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. Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelly talks family, songwriting and more before Tampa show

    Music & Concerts

    A while back at the Grammys, Charles Kelley found himself in the same room as Paul McCartney. The Lady Antebellum singer, a seven-time Grammy winner in his own right, couldn't work up the courage to say hello.

    Lady Antebellum perform at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday. Credit: Eric Ray Davidson
  2. Clearwater suspect due in court after 9 die in sweltering San Antonio truck

    Nation

    SAN ANTONIO — Nine people are dead and the death toll could rise after emergency crews pulled dozens of people from a sweltering tractor-trailer found parked outside a Walmart in the midsummer Texas heat, victims of what officials said was an immigrant-smuggling attempt gone wrong.

    San Antonio police officers investigate the scene where eight people were found dead in a tractor-trailer loaded with at least 30 others outside a Walmart store in stifling summer heat in what police are calling a horrific human trafficking case, Sunday, July 23, 2017, in San Antonio. [Associated Press]
  3. What you need to know for Monday, July 24

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    At 1.2 million gallons, the house of Harry Barkett in South Tampa used more water than anyone else in the Tampa Bay region between Jan. 1 and May 31 of this year, when Tampa was in a severe drought. ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
  4. Discovering the true meaning of Black Forest cake in the German region itself

    Cooking

    The first time I had a taste of the Black Forest, it wasn't by way of cake.

    Black Forest Cake in Germany was granted legally protected status in 2013. It must use the gateau’s original ingredients, including kirsch, a brandy made from fermented sour cherries from the region.
  5. Gov. Scott's tough talk on Venezuela may not turn into economic action

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — To show his solidarity with Venezuelans, Gov. Rick Scott held a rally in South Florida and repeatedly promised to punish companies that do business with the Nicolás Maduro regime.

    Gov. Rick Scott held a rally July 10 at El Arepazo restaurant to show solidarity with Venezuelans. Scott has said he wants to punish companies that work with the Nicol?s Maduro regime.