Malatesta wins reappointment to county’s Board of Zoning Appeals

Piatchuck also serving another term on board

Frank Malatesta. Image from his law firm website

As part of their approval of their Consent Agenda of routine business matters this week, the Sarasota County Commission unanimously reappointed Frank Malatesta to another three-year term on the county’s Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA).

That new term will be in effect through December 2024, a county staff memo said.

Although the seat was advertised on the county website, the memo added, Malatesta was the only person who applied for it.

As noted on the website, the Board of Zoning Appeals hears appeals regarding interpretation or administration of the county’s zoning regulations, as well as issues related to zoning variances.

To serve on the board, a person must have been a county resident for at least two years, the website adds. Each member of the BZA also must file a financial disclosure form.

The Board of Zoning Appeals webpage shows that Malatesta has been serving as vice chair this year.

On Oct. 12, the commissioners also unanimously reappointed James Piatchuk to the BZA. His new term is in effect through Oct. 31, 2024.

Like Malatesta, Piatchuk was the only person to apply for the seat, a county document showed.

That action, too, came in the form of commission approval of the Consent Agenda.

Malatesta is a Venice resident, his application said; Piatchuk lives in Sarasota.

An attorney, Malatesta pointed out that he had been on the BZA for the past eight years. In response to the application question about why he wanted to continue that service, he wrote, “I believe that protecting [landowners’] property rights, particularly the opportunity to enjoy their property, is of the utmost importance. It is a fundamental right founded in the Declaration of Independence. Serving upon the Board is an opportunity to ensure that local community members are protected. I would like to continue serving one final term.”

James Piatchuk. Image from his LinkedIn account

Malatesta also noted that he is a labor and employment attorney, though he added, “I do handle some construction defect or related breach of contract claims, but I don’t deal in zoning issues. I am the only non-industry member of the [BZA]. I see this as an opportunity to provide a different opinion and don’t see the issues from the same industry angle.”

Piatchuk pointed out in his application that he has his own firm, Piatchuk Architecture LLC.

He added, “I am a Sarasota native, have lived here almost all of my life, and have family history here going back to the early 1950s. I earned my Bachelor of Design degree (which included overseas studies) with a Minor in Business Administration and professional Master of Architecture degree from the University of Florida. I am a Florida licensed architect with my own local firm, and have worked in the profession locally for 23+ years. It’s important that a member [on the BZA has] an understanding and appreciation of the area’s history and context.”

Attendance records for the Board of Zoning Appeals from February 2019 through September of this year show that both Malatesta and Piatchuk were present at all of the meetings.

These are the Board of Zoning Appeals attendance records for the past couple of years. Image courtesy Sarasota County