VENICE — The parties whose efforts last year to rezone hundreds of acres in North Venice were rejected will learn Tuesday whether the third time is the charm.

The City Council spent hours discussing whether to rezone the proposed Villa Paradiso planned unit development, and The Bridges, a proposed commercial mixed-use development, into GCCF PUD, a single residential development.

The necessary ordinance had been approved on first reading 5-1. Then-Mayor John Holic voted against it and Council Member Chuck Newsom was absent.

But when it came back for final reading the vote was 3-3. Holic still voted against it but he was joined by Council Member Jeanette Gates.

Having viewed the video of the meeting, Newsom was allowed to vote even though he’d been absent. He opposed it too.

Council Member Mitzie Fiedler voted “yes” on first reading but was absent for the second. The tie vote meant the motion failed.

Ordinarily under the city code that would mean a rezoning of the property couldn’t come back before the Council for a year. But when Fiedler inquired at a later meeting whether, having been absent, she could move to rescind the vote, the city clerk and the city attorney said she could.

So she did, saying the proposed rezoning deserved to be considered by the full Council.

Her motion was immediately rejected by Holic, who ruled it out of order.

Robert’s Rules of Order says a member can move to rescind regardless of how he or she voted on the matter to be rescinded.

Because Fiedler hadn’t voted, she couldn’t move to rescind the vote, he said. And in addition, he said, a vote to rescind is appropriate when a motion has passed. The action Fiedler sought to overturn was a failed motion.

Fiedler moved to challenge his ruling but it died for lack of a second.

She also moved to reconsider it but he disallowed the motion.

Rather than take the rejection to court, the parties sought mediation under the Florida Land Use and Environmental Dispute Resolution Act. No session has been held yet.

Council Member Joe Neunder asked at the Jan 14 meeting whether it would be possible to vote again on rescinding the 3-3 vote. Told that it would, he asked it be put on Tuesday’s agenda.

If the vote is rescinded, the rezoning itself will be on the agenda of a later meeting.

The Council meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers at Venice City Hall, 401 W. Venice Ave.

The complete agenda, with backup materials, is at under the “Meetings” tab. You can also stream the meeting there.


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