Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas County denies Oldsmar's request to annex land for trail

OLDSMAR — City Manager Bruce Haddock stood before the Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday afternoon to present Oldsmar's case for annexing two parcels of land within the Palm Harbor Special Fire Control and Rescue District.

He thought the request was a simple one. The annexation was voluntary. And since the proposed area pays no property taxes, Palm Harbor would not take a financial hit.

"Ordinarily," Haddock said, "I think y'all support those and usually that's pretty much the end of the story."

It wasn't the end of the story. Instead of approving Oldsmar's request, commissioners unanimously rejected it.

The vote followed a stinging back-and-forth between commissioners and Haddock.

"Everybody," Commissioner Susan Latvala said, "doesn't want to join Oldsmar."

"But in this case," Haddock said, "the Water Management District does want to join us."

• • •

At Oldsmar's urging, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, commonly known as Swiftmud, applied voluntarily to have eight parcels totaling 65 acres annexed into the city.

Oldsmar plans to construct a trail along the east bank of the Lake Tarpon Outfall Canal that will link Canal Park, Harbor Palms Nature Park and Sheffield Park. The project, which is in the design phase, has been in the city's Master Trail Plan for years.

In the midst of the planning, city officials learned that two of the eight parcels weren't in the city's limits, but the Palm Harbor Special Fire Control and Rescue District's. Nothing within that district can be annexed without county approval.

Commissioner Ken Welch: You understood that the commission would have to approve this? Or, Oldsmar Council did?

Haddock: Yes, yes. They're well aware of the fact that I'm here this afternoon.

Welch: I noticed that they didn't come with you. …

Haddock: I volunteered.

• • •

Haddock laid out his case:

There are two significant reasons for including these two parcels. The first is common ownership. It's not good public policy to split one owner's public property, annex part of it and leave the rest of it dangling out there, so to speak. The second reason, and perhaps more significant, is the outfall control structure is located in these two parcels. Well, I know y'all realize it wouldn't make any sense to annex half of a building, and I don't think it makes sense to annex half of the control structure.

Commissioners weren't convinced.

Welch: Could you still construct the trail through some kind of agreement without annexing the land?

Haddock: Yes, we could. But that's not what's before you tonight anyway.

Welch: I'm just trying to understand the logic. I have a problem with these annexations — it's for the good of everyone but not a real, clear reason why.

Latvala worried about the precedent approving an annexation would set. The boundaries of the Palm Harbor Fire District, she said, are sacred.

Haddock reminded Latvala that the annexation would have no fiscal impact on Palm Harbor.

Latvala: No, but it's the camel's nose under the tent.

Haddock: Well, I guess I'm going to take that as a compliment you know that the rest of the world is scared about big bad old Oldsmar and what we might do to 'em.

The commission voted, 7-0, to deny the annexation request.

Pinellas County denies Oldsmar's request to annex land for trail 09/23/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 23, 2010 7:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Here's what you need to know before you buy that Groupon vacation deal

    Travel

    There are times in life that call for caution, for using that chunk of money in savings to renovate the bathroom because the bathroom is from 1974, and not in a cool way.

    ALI DOUGLASS   |   Special to the Times
  2. Zephyrhills selects company to operate planned tennis center

    Local Government

    ZEPHYRHILLS — The Zephyrhills City Council has selected a company whose owner has past ties to the tennis community in Pasco County to run the city's planned center for the sport.

  3. Rays set to activate Tommy Hunter from DL

    Blogs

    The Rays plan to activate RHP Tommy Hunter from the DL for Thursday's series finale against the Angels.

  4. Reporter says Republican candidate in Montana body-slammed him (w/video)

    Nation

    HELENA, Mont. — Witnesses said the Republican candidate for Montana's sole congressional seat body-slammed a reporter Wednesday, the day before the polls close in the nationally watched special election. Authorities said late Wednesday that Greg Gianforte has been cited for misdemeanor assault over incident with …

    Greg Gianforte, right, receives congratulations from a supporter in Helena, Mont., in March. [Associated Press]
  5. Culpepper falls just short on 'Survivor' finale

    Human Interest

    In the end, Tampa lawyer Brad Culpepper fell just short, and the ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneer lost Survivor: Game Changers and the $1 million prize to Sarah Lacina, a police officer from Iowa.