Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dunedin commissioners approve purchase of Catholic church land near Hammock Park

DUNEDIN — City Hall erupted in cheers Thursday night when commissioners unanimously agreed to buy a piece of Catholic church-owned land adjacent to Hammock Park, saving it from being developed for townhomes.

Residents spent nearly two months pressuring city leaders into the purchase — and reprimanding them for passing on the land when the church offered it earlier this year. But Thursday, all was made right.

"We did it," Eileen Ishikawa, an active advocate for saving the land, said through tears as friends rushed to hug her after the vote. "I am so proud of this city."

How much of the 8.7-acre parcel the city will purchase has not been decided, but according to interim City Manager Doug Hutchens, it should be between 7 and 8.7 acres. Regardless, the city will pay $154,023 per acre and be responsible for reimbursing development company Taylor Morrison, which backed out of its own purchase deal with the church, up to $45,000. Residents took turns thanking commissioners for listening.

"The hard work you've put in has been inspiring," said Hammock Advisory Committee chairman Steve Fasnacht. "You listened to the citizens, asked questions and acted with speed and purpose to find a solution."

And commissioners returned thanks to residents, saying their passion made all the difference.

"Thank you for all the effort you have put into this project. You have reminded us that we are representatives — your representatives," Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski said. "You guys are what makes Dunedin delightful."

Dunedin commissioners approve purchase of Catholic church land near Hammock Park 07/28/16 [Last modified: Thursday, July 28, 2016 10:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters


    Times Staff

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  2. Hernando readies for possible rally at county's Confederate monument

    Public Safety

    BROOKSVILLE — Law enforcement officials have readied themselves in response to a string of social media rumors about possible rallies at the Hernando County courthouse Friday afternoon centered around the Confederate soldier statue that sits out front.

    Hernando County's Confederate monument stands on the courthouse lawn in downtown Brooksville.
  3. What to watch this weekend: 'The Defenders,' 'Halt and Catch Fire,' 'What Happened to Monday'


    Slow burn: The Defenders

    First there was Daredevil, then Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist followed. Now, the superheroes team up for The Defenders. The new Marvel series on Netflix follows the city's unlikeliest heroes as they struggle with their own personal vendettas …

    Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter and Finn Jones in The Defenders.
  4. Bill Nelson celebrates Steve Bannon's departure


    Bill Nelson likes what he sees Steve Bannon getting the boot:

  5. Algae bloom and fish kill confirmed in Old Tampa Bay


    An algae bloom and fish kill have been confirmed in Old Tampa Bay from Safety Harbor to the south end of the Bayside Bridge.