Saturday, October 20, 2018
News Roundup

Residents hoping to reach compromise with developers on Old Southeast marina project

ST. PETERSBURG — Developers of a marina project in the Old Southeast are reviewing and adjusting plans after residents rallied against a 54-foot high and dry proposal.

The building, which was set to go up in the Salt Creek Marine District, faced criticism from residents who said they weren’t properly notified by the developers, Santa Fe Boatyard, about the complex.

Residents of Old Southeast expressed concern over the proposed height of the building and other aspects of the plan during a Development Review Commission meeting in early November. The meeting was part of the process for the developers to move forward and get their plan approved. But after residents and a neighboring business owner raised issues about not being made aware of the changes, and the safety concerns over the amount of traffic it would bring to Salt Creek, the commission granted the developers a 60-day deferment to modify its plan for the lot at 107 15th Ave. SE.

The commission agreed it would like to see changes in the plan that showed Old Southeast residents’ participation, discussions between business owners and the developer, a study on how the project will impact traffic flow, calculations on parking, how it will impact boat traffic in Salt Creek, additional landscaping and the building’s appearance.

City staff, which reviews projects to ensure they are within city codes, recommended the commission approve the plan. According to a staff report, the project included a 62,790-square-foot high and dry with 400 boat slips, and a 5,000-square-foot retail and a 2,500-square-foot marina building. The project included 22 wet slips, 81 parking spaces and a West Indies/Key West architecture theme.

The road leading to the area is the only way in and out of the marine district, with the Old Southeast neighborhood just south of it. A concern that was raised by many was how a busy weekend could transform the streets into parking lots.

Another major concern was the number of boat slips. A partner of the project said it was unlikely the 422 boat slips would be filled, which wouldn’t cause as much boat and land traffic as residents speculated. They were hoping to attract about 200 power boats and attract larger boats, like mega yachts, he said.

Brian Hartley, another partner on the project who has a track record of working on environmentally friendly projects in the area, said they were looking into options to reduce the number.

"We are looking forward to meeting with the neighborhood association and fellow marinas in addressing their concerns while still maintaining the objectives of the St. Petersburg Downtown Waterfront Master Plan," he said in a statement.

Tess Chibirka, who presented a petition signed by residents opposed to the project, said they had concerns about the height and felt they didn’t have an opportunity to address the developers about it.

"No one came to us to talk about this, frankly monstrosity of a building, which looks like it will take up the size of a city block," she said.

Max Houck, vice president of the Old Southeast Neighborhood Association, said the organization isn’t against development in the area. But the project presented issues like insufficient reports on how extra traffic might impact the surrounding area and the high and dry building’s height.

"We feel like we’ve been left out of this conversation and want to engage to get answers to the questions we pose," he said. "We support growth and improvements in our community, but not at expense of our community."

Commissioners said they were convinced the project may need more work after hearing from Gerard "Gerry" Douglas, manager and vice president of Catalina Yachts, which neighbors the property.

He called on Hartley to explain why the proposed project still had the building pushing up against the lot line bordering his company’s property. They had agreed it was incorrect during a private discussion, Douglas said, yet they were proposing the same plan.

There was also a concern of a lack of parking spaces, Douglas said. Typically, marina regulations ask for a parking space for every four boat slips. Eighty-one parking spaces for 422 boat slips, which averages to five boat slips, doesn’t seem reasonable, he said. In an email, Hartley said they’ll be working toward a resolution with Douglas.

"I want to see this thing work, but it’s got to be right," Douglas said.

Contact Melissa Gomez at [email protected] Follow @melissagomez004.

Comments
Homicide victim found lying off Dale Mabry/ Busch is 34-year-old man, deputies say

Homicide victim found lying off Dale Mabry/ Busch is 34-year-old man, deputies say

TAMPA — A homicide victim found lying alongside Dale Mabry Highway and Busch Boulevard on Friday afternoon has been identified as Michael Andrew Montalbano, 34, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.Investigators said only that Montalb...
Updated: 1 hour ago
CrossFit worker, 16, stabbed during robbery attempt outside Tarpon Springs gym

CrossFit worker, 16, stabbed during robbery attempt outside Tarpon Springs gym

TARPON SPRINGS — A Spring Hill teen has been arrested in the stabbing of another teen during a robbery attempt outside a gym where the victim worked.Dedson Hallon Suas, 17, faces a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and attempte...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays tales: Why Rocco Baldelli is a hot candidate for manager openings

Rays tales: Why Rocco Baldelli is a hot candidate for manager openings

ST. PETERSBURG — Rocco Baldelli has sure been popular this off-season.And busy.The current Rays coach and former outfielder interviewed with five of the six teams looking to hire a manager — the Angels, Blue Jays, Rangers, Reds and Twins....
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sound-Smarter-Than-Your-Friends Guide: The Bucs are the Browns and the Browns are the Bucs

Sound-Smarter-Than-Your-Friends Guide: The Bucs are the Browns and the Browns are the Bucs

It was always this game.Not the Saints. Not the Eagles. Not the Steelers.The Browns.When the NFL released the Bucs’ schedule in April, the Browns were an afterthought. The first three games were the main attraction. If Tampa Bay could survive t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Drunk driver hits 11 vehicles on I-275, including state trooper's car. No one hurt

Drunk driver hits 11 vehicles on I-275, including state trooper's car. No one hurt

ST. PETERSBURG — A drunk driver collided with 11 vehicles along a five-mile stretch of Interstate 275 before he was arrested as he was stopped in traffic after exiting into downtown, the Florida Highway Patrol said.No one one was injured in th...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Mega Millions jackpot explodes to record $1.6 billion after no winner in latest drawing

Mega Millions jackpot explodes to record $1.6 billion after no winner in latest drawing

Yes, that headline is correct: The Mega Millions jackpot is at $1.6 billion. With a B.All eyes were on the latest drawing Friday night, when the jackpot was at an already mind-boggling $1 billion. However, with no ticket matching all six numbers draw...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Romano: Has ‘stand your ground’ made Florida more tolerant of deadly force?

Romano: Has ‘stand your ground’ made Florida more tolerant of deadly force?

In another era, in another state, the video might be too unsettling to watch. A suspected shoplifter is looking for a way to slip past a Lakeland store owner who is holding a gun. The shoplifter gets one hand on the door at the same time the store o...
Updated: 4 hours ago
District volleyball: Battle-tested Calvary Christian ready for region run

District volleyball: Battle-tested Calvary Christian ready for region run

TAMPA — Calvary Christian’s volleyball team looks tough, tested and ready for a strong run at a Class 4A state title.For proof, look no farther than the past two days when the Warriors defeated a tough Tampa Prep squad in three games, then followed F...
Published: 10/20/18
Lakeland commissioner charged with murder in shooting of suspected shoplifter

Lakeland commissioner charged with murder in shooting of suspected shoplifter

LAKELAND — A Lakeland city commissioner surrendered Friday to face a second-degree murder charge in the Oct. 3 fatal shooting of a suspected shoplifter at a military surplus store.Michael Dunn, who has served on the City Commission since January, arr...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Hurricane Michael’s effect on timber industry ‘catastrophic,

Hurricane Michael’s effect on timber industry ‘catastrophic," Adam Putnam says.

Hurricane Michael’s enduring legacy could include long-term damage to Florida’s timber industry. While experts try to get a handle on the carnage, state Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam said Friday that preliminary estimates peg it ...
Updated: 5 hours ago