Saturday, December 16, 2017
News Roundup

Treasure Island seeks to ease development rules

TREASURE ISLAND — Amid growing developer interest in the city, voters will be asked to modernize the city's development regulations next March.

"We are getting a lot of interest. Building permits are up. Things are starting to get busy again," City Manager Reid Silverboard told the City Commission earlier this month.

He cited particular interest by real estate agents and developers in two vacant properties — the site of the former Buccaneer Motel on Gulf Boulevard and the site of an earlier proposed and then withdrawn plan for a La Quinta Inn at 108th Avenue and the Treasure Island Causeway.

There also are preliminary discussions under way regarding a possible parking garage in the city's downtown core.

Homeowners Choice Inc., the owner of the 8-plus acre former Rice property at John's Pass, also recently enlarged the site when it bought an adjacent property at auction, the site of a former liquor store at the entrance to John's Pass.

In a recent email to Mayor Bob Minning, HCI spokesperson Jay Madhu said the company is considering developing the site as a destination hotel.

"We have been approached by various people to sell them the property or partner with them to do some different things," Madhu said.

"Our plan, is to hopefully make the property a destination hotel,'' he said. "However to do so we would among many things need height and density to be increased to get economies of scale."

Silverboard indicated the city might need to create a planned development zoning code to facilitate the development of the John's Pass property.

That change has yet to be discussed by the commission, but it did take several actions earlier this month to facilitate development in other areas of the city.

The commission voted to ask voters to allow a 2-foot increase in building height citywide to ensure homes and other structures are not penalized by last year's 2-foot increase in the effective flood elevation.

If approved, it would mean that the actual measured height of structures would remain the same as before new flood measurement. If defeated, the measured height of future buildings would have to be shorter.

In December, the commission is scheduled to take final votes on a series of referendum questions relating to the city's downtown redevelopment district. The commission adopted a downtown special area plan in April as part of its overall land use plan.

The five referendum questions would ask voters to put in place regulations implementing the plan, creating greater density for mixed use and tourist development.

If voters approve the regulations, the city would then have to create specific zoning districts in which those regulations would apply.

Comments
Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

WASHINGTON — Closing in on the first major legislative achievement of his term, President Donald Trump on Saturday defended the Republican tax cut as a good deal for the middle class while boldly suggesting it could lead to explosive economic growth....
Updated: 1 hour ago
Aquarium reopens to divers

Aquarium reopens to divers

Florida Keys News BureauVisitors to Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters dive with among indigenous Keys fish Friday in Marathon. The attraction reopened Friday after closing just before Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys on Sept. 10. Although tourism f...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida moves to control booming, invasive iguanas

Florida moves to control booming, invasive iguanas

MIAMI — With burrowing iguanas showing up in people’s toilets and damaging expensive sewer lines, Florida wildlife managers are stepping up efforts to control the state’s booming population of the wild, invasive reptiles. The Florida Fish and Wildlif...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Fan helps fund Miami Stadium’s historic marker

MIAMI — For thousands of kids who grew up in Miami, going to the old Miami Stadium in the Allapattah neighborhood was a part of coming of age. Opened on Aug. 31, 1949, with a game between the Miami Sun Sox and Havana Cubans, two Class B Florida Inter...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida man sues for $2.8 million fishing tournament prize money

Florida man sues for $2.8 million fishing tournament prize money

OCEAN CITY, Md. — Phil Heasley of Naples caught the fish of his life, but the $2.8 million in tournament prize money got away. Heasley reeled in a 6-foot white marlin last year off Maryland’s coast. But in a sign of how concerned some big money tour...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Sometime soon, members of the Florida House will be asked to consider a solution for bullying in public schools. It’s a dubious idea based on the premise that students should flee their tormenters, and use voucher funds to attend a private school of ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Two die in head-on crash on Gunn Highway in Odessa

ODESSA — Hillsborough County deputies are investigating a head-on crash on Gunn Highway that killed two and sent a child to the hospital Saturday afternoon.About 12: 45 p.m., Terry Lee Bronschidle, 70, of Tampa was driving his Chevy Traverse south on...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

DENVER — There might be one team in hockey hotter than the Lightning.It is Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, Syracuse.The Crunch has won 10 straight after Friday’s victory over Providence. Why is this important? While the AHL is a developmental league, the ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Firefighters injured after early-morning blaze at Tampa strip mall

Firefighters injured after early-morning blaze at Tampa strip mall

TAMPA — Three firefighters were injured early Saturday morning while battling a fire at a strip mall on W Waters Avenue, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.Firefighters said the blaze started around 2:45 p.m. in the attic of L.A. Nail Supply, located at ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

LAKE BUENA VISTA — There were a lot of reasons the Rays didn’t start the process of trading some of their bigger-name, higher-paid players at last week’s winter meetings.Most obvious was them not finding the just-right deal to move closer Alex Colome...
Updated: 5 hours ago