Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Questions about Treasure Island development still not settled

TREASURE ISLAND — Two referendum questions relating to downtown redevelopment failed in the recent Treasure Island election but it seems that state legislators may have the final say on the issue.

Referendum Question 3, which would have allowed 60 hotel/motel units per acre downtown, failed to pass in a tie vote of 762 after a recount Friday. Question 5, which would have increased hotel/motel units to 60 per acre along the west side of Gulf Boulevard, failed in a 769 to 755 vote.

City attorney Maura Kiefer told commissioners Tuesday, however, that legislation now being considered in Tallahassee amending growth management laws would "strip the referendum requirement" for city governments as it relates to land development.

"It would mean that what you just went through (the election) is null and void," she said. If approved, city commissions would approve any changes in zoning and an election would not be necessary.

House Bill 537 and Senate Bill 528 prohibits a referendum for development orders and local comprehensive plan amendments and states that any referendums after June 2011 would be void.

Kiefer said she wants to send a letter to legislators asking why they would want to undo referendums that have already been approved.

"I just don't know where we stand if this legislation passes," she said.

Commissioner Alan Bildz said 10 years ago Treasure Island residents voted to require a referendum for all land development issues. The new legislation, which is now in committee in Tallahassee, would override that requirement.

City Manager Reid Silverboard said he is working on a zoning district proposal that would take into account the results of the referendum proposals that are aimed at revitalizing the city's core downtown area and west Gulf Boulevard. He expects to present his proposal to commissioners April 16.

The overlay district would apply to the western portion of Gulf Boulevard from the north end of town to 119th Avenue and the city's downtown core.

While the two defeated referendum proposals would have given developers more flexibility, Silverboard said he doesn't think not allowing motel/hotel lodging downtown or not increasing its density on the west side of Gulf Boulevard would make much difference to the city's redevelopment plans.

"We are still going ahead with downtown redevelopment," he said. "The most important part, mixed-use zoning with multifamily apartments above, passed."

Questions about Treasure Island development still not settled 03/23/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 21, 2013 5:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs' Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson kneel during national anthem


    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings, two days after President Donald Trump made critical remarks about NFL …

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both kneeled during the national anthem in protest before Sunday's game at the Vikings. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Man dead, 4-year-old girl critically injured in Clearwater Beach boating crash


    A man was killed and a 4-year-old girl is in critical condition late Saturday after their personal watercraft collided with a boat in the Intracoastal Waterway near Clearwater Beach just before 5 p.m.

  3. 'If anyone can hear us … help.' Puerto Rico's mayors describe 'horror in the streets'


    SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - In the northern Puerto Rican town of Vega Baja, the floodwaters reached more than 10 feet. Stranded residents screamed "save me, save me," using the lights in their cellphones to help rescue teams find them in the darkness, the town's mayor said.

  4. My AP Top 25 ballot: FSU out, USF, Florida Gators back in


    Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher still thinks he can have a good team, as I wrote in today's Tampa Bay Times. Maybe he's right.

  5. Forecast: Scattered thunderstorms in Tampa Bay; Maria could affect Carolinas


    Scattered thunderstorms will threaten the Tampa Bay area Sunday, but most of the area will see sunshine.

    Scattered thunderstorms threaten Tampa Bay on Sunday. [Courtesy 10News WTSP]