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Later, Aker indicated that Jim Dierolf, envi- ronmental supervisor in the Conservation & Environmental Permitting Office, had not clearly delineated all the invasive and exotic species that had to be removed from the water- course buffer or adequately provided details about the number of plants that needed to be added to the buffer landscaping. County records shows the plans for the landscaping received staff approval on Aug. 10, 2010. The installation of all the watercourse buf- fer plantings was to have been completed by June 19, but Dierolf testified that it was not finished until July 24. "We put 1,000 plants in that watercourse buf- fer," Seery said. "We had to add 70 more" at Dierolf's request. "It's possible there was a misunderstanding," Dierolf told Wittmer, referring to a June 8 meeting he had with Seery and the landscape architect for Bob's Boathouse. The punch list item given the longest period for completion after March 21 — 120 days — was the installation of the lighting according to the county-approved plan. At one point, Wittmer asked Bailey whether he believed the county was at fault for the delay, as Aker had indicated. Bailey said Bob's Boathouse "should have been able to meet [the July 19 deadline]." When Aker asked Bailey whether he had any idea how much the poles and fixtures cost, Wittmer told Aker, "You knew this going forward. Let's not go down the road of the finances." "We did not know that, your honor," Aker responded, "not until the lighting plan was submitted," which was provided to the county on May 20, testimony indicated. IN CONCLUSION After Aker completed his closing remarks, Wittmer reminded everyone that Bob's Boathouse has been operating without a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy since the end of January. She continued, "I dis- tinctly remember us all sitting at this table and discussing each and every deadline" at the conclusion of the March 21 hearing. She reminded Aker that Seery agreed then that he felt the business could comply with them. "And I said to everyone that day that I was going to hold firm on those dates." When Aker started to interrupt her, Wittmer told him, "I'm not asking for your comment. Now it's my turn to talk." When Aker asked whether she would rule on "whether there was a good faith effort to bring the property into compliance," she replied, "I am ruling that a penalty has occurred and a fine is in order at this time," adding that viola- tions are "still occurring on the property." Then Wittmer proceeded to impose the $250 fine and individual penalties. She said Aker would have the opportunity on Oct. 10 to explain any further delays regarding the installation of the lighting and the submis- sion of the engineering schematics. "The ultimate goal here is to achieve a Certificate of [Occupancy]," she pointed out. % Sarasota News Leader August 1, 2014 Page 64

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