Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dunedin officials tour city-owned properties they might want to sell

DUNEDIN — Commissioners will tour several properties as they continue to examine a list of surplus city-owned homes, vacant lots and small easements they may decide to sell.

The tours are the next step in a process begun last year to generate revenue by returning the roughly two dozen properties to the city's tax rolls.

City staffers discovered the unused resources, ranging in size from 500 square feet to 7 acres, during preliminary budget planning last year. The city acquired the parcels over the years through gifts from Pinellas County, foreclosures, inheritances from deceased owners without heirs and other means.

Commissioners adopted formal guidelines for identifying and selling off the properties in July, and various city departments have spent recent months whittling the list of possibilities from nearly three dozen to about 24.

City leaders hope to finalize the list of properties to advertise for sale to adjacent homeowners or the general public in coming months.

At that time, "I would like us all to have a conversation about what our intentions are with any moneys that we do make from these properties," Commissioner Julie Ward Bujalski said, adding that, at least once in the past, the city has reinvested earnings from a property sale into affordable housing. "I'd like us to have a goal or a few goals because it's kind of found money."

Prospective buyers have already been banging on the city's door, Matthew Campbell, assistant to the city manager, told commissioners during a workshop Tuesday.

He said Menorah Manor, a skilled nursing facility that recently opened next door to a 1.7-acre, city-owned tract that formerly housed a water treatment plant off Virginia Street and Greenbriar Boulevard, is interested in purchasing the land for expansion. (Dunedin, in partnership with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, came to own the Clearwater property following ongoing plant violations in the 1970s).

But Public Works director Doug Hutchens told commissioners he preferred that the city keep it.

He said his department expects to lose its current storage space behind the city's Belcher Road fire station as part of a proposal in which firefighters would relocate their training area there from Highlander Park. Meanwhile, the Greenbriar tract would be an ideal place for his department to store equipment, storm cleanup debris and other items, he said.

"The community is essentially built out and there's just not a lot of land where we can work without impacting neighbors," Hutchens said. "I'd rather not buy land somewhere … if we have some that's already owned by us that we can use."

Staff similarly hopes to hold on to a 1.15-acre parcel attached to the former Nielsen Media Research property off Patricia Avenue.

A 7.5-acre wooded tract connected to the Vanech Recreation Complex property at the northern end of Hobbit Road is among those that commissioners will tour in an effort to help staff decide its future.

Staff, however, is recommending that the city sell several foreclosed homes and vacant lots where buyers might build homes and "reduce neighborhood blight," Campbell said. Those include properties on Catherine Street and Terrace Road in the upscale Wood Street neighborhood, and a bundle of three lots surrounded by vintage homes in the Lake Paloma area.

There are also about a half-dozen former well sites and slivers of land ranging from 3 to 9 feet wide that could be sold to neighboring homeowners or subdivisions.

Keyonna Summers can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4153. To write a letter to the editor, go to

. Fast facts

On the Web

Watch video and view documents from the Dunedin City Commission's surplus property discussion online at

Dunedin officials tour city-owned properties they might want to sell 03/21/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 8:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay deputies head to UF to assist with Richard Spencer's speech

    Public Safety

    Local deputies are heading up to Alachua County in preparation of white nationalist Richard Spencer's speech in Gainesville on Thursday.

    Local deputies are heading up to Alachua County in preparation of white nationalist Richard Spencer's speech in Gainesville on Oct. 19, 2017. 
As officials brace for Spencer's appearance, law enforcement officials streamed into Alachua County the morning before. [Alex Wroblewski | The New York Times]
  2. Gymnast McKayla Maroney alleges sexual abuse by team doctor


    Two-time Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney says she was molested for years by a former USA Gymnastics team doctor, abuse she said started in her early teens and continued for the rest of her competitive career.

    U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney poses after completing her routine on the vault during the Artistic Gymnastic women's qualifications at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Maroney posted a statement on Twitter Oct. 18, 2017, in which she said she was molested for years by former Team USA doctor Larry Nassar. [Associated Press]
  3. Top 5 at Noon: Facts on Richard Spencer's Florida visit; Column: Jameis, don't be a hero; Locale Market changes again


    Here are the latest headlines and updates on

    White nationalist Richard Spencer (C) and his supporters clash with Virginia State Police in Emancipation Park after the "Unite the Right" rally was declared an unlawful gathering August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Spencer is set to speak at the University of Florida. [Getty]
  4. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Uncertainty surrounds Jameis Winston's health


    Greg Auman talks about the Bucs' quarterback situation, with uncertainty around Jameis Winston's health, in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Jameis Winston takes the field for warmups before the Bucs' game against the Cardinals Sunday in Glandale, Ariz. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Pasco mom, caretaker face charges after toddler suffers fractured skull


    PORT RICHEY — A 13-month-old toddler who suffered severe head injuries and brain hemorrhaging is now in the care of a foster family, and both of the child's caretakers face felony charges.

    Wyatt Frank Laughlin faces a felony charge of aggravated child abuse after a 13-month-old child in his care suffered a skull fracture and clots in the brain and eyes. [Courtesy Pasco County Sheriff's Office]