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Hearing Examiner to make determination in case as to BGHPB ruling in 161 Gilchrist case 

August 31, 2023
By Marcy Shortuse
The proposal submitted by the property owner at 161/181 Gilchrist Ave. to the Boca Grande Historic Preservation Board earlier this year, one that was rejected by the Board, will be heard by the Lee County Hearing Examiner’s Office in September. The reason for the hearing, called for by the property owner, 161 Gilchrist, LLC on May 5, is to challenge the rejection based on the allegations that the Board failed to apply the correct law to the matter and did not provide “competent, substantial evidence” to support the denial. On May 17 the Hearing Examiner accepted the appeal and requested the county attorney to prepare a written submittal to explain why the request was or was not valid. There were several reasons cited by the property owner’s attorney to argue the local board’s decision, most of which the Hearing Examiner said were irrelevant or outside their authority. However, they did say, “the only remaining issue raised in the Notice of Appeal for which the HEX does have authority is the question of whether there is competent substantial evidence on the record to support the denial, and any hearing on this matter should be limited as such.”

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