BELLEAIR BEACH — Voters here agreed Tuesday to make it easier for property owners to apply for exceptions to the rules governing land development in the city.
About 61 percent, or 207 of the 341 votes cast, favored changing the Belleair Beach charter to allow requests for exceptions to be heard by a special magistrate.
Until the vote, requests for variances were heard by the Board of Adjustment, a seven-member group responsible for granting or denying variances to city land development codes as well as hearing appeals to administrative determinations concerning the land development codes. The members, who were appointed for three-year terms, met when necessary.
The problem, Belleair Beach officials said, is that the city had difficulty seating a voting quorum to hear these requests in a timely fashion. The election, which was done by mail, will allow a magistrate to hear the requests.
The change should make the process more efficient.