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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

St. Pete Chamber scores political wins



ST. PETERSBURG — In a victory for business leaders, voters won't consider development restrictions along the waterfront when they go to the polls this November.

The city's Charter Review Commission on Tuesday rejected proposed ballot measures that would have prohibited the construction of convention centers, museums, theaters, professional sports facilities, parking garages and office buildings on downtown waterfront parks and on the approach to the city's Pier without voter approval.

The nine-member volunteer commission sided with the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, which opposed the restrictions. Several business leaders talked about the negative implications of the measures during a public hearing Monday.

Last month, the commission nixed a proposal that would have required voter approval of public projects that cost more than $100 million.

"The chamber got its voice back," said Chris Steinocher, the chamber's president and chief executive. "We're focused on the economy, on getting this area going again, and this issue really organized everyone."

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 2:49pm]


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