Tuesday, June 19, 2018
News Roundup

Madeira Beach commission will consider Marriott rezoning request

MADEIRA BEACH — The commission will consider a number of actions Tuesday that are expected to move the city forward toward redevelopment and revitalization.

Developers are seeking rezoning approval for a new Courtyard Marriott hotel, the first in many years and a leading indicator of a better economic future for this beach community.

The proposed Courtyard Marriott would be on waterfront property on the north side of American Legion Drive, just east of the American Legion post and behind McDonald's and Publix, which both face the mainland side of the Tom Stuart Causeway.

Previously, the commission changed its zoning codes to strengthen its planned development rules, allowing the city to negotiate site plans and construction and design criteria with developers.

Initial designs for the Marriott project call for a four-story building (current codes allow only three stories) and an overall height that would exceed code limits by about 3 feet.

The hotel would have 90 rooms, a restaurant primarily for guest use, a small meeting room, an outside swimming pool, jacuzzi, and outdoor seating at an outside bar.

In a related move Tuesday, the commission is also expected to ask its planning commission to review a proposal that would ease zoning criteria for businesses and residents who need variances to the city's codes.

If eventually approved, the new criteria would address development issues affecting substandard or irregularly shaped lots, establish historic neighborhood characteristics, and establish regulations affecting the development of public facilities, parks and utilities.

"(This) can provide some measure of flexibility in those areas the community finds warrant such consideration," said Community Development Director Lynn Rosetti, who said the city's current variance rules are too restrictive.

Last week, the commission authorized City Manager Shane Crawford to tear down the aging and deteriorating public works building near the city marina.

"The existing facility needs to go away," Crawford said. "It is literally falling down and somebody is going to get hurt."

Crawford said if the commission decides to replace the building with a structure to house garbage trucks and other city vehicles, it could later be transformed into a high-and-dry boat storage facility.

With increased development expected in the coming year, the city also is considering changing how its building inspections are done.

Currently, building inspections are performed by Treasure Island, but that city's building inspector is now working for South Pasadena.

A special workshop session is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss whether to cancel its contract with Treasure Island and switch to South Pasadena.

Commissioners had previously indicated an interest in hiring its own inspector and bringing all services back to the city, but Crawford said that option would be too expensive.

Other projects in the works include building a new City Hall and fire department. The commission has hired an architect to draw up concept plans for the redevelopment.

The commission is also expected to authorize spending about $10,000 for a definitive cost estimate from Progress Energy for burying power lines along Gulf Boulevard, 150th Avenue and Madeira Way.

Similar estimates are also needed from other utilities to determine the total cost of such a project. The city is slated to receive money from Pinellas County over the next 10 years to help pay for putting utility lines underground.

Comments
Tech Data sending a record 700 employees to march in Pride Parade

Tech Data sending a record 700 employees to march in Pride Parade

Among the marching bands and twirlers at Saturday’s St. Pete Pride Parade, one major sponsor, Tech Data, is sending by far a record number of employees — more than 700 at last count — to march in Florida’s largest gay pride parade.The parade, which d...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
They usually avoid controversy, but every living first lady has condemned border separations

They usually avoid controversy, but every living first lady has condemned border separations

Every living first lady - including Melania Trump - has condemned the policy of separating immigrant families caught illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. It is a rare moment of bipartisan unity from the women who make up the small sorority of p...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay Times’ all-Tampa Bay boys soccer players of the year

Tampa Bay Times’ all-Tampa Bay boys soccer players of the year

Hillsborough player of the year: F Eric Ugarte, Sr., Plant CityThe numbers: Ugarte scored 21 goals and added 11 assists to lead the Raiders to their first state title in soccer. He scored 71 goals in his career.Something about Eric: The skilled ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays continue to struggle in close games

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays continue to struggle in close games

The Rays blow a four-run lead in Houston and lose on a walkoff hit to the Astros in the opener of their three-game series. It's the 19th one-run loss for the Rays this season as they continue to struggle in close games. Fortunately, reinforcements ar...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay Times’ all-Tampa Bay girls soccer players of the year

Tampa Bay Times’ all-Tampa Bay girls soccer players of the year

Pinellas Player of the Year: MF Mary Raymond, Jr., Palm Harbor UniversityThe numbers: Raymond scored 13 goals and added seven assists. She spent the first part of the season as the central defender.Something about Mary: Raymond is the type of pl...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Watch: Hunter snares large python while saving small gator in process

Watch: Hunter snares large python while saving small gator in process

A python hunter not only captured a 10-foot python as part of the state’s effort to curb the python population in the Everglades, but he also saved a 4-foot gator in the process.The catch was caught on video by Mike Hubbard, who was accompanying hunt...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss legislation.Trump’s meeting late Tuesday afternoon with...
Updated: 2 hours ago
This start-up can make avocados last twice as long before going bad

This start-up can make avocados last twice as long before going bad

The new avocados rolling out to Costco stores in the Midwest this week don’t look like the future of fresh produce. But they’re quietly testing technology that could more than double the shelf life of vegetables and fruits.That technology, developed ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
With starting QB Josh Jackson’s status resolved, FSU will open against full-strength Hokies

With starting QB Josh Jackson’s status resolved, FSU will open against full-strength Hokies

Florida State's primetime opener against Virginia Tech looks a little tougher now than it did a few days ago.Hokies starting quarterback Josh Jackson has had his academic eligibility resolved and remains on the team, the Roanoke Times reported Tuesda...
Updated: 2 hours ago
My husband has been on the ketogenic diet for three months. Here’s how he does it.

My husband has been on the ketogenic diet for three months. Here’s how he does it.

This week I wrote about something with which I have become very familiar: the ketogenic diet. If you’re like, "Huh?" you are where I was three months ago, before my husband, Phil, embarked on the weight-loss regimen. The keto diet is a high-fat, low-...
Updated: 2 hours ago