Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Neighbors want more details on Clearwater aquarium plans

Some residents of the high-end Water’s Edge condos are concerned about possible traffic and noise if the aquarium becomes their neighbor.

JIM DAMASKE | Times (2008)

Some residents of the high-end Water’s Edge condos are concerned about possible traffic and noise if the aquarium becomes their neighbor.

CLEARWATER — A path to a November vote on a new aquarium in downtown Clearwater appeared clear at Monday's City Council work session.

Afterward, though, residents of the high-end Water's Edge condominium tower, which would be next door to the proposed $160 million Clearwater Marine Aquarium, buttonholed the aquarium's chief operating officer, Frank Dame, and attorney Brian J. Aungst, peppering them with questions about noise, traffic and after-hours events.

The group, which didn't represent Water's Edge, said they wanted more details.

"I may support it, I may not support, but I want to know the details down here, " said Joe Corvino, lowering his hands below his waist.

"Not up here," he said as he fluttered his hands above his head.

Dame said the aquarium had provided Water's Edge residents with two presentations, but Corvino said those talks were too conceptual. What time would the delivery trucks arrive in the morning for the food court? How late would after-hours events go?

Dame said all those details remain to be ironed out. The design and engineering phase of the project hasn't started. He said Corvino and other Water's Edge residents should email or call him with any concerns.

The aquarium will be a good neighbor, Dame said, but he understands that projections that the aquarium will draw millions of tourists from around the world could lead neighbors to be skittish.

"If I were a Water's Edge resident, I would have the same concerns you do," Dame said.

"We need Water's Edge's support," added Aungst.

The question of whether to lease city-owned property that is west of Osceola Avenue, north of Pierce Street and south of Cleveland Street to the aquarium for up to 60 years will be put to voters in a Nov. 5 referendum.

Monday's council discussion was about how the city charter would need to be amended to allow the lease, which would require moving City Hall to a new location. Only voters can change the city charter. The aquarium will pay the costs for the referendum on the charter changes.

In the proposed ordinance that would enact the changes if voters approve, council members decided to replace a clause that said a new aquarium would "facilitate" downtown development to read that it would "promote" redevelopment for the entire city and spur tourism.

The ordinance would limit the size of the new aquarium to 250,000 square feet.

Another clause stating that the aquarium would promote public access to the waterfront caught Mayor George Cretekos' attention. The public would have access "for a fee," he said.

But the landscaped grounds would be free and it beats other alternatives, said council member Doreen Hock-DiPolito.

"I'd rather have an aquarium than a movie theater, that's for sure," she said.

If voters approve the referendum, the city tennis courts below City Hall would be relocated. The city hasn't decided where to put them yet.

The council is scheduled to vote on the final draft of the ballot language and charter changes at Thursday's regular meeting.

Charlie Frago can be reached at or (727) 445-4159. You can follow him on Twitter @CharlieFrago

Neighbors want more details on Clearwater aquarium plans 06/04/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 5:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. St. Pete qualifying ends. Seven for mayor. Eight for District 6 on primary ballot


    The smiles of the faces of the workers in the City Clerk’s office said it all. The qualifying period for city elections was almost over.

    City Clerk Chan Srinivasa (2nd left) and Senior Deputy City Clerk  Cathy Davis (1st left) celebrate the end of qualifying period with colleagues on Friday afternoon
  2. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county


    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  3. Registered sexual predator charged in assault of woman in Brooksville

    Public Safety

    Times Staff Writer

    BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County deputies arrested a registered sexual predator Thursday after they say he attempted to assault a woman and fled into a storm drain.

    Lee Roy Rettley has been charged with attempted homicide, attempted sexual battery and home invasion robbery.
  4. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags


    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]
  5. Former CEO of Winn-Dixie parent joining Hong Kong company


    The former CEO of the Jacksonville-based parent of Winn-Dixie grocery stores, Ian McLeod, has landed a new leadership role in Hong Kong. He is joining the pan-Asian based Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd. as group chief executive.

    Ian McLeod, who is stepping down as the CEO of the parent company of Winn-Dixie, has been hired by Dairy Farm International Holdings. 
[Photo courtesy of Southeastern Grocers]