Editor's note: An earlier version of this story has been corrected to reflect that Bryan Milk has held in his current position since 2011 and has worked for the city since 1999.
Marco Island Community Affairs Director Bryan Milk was suspended by the city Tuesday, pending an investigation into an undisclosed business relationship with an applicant who benefited from his interpretation of zoning rules.
Milk was suspended without pay effective immediately, pending the outcome of the internal investigation, according to a news release from Guillermo Polanco, interim city manager.
On Monday, Milk said he held a member interest until May 2013 in Progressive Auto’s Xpress Mart, another business on Progressive’s property, 720 Bald Eagle Drive, but was no longer involved with the business.
Milk said he had the authority to make the interpretation, which was requested July 26 by attorney Douglas Lewis.
Lewis represents the owners of two other storage facilities located in another part of the city which is zoned to accommodate the additional automobiles.
Lewis challenged the interpretation on Oct. 21 and asked the Marco Island City Council, which acts as the Board of Zoning Appeals, to hear the appeal. The city scheduled a hearing for 5:30 p.m. Monday.
Lewis said he challenged the interpretation because it is not consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan. He claims it will adversely affect other property owners in the storage facilities’ zoning district and deter development there. He also contends it grants a special privilege to an existing property owner, is out of scale with city properties and is unnecessary.
Milk has been in his current position since 2011 and has been a city employee since Jan. 4, 1999, when he was hired as a city planner.