Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Map shows flaws of all-or-nothing annexation bill

LEALMAN — The so-called all or nothing bill that would make an annexing city take all of this unincorporated area rather than just a piece could more aptly be called a "nothing" bill.

Rather than giving cities a chance to woo all of Lealman to convince voters to annex, the proposal is drafted so that no city can annex the area without violating state annexation laws.

"It makes it a de facto no-annexation area," said Dave Goodwin, St. Petersburg's economic development director.

Goodwin said St. Petersburg opposed the legislation to begin with, but became especially dissatisfied when the full impact became clear.

The proposal is patterned after one passed last year to protect Tierra Verde. That statute prevents any city from annexing a part of the island without taking all of the island. And Tierra Verde residents would have to vote in favor of the annexation for it to take place.

Both East Lake and Lealman demanded they get similar protection, so state Rep. Peter Nehr, R-Tarpon Springs, filed bills for both areas. State Sen. Charlie Justice, D-St. Petersburg, filed a similar bill for Lealman in the Senate.

The wording of the Lealman bill makes it appear that adjoining cities — St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park, Seminole and Kenneth City — would have the option of trying to convince Lealman voters to become part of their city. But a map of the protected area created by the Pinellas County Property Appraiser at the request of the St. Petersburg Times tells a different story.

The protected area includes all of Kenneth City and parts of the other three cities. Although those could not be annexed, including the cities in the protected area means that some enclaves are included. An enclave is a small area of unincorporated property completely surrounded by one city rather like an island in an ocean.

Including those means that Pinellas Park and Kenneth City, the two with enclaves in the area, would be unable to annex those without having to annex all of Lealman.

That's contrary to state and county policies that, for years, have urged cities to annex enclaves as a way to end confusion over service delivery, Pinellas Park spokesman Tim Caddell said.

The map also shows that none of the cities could annex all Lealman if they wanted to. State law requires annexations to be contiguous to city limits and, with the enclaves and other barriers, none of the four cities have the necessary contiguity for the entire area. The result is a no-annexation zone masquerading as an all-or-nothing zone.

"There's not proper planning with this bill," Seminole City Manager Frank Edmunds said. "It just shows a general lack of planning."

Seminole, he said, does not oppose the bill because it has "minimal effect" on that city.

"I don't think that this bill ever intended to be an 'all' bill," said Caddell, the Pinellas Park spokesman. "It was meant to be a nothing bill. It certainly needs to be looked at a little more closely."

Caddell said Pinellas Park officials also raised eyebrows over the length of the term — the proposal would be good for seven years. But Pinellas Park and Lealman have an agreement that the city will not annex into the area for six years. The longer term could be seen as a way to get around that agreement. Although Pinellas Park is not actively opposing the bill, the city is closely monitoring its progress.

Kenneth City Mayor Teresa Zemaitis could not be reached for comment, but has said that her town opposes the move.

"I didn't draft the Lealman bill," Nehr said. Justice, he said, gave him the language and the boundaries. The goal, he said, was to give Lealman residents peace from annexations and to preserve the tax base to support the fire district.

Justice said he believed the boundaries were taken from an old map. He said both St. Petersburg and Pinellas Park touch Lealman on both sides, and so should be able to annex. He said he was unaware of any enclaves that would prevent annexations.

Reach Anne Lindberg at alindberg@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8450.

Map shows flaws of all-or-nothing annexation bill 03/13/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 12, 2010 5:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Spacewalking astronauts pull off urgent repairs at International Space Station (w/video)

    Space

    CAPE CANAVERAL — Spacewalking astronauts completed urgent repairs at the International Space Station on Tuesday, replacing equipment that failed three days earlier and restoring a backup for a vital data-relay system.

    In this NASA provided frame from video, NASA astronaut Jack Fischer works to install antennas at the International Space Station while astronaut Peggy Whitson, not pictured, works on repairs Tuesday, May 23, 2017. [NASA via AP]
  2. For starters: Rays vs. Angels, with Cobb leading the way

    Blogs

    Rays veteran RHP Alex Cobb had a lot to say Monday about the team needing to focus on getting past .500 and building a winning record.

    And after the disappointing 3-2 loss that …

    Alex Cobb will start tonight when the Rays play the Angels.
  3. Tampa murder suspect told police he wanted to stop neo-Nazi roommates from committing acts of domestic terrorism

    Criminal

    TAMPA — After he admitted to shooting two roommates and led police to their dead bodies, Devon Arthurs said he committed the killings to prevent the pair from carrying out terrorist acts, a prosecutor wrote in a court filing.

    Devon Arthurs, 18, told police  he shared neo-Nazi beliefs with his roommates, Jeremy Himmelman and Andrew Oneschuk, until he converted to Islam, according to a police report.
[Tampa Police]
  4. Pinellas School Board approves plan that aims to close achievement gap

    K12

    After months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, the Pinellas County School Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan that aims to tackle the achievement gap in 10 years and settles a long-running lawsuit over the education of …

    "I'm an optimist. I think this is going to work," Pinellas School Board member Linda Lerner said Tuesday after the board was presented with a plan that aims to settle a long-running lawsuit over the education of black students and close the achievement gap. The board voted 7-0 to approve the plan. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  5. With big concerts approaching, Tampa Bay venues remain vigilant after Manchester attack

    Public Safety

    In the aftermath of an explosion that killed at least 22 people — including children — moments after a pop concert ended in England on Monday night, local venues assured the public that security will remain tight for Tampa Bay area's upcoming big-ticket shows.

    Fans cross Himes Avenue in Tampa toward Raymond James Stadium before the start of Beyonce's Formation World Tour in Tampa on April 29, 2016. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]