Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

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."

Comments
Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties

Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties

The man identified as the suspect who fatally shot two Gilchrist County deputies in a restaurant Thursday afternoon before taking his own life has ties to the Tampa Bay area.Deputies say John Hubert Highnote, 59, of Bell — who was found dead outside ...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

SAINT PETERSBURG — When describing the loss of defender David Najem, Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell and the player who will replace Najem chose the same word.Gutted.That settled over the Rowdies last weekend, one that was bad enough based o...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Authorities say motive in deputy killings may never be known

Authorities say motive in deputy killings may never be known

TRENTON — Investigators in Florida say they may never know why a man - a recluse from a rural farm community who rarely ventured into town - killed two sheriff’s deputies while they sat in a Chinese restaurant. John Hubert Highnote, 58, of Bell casua...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Shaquem Griffin is about to join a long line of NFL draft picks from Lakewood

Shaquem Griffin is about to join a long line of NFL draft picks from Lakewood

ST. PETERSBURG — Former Lakewood High coach Brian Bruch started each season with the same spiel. He cautioned his players about not becoming obsessed with a professional football career, reciting statistics to emphasize the difficult the odds o...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Producer and DJ Avicii has been found dead

Producer and DJ Avicii has been found dead

Avicii, the Grammy-nominated electronic dance DJ who performed sold-out concerts for feverish fans around the world and also had massive success on U.S. pop radio, died Friday. He was 28. Publicist Diana Baron said in a statement that the Swedish per...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts today

Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts today

High school students from around the Tampa Bay area are participating in the National School Walkout today commemorating the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999 and calling for gun law reform.A large group of students from St. Petersburg High ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs’ Jameis Winston, Mike Evans catch Miami Heat game from courtside

Bucs’ Jameis Winston, Mike Evans catch Miami Heat game from courtside

We've seen Jameis Winston and Mike Evans bonding this offseason, going to Texas A&M pro day together, among other events. The two Bucs stars and their significant others double-dated Thursday night, getting courtside seats to watch the Miami Heat in ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Man gets life sentence in Freedom High student’s 2015 shooting death

Man gets life sentence in Freedom High student’s 2015 shooting death

TAMPA — After David Brunson murdered an 18-year-old Freedom High School senior, he told a witness the victim was "just some ghetto kid nobody will miss."But people do miss Eion Gustitis.More than two years after Gustitis was shot in the head in a rem...
Updated: 2 hours ago
One injured, suspect in custody in Ocala school shooting

One injured, suspect in custody in Ocala school shooting

OCALA — One student shot another in the ankle at a Florida high school and the suspected shooter is in custody, authorities said Friday.The Marion County Sheriff’s Office reported that the shooting happened Friday morning at Forest High School, which...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Mario Nunez called it a "huge shaking my head moment" when the photo inside the cabin of Southwest Airlines flight 1380 appeared on his TV.The story was about a terrifying emergency landing after an engine exploded 20 minutes into a trip from New Yor...
Updated: 2 hours ago