UPDATE: Permitting issues could sink Bob's Boathouse


UPDATE: Permitting issues could sink Bob's Boathouse


Date: January 31, 2014
by: Alex Mahadevan | Digital Content Producer



This article was updated at 9:30 a.m. Saturday to include a list of items necessary for Bob's Boathouse to attain a certificate of occupancy, and notice of violation Sarasota County issued for operating without a certificate of occupancy.

Sarasota County officials have started Bob's Boathouse on a bureaucratic course that could lead to it pulling up its anchor.

County staff denied the request for an extension of the restaurant's temporary certificate of occupancy (TCO) Jan. 30, according to a letter from Sarasota County Building Official Greg Yantorno. The TCO, which the county had extended three times previously, expired at 12 a.m. Friday, said Tom Polk, director of planning and development services for Sarasota County.

The county will issue a notice of violation by 5 p.m. today giving Bob's Boathouse 20 days to correct a checklist of items in order to attain a certificate of occupancy. Those items include the planting of shoreline flora buffering and removal of invasive species, stormwater maintenance and the completion of a lighting plan, among others. (Click here for the full list of conditions necessary for Bob's Boathouse to obtain a certificate of occupancy.)

"We're preparing that as we speak," Polk said.

If the restaurant fails to satisfy the list included with the notice by Feb. 21, the county will issue an affidavit of violation and the case will be referred to the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate, with the possibility of a closure coming after a ruling, Polk said.

The county has issued 65 TCOs in the last three years, and Polk told commissioners considered that program as a whole to be a success, though the process does need changes.

Code Enforcement has cited Bob's Boathouse with two notices of violations since it opened last fall.

At a Dec. 11 County Commission meeting, Commissioner Christine Robinson moved to assign staff to review the TCO process, which was approved unanimously.

Bob's Boathouse had made some progress working with staff to complete the items cited in the original TCO.

"In good faith, the county's been working with them for completion of this final checklist and it just hasn't been completed," Polk said. 

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