Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas lawmakers back Clearwater marina changes

ST. PETERSBURG — Clearwater's bid to someday redevelop its Municipal Marina has the blessing of Pinellas County lawmakers, sending the measure to the full Legislature to decide this spring.

The county's lawmakers voted 11-0 on Monday to approve a local bill changing an 84-year-old reverter clause for the marina, despite opposition from some residents.

The fight stems from a 1925 decision by the state to give Clearwater land to build a causeway between the city and Clearwater Beach. It came with a caveat: Use the land only for public purposes, such as recreation, or the land goes back to the state.

Several years ago, city officials realized the clause was most likely violated by having a restaurant and other businesses there. They also saw they have a piece of property with potential.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim Frishe, R-St. Petersburg, and Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Treasure Island, allows the city to eventually add businesses there without causing the reverter clause to kick in. The law for the marina would match recent legislation involving waterfronts, city lobbyist Pete Dunbar said.

Frishe and city officials say major zoning changing and other development would still need voter approval. But critics fear lifting the reverter clause will turn a public space into a private hotel complex.

"This bill will enable them to get that land," Pat Power of Clearwater Beach told lawmakers.

The issue has sparked tensions between opponents and supporters. Speaking at the lectern, Power suggested an unidentified lawmaker recuse himself from the vote.

"I'm assuming she means me," responded Rep. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, calling the complaint baseless.

"I take some umbrage with the slightly backhanded allegation," said Hooper, a partner in a consulting firm that works with developers.

David DeCamp can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8779.

Pinellas lawmakers back Clearwater marina changes 12/15/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 7:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Romano: Why flood insurance might not be enough to save your home

    Local Government

    Irma is gone, and Maria never came.

    And yet this is as good a time as any to worry.

  2. Tampa's streetcar system looks to expand north through downtown

    Transportation

    TAMPA — The TECO Line Streetcar system that runs from Ybor City to the Channel District could be extended north through downtown all the way to Tampa Heights, according to the latest update of a $1.7 million study aimed at expanding the streetcar system.

    Riders take in the last few stops of the streetcar route in Ybor City during the tenth anniversary celebration of the TECO line streetcar system in Tampa in 2012. Now officials are looking for ways to expand the service north through downtown to Tampa Heights. [EVE EDELHEIT  |  Times]
  3. Interview: Steve Martin, Martin Short bringing 'best version' of their show back to St. Petersburg

    Stage

    Hot celebrity-spotting tip: Stop by the Salvador Dalí Museum on Jan. 19. You might catch a glimpse of Steve Martin.

    Steve Martin, left, and Martin Short will bring “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life” to the Mahaffey Theater on Jan. 19.
  4. Report: Well-being of black and Hispanic children continues to lag in Florida

    K12

    Despite making progress in health care access and parental employment, Florida has not improved its poverty rate for children over the past five years, a newly released national report shows.

    Students line up in the courtyard at predominantly black Lakewood Elementary in St. Petersburg. A new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds that Florida ranks 28th in the nation on an index that measures the well-being of black children. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  5. Second lady Karen Pence to speak at Tampa art therapy summit

    Veterans

    TAMPA — Second lady Karen Pence will visit The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday to address advocates of art therapy programs for military members and families.