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North Pinellas news briefs for April 16


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Scientology building okayed

The Community Development Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a Church of Scientology warehouse to be built in the city's industrial corridor.

The nearly 90,000-square-foot warehouse will be used to house parishioner records, according to an application submitted by the church.

Church officials declined further comment Tuesday.

Board members wanted to know more about why the church would only provide 10 parking spaces for a building zoned for 133 spaces on the southeast corner of N Hercules Avenue and Calumet Street.

Between three and 15 workers will staff the facility in two shifts "day and night" behind a gated entrance, according to the application.

Ed Armstrong, an attorney representing the church, said the church "essentially had its own transit agency," and planned to shuttle workers to and from the facility in vans and buses.

Water-testing and service warning

The city of Clearwater is warning residents that companies promoting water testing and service line maintenance to individual homes are not associated with the city.

Private, for-profit water testing companies have been approaching homeowners in Clearwater and throughout Pinellas County, informing them about water service line maintenance and repairs. In the past, companies also have made claims that they can improve the quality and safety of tap water.

The city points out that its drinking water meets or exceeds federal and state standards and does not require additional testing or filtering.

Residents are urged to exercise caution if any company offers a gift with a demonstration, makes claims or generalizations concerning water contamination, or adds a coagulant (or thickener) to your water to solidify harmless minerals. For more information, call Clearwater Customer Service at (727) 562-4600.

The city also urges those approached by water testing companies to look them up at the Better Business Bureau website,, before doing business with them.


There's a new reason to check out osprey webcam

There is a new chick in the Dunedin osprey nest that is monitored by a webcam, the folks at have announced.

The nest is along the Pinellas Trail near the Stirling Links golf course.

In the seven years that the nest has been monitored by webcam, tens of thousands of people from countries around the world have watched the live stream as the birds raised their young.

The site can accommodate 50 viewers at a time, and viewers can even control the camera, zooming in or out to get a better look. The site will kick viewers off after a couple of minutes to make space for others to watch.

To observe the nest, go to and click on the live view.

Hearing on Nielsen rezoning

The Dunedin City Commission on Thursday will hold a second public hearing and final vote on rezoning that would pave the way for a developer to one day build a mixed-use project on the former Nielsen Media Research site.

The long-vacant, 23-acre parcel at 375 Patricia Ave. is zoned for light industrial. The proposed mixed-use zoning category preliminarily won unanimous commission support this month. Wells Fargo officials hope the change will help the bank finally find a buyer interested in transforming the property into a complex featuring retail, residential, offices and a public square.

Thursday's meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 542 Main St.

Officials will also consider a resolution creating incentives that encourage development of an arts district downtown, and consider final approval of an ordinance that would levy tough fines against owners of properties with repeat code or criminal complaints.

Go to for a copy of the full agenda.

'Do not touch' signs? Not at this big event

Feel the power and hear the engines roar as you sit in, touch and feel a collection of trucks, cars, motorcycles, fire engines, tractors and more at Dunedin's 13th annual Touch-a-Truck celebration.

The popular event — which will also feature concessions, music and inflatables — will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 26 at Highlander Park. Parking costs $5.

For information on entering your vehicle, becoming a vendor or other questions, call (727) 812-4530.

Pancakes await at end of the Hog Hustle 5K

The city of Dunedin is signing up runners and sponsors for its annual Hog Hustle 5K Run, to be held at 8 a.m. May 10.

The course, which begins and ends at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, follows a scenic route along Edgewater Drive and through historic downtown. The event includes T-shirts for the first 400 runners, chip timing, awards for each age group and a pancake breakfast.

The cost is $20 in advance or $25 on race day. Go online to for more information and registration materials.

North Pinellas news briefs for April 16 04/15/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 6:50pm]
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    A Tampa man intentionally drove his pick-up truck into two parked vehicles before smashing through the locked gate of the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

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