four of its stations that it operates.

Yes, people knew we were going to lease the tower space, and there was no secret about it. And no, the City Council lacks authority to cancel the lease, except by eminent domain. As of yet, we are still losing money on the operation of the tower, but hope to bring in enough money in the future to subsidize the costs of Catholic Radio.

The tower is not a part of the sale of the stations.

The stations are being sold to Guadalupe Radio, making it the largest EWTN Catholic Radio affiliate in the U.S. They are being sold and transferred for less than their market value, so that Catholic Radio may continue to be broadcast on the stations.

Apparently you need the bobblehead to keep reassuring yourself.

Gene Church said...


You have the right to be wrong.

Anonymous said...

No, Maren doesn't have a law degree........ but she obviously knows more about the law than the city "attorney" who is trashing her own professional reputation with her embarrassingly unethical and false "legal opinions"

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work.

The tower is a non-conforming structure, ANY increase in size is an increase in non-conformity.

Any rebuild is not allowed.

In most municipalities, maintenance of non-conforming structures is not even allowed.

And the Hayward administration knew this when they (he, Reynolds, etc.) mislead Council into approving a new lease.

Anonymous said...

Gee, Gene Church, we didn't know that you had a law degree either! Of course, we didn't know that you had a contractor's license either but that has never prevented you from building things without a license or a permit. And what a wonderful interpretation of the law, to say that extension of a nonconforming tower only pertains to land area and not height. That's a good one! I hope you can find a judge to believe it.

But you can't blame Maren from wondering about the 40 hours of "volunteer" work that you put in every week without ever drawing a salary. After all, you did buy a SECOND home at the Portofino on Pensacola Beach for $636,000. Perhaps you just passed the collection plate a second time one Sunday to come up with the cash for that nice condo.

Gene Church said...

Anonymous, I see cowardice and malice is your form of art.

Oh, and yes, I do have a law degree. Anyone in particular that you think will be filing this legal action?

I give Maren some credit. She isn't a coward. She isn't hiding behind anonymous. She's wrong, but at least she is out front. Now she knows the facts, so I suspect, assuming that she isn't malicious, that she will stop the personal attacks. But then, I could be wrong.

Yes, I own a home at Portofino. No, it wasn't paid for with donor money. And yes, you are malicious.

And are you gutless enough to remain anonymous, where you can claim to be tough, and not face defamation?

Anonymous said...

I can understand someone owning a home. But when a man who sells religion as a business buys a luxury beachfront condominium for $636,000 is makes one wonder about all of that tax-exempt status. Was Portofino "calling you?"

Anonymous said...

I'd say Maren hit the nail on the head by looking into the financial side of this.

Gene Church said...


I get it. You are clueless.

I'm not "selling religion". I lived full time at Portofino for 9 years, with money that I earned (and, of course, the bank financing didn't hurt). I've been blessed to have the resources to do this, just as I have been blessed to have the resources to start Catholic Radio here in the Pensacola area and a few other places.

I have not been the only one. There have been others that have contributed, in large and small ways, to bring Catholic Radio here. It was important to me because hearing Catholic Radio played a part in bringing me back to the Faith.

Actually, Portofino called my wife in 2003.

Given that I don't pay myself to carry out this radio apostolate, is there a reason that it bothers you that I have earned funds over the years from the secular world?

Anonymous said...

The fact that you are making money by the bucket-load doesn't bother me. What bothers me is the WAY you earn money, which usually involves dishonesty. There's not a trick in the book that you won't pull, include greasing the palm of Ashton "I'm Not a Crook" Hayward.

Anonymous said...

Please do not plug my denomination while whining to invisible haters on a local political blog. Have some grace.

Anonymous said...

So what all radio stations are on this tower?