Zoning changes approved for apartments
Safety Harbor's most controversial proposed apartment complex has cleared yet another hurdle.
Residents Wednesday pleaded with the Pinellas Planning Council to block the 146-unit complex at the property of the former Firmenich Citrus Plant, citing fears the luxury complex would detract from Safety Harbor's quaint feel.
Yet the council, made up of elected officials from around the county, voted 8-5 to approve the needed zoning and land use changes from industrial to residential and residential/office for the property on State Road 590 east of McMullen-Booth Road. Safety Harbor Mayor Joe Ayoub was among those who voted in favor.
The proposal's next stop is the Pinellas County Commission, which will take up the issue May 7 at 9:30 a.m.
Registration for domestic partners starts Monday
Beginning Monday, any two people over the age of 18 will be able to register as domestic partners in Pinellas County, subject to certain limitations.
Registration as domestic partners will afford unmarried couples certain rights relative to each other regarding health care visitation and decisions, funeral and burial decisions as well as notification of information conveyed to other family members.
Domestic partnership registrations will be accepted at the following Clerk of the Circuit Court offices during regular office hours:
• Clearwater County Courthouse — 315 Court St., Room 150, Clearwater
• North County Branch Office — 29582 U.S. 19 N., Room 101, Clearwater
• St. Petersburg Branch Office — 545 First Ave. N, Room 153, St. Petersburg
• Clerk's Tyrone Branch Office — 1800 66th St. N, St. Petersburg
The filing fee for registering as domestic partners is $50, although a reduced fee may apply for those applicants who have already registered their partnerships in a Pinellas County municipality.
Trip for transit-savvy teens
Rising high school juniors and seniors who are interested in public transportation careers have until April 22 to apply for an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., as part of the American Public Transportation Association's third Youth Summit. The summit will be held June 23-27. Students from across the country will meet lawmakers and congressional leaders, participate in hands-on local transit tours and learn about the wide range of careers within the transit industry. Apply online at apta.com. Questions? Contact Cheryl Pyatt, educational services program manager, at (202) 496-4875 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reaching out with Linked In
Clearwater's economic development department just created a page on LinkedIn.com, the popular social networking website for people in professional occupations.
"It's part of our effort to reach out to more businesses," said Geri Campos Lopez, the city's director of economic development. "As we work with different businesses, we're going to be posting that to our LinkedIn group."
The page can be found at linked in.com/groups/City-Clearwater-Economic-Development.
LinkedIn has more than 200 million members worldwide.
Stormwater project is near
Construction will begin April 22 on a major stormwater project on parts of north Clearwater Beach.
Some areas south of Baymont Street and north of the beach roundabout will be affected, including Mandalay Avenue, Poinsettia Avenue, East Shore Drive and Papaya Street. Construction will begin at the seawall at the east end of Papaya Street. The project is expected to be complete in late 2013 or early 2014.
The existing stormwater system will be upgraded and additional infrastructure will be added along East Shore Drive. Two stormwater treatment units also will be installed in the area. Brief lane or road closures may occur and some parking along the right-of-way may be impacted.
The project will cost about $1.35 million. A public meeting was held with beach residents in December to share project details and answer questions. To learn more, call the city's Engineering Department at (727) 562-4750.
Trail workshop is Thursday
Officials will hold a workshop Thursday to discuss a proposed bicycle/pedestrian trail that would link the Pinellas Trail and the Brooker Creek Preserve with Pasco County's Starkey Boulevard and Starkey Wilderness Trail.
The meeting on the Tri-County Trail Connection Study will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center, 3940 Keystone Road, East Lake.
Officials from the Metropolitan Planning Organizations of Pasco and Pinellas will attend.
Tree, bird, flower vie for recognition
The City Commission will consider Thursday a request to name the southern magnolia the official city tree, the magnolia bloom the official flower and the osprey the city bird.
The bauhinia was named the official city tree back in 1968, but Environmental Quality Committee members in 2009 questioned the designation because it's not a native species.
The city staff researched and, after discussions with a half-dozen citizen advisory groups and other interested parties, is recommending a change to the southern magnolia as well as the designation of an official flower and bird.
The only dissension, city documents show, is a suggestion from the Bay Bouquet Garden Club that the black-eyed Susan be named Dunedin's flower.