The Longboat Key Code Enforcement Board fined Robert G. Smith $4,000, or $500 per day for eight days for being a repeat offender of a town code that does not allow weeds and grass to be in excess of 12 inches tall.
Smith was issued the fine Monday, Nov. 8, after he proceeded to call Code Enforcement Officers Ben Bailey and Heidi Micale; Town Manager Bruce St. Denis; Planning, Zoning and Building Director Monica Simpson; Key resident James Armstrong and his wife to the stand to dispute his case.
Smith, who says he has extensive code-enforcement experience in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, said the board does not have the right to issue a repeat violation and questioned how Bailey measured the grass and weeds on his property in the 600 block of St. Judes Drive.
Also at the meeting, assistant town attorney Kelly Martinson told the board her office recommends discontinuing the $110 per hour administrative fee cost the board has the authority to assess to code violators.
Armstrong, who is pursuing legal action against the town for assessing a lien against his property for not obtaining proper building permits, has also questioned the hourly charge for administrative fees.
Martinson, however, told the board its change of course on the fee is not an admission that what the town has been doing is incorrect.
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