MURDOCK — After witnessing a long line of complaining neighbors, a roofing company withdrew its request to rezone its property on Acline Avenue and U.S. 41 in Punta Gorda.
Charlotte County commissioners were divided 2-2 this week, on whether to grant the applicant, Kuykendall Roofing, Inc. an extension to give them time to communicate better with oppositional neighbors. With Commissioner Stephen R. Deutsch absent, the tie vote caused the motion to continue to fail.
“At this time, we withdraw the application,” the company’s lawyer, Geri Waksler, told the board.
Kuykendall, which uses the property for office space and to park vehicles, has been seeking a zone change from commercial tourist to commercial general. The reason it needs a change is that the company discovered after buying the residential property that it was not permitted to park commercial vehicles overnight on site, and it was not permitted to use it as a storage area, planning staff have said. By switching to commercial general, it can apply for a special permit for the storage area.
But in the past year or so, however, neighbors said they have been subjected to early morning noise and banter and too much activity on site.
Waksler said residents knew they were buying homes next to a commercial district, and that any drop in value has already happened due to existing zoning. Cement and concrete operations are located across U.S. 41.
“Are you an expert in valuation?” Commissioner Joe Tiseo asked Waksler, to which she answered no.
Residents described the current situation.
“At 6:30 in the morning, when they go to pick up the trucks, you can hear the cursing,” said Seminole Lakes subdivision resident Joseph Ring.
Thirteen residents spoke against the project.
One woman, Lisa Johnson, spoke in support of the company. She said she has known the business for many years and helped them field emergency calls for assistance after the last hurricane.
“All of these same people who don’t want them there, a lot were the ones who called the office wanting someone to look at their roof immediately,” she said.
Commissioner Christopher Constance said he was reluctant to accommodate the company if they failed to realize that the zoning restrictions.
“I guess I’m sorry they didn’t realize the difference between CT and CG,” Constance said.