PALMETTO -- An Oct. 3 deadline for eight Snead Island residents in the neighborhood of Amberwynd Circle to resolve code violations has been extended to Oct. 25.
According to Manatee County code enforcement supervisor Jeff Bowman, all eight homeowners are "working toward compliance. We'll have another inspection Oct. 26, but all eight homeowners are working with contractors. They have all been very cooperative and it's working out pretty good so far."
Violations include three illegal boardwalks, three illegal walkways constructed of shell rock or brick pavers, an illegal concrete sidewalk and an illegal fence.
All structures were built in a conservation easement between the homes and the mangrove-lined shoreline of Terra Ceia Bay.
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Boardwalks from homes
to private docks are allowed, according to code, but must be built at least 3 feet above the ground to allow sunlight to the grass and for natural water flow.
Most homeowners purchased their properties with the illegal structures intact after the homeowners association gave permission.
The homeowners were drawn into a neighborhood feud fueled by a neighbor who complained a 3-year-old girl's swing set was in his view to the bay.
The question arose why the county was targeting a swing set when other structures had been in the easement for years. Code enforcement went back to the neighborhood in spring 2014.
The structures were issued violations, which the county dismissed after a county official approved a HOA-sponsored remediation plan, which called for planting native vegetation along the illegal structures. The only structure still in violation was the swing set after the remediation plan was approved.
John Barnot, director of building and development services, learned of the situation when contacted by the Bradenton Herald and said the remediation plan should have never been approved.
He said the letter of the law had not been followed and called the approved plan a miscommunication between staff and residents.
The structures were reinspected last month, and county inspectors issued a new set of violations.
Bowman said homeowners are working with contractors to resolve the violations as soon as possible.
Mark Young, Herald urban affairs reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041 or follow him on Twitter @urbanmark2014.