Crist, Cabinet uphold ruling that blocks new devlopment on Tierra Verde
Gov. Charlie Crist and the Cabinet on Tuesday upheld a judge's decision to block new development on Tierra Verde, a barrier island on the southern tip of St. Petersburg.
The 4-0 decision was a victory for the Tierra Verde Community Association, and a defeat for the city of St. Petersburg.
A state administrative law judge rejected the city's bid to allow up to 24 housing units per acre. The judge said the increased density would adversely affect hurricane evacuation times and storm shelter capabilities; that the city had failed to demonstrate a need for the developments; and that it would be incompatible with surrounding land uses.
"We do not want any more congestion on the island," said association president Paul Murray, describing the balky one-lane bridge linking the island to the mainland as "Kamikaze Highway."
-- Steve Bousquet, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau