Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

House bill seeks to void St. Petersburg's annexation of Tierra Verde slice

Florida lawmakers have toughened the "all or nothing" bill in an attempt to void St. Petersburg's annexation of a sliver of Tierra Verde.

The bill, proposed after St. Petersburg's 28-acre annexation last year, originally required municipalities to take all of the island instead of a slice, and put any annexation up for a referendum. St. Petersburg interpreted the proposal as applying only to future annexations, and pressed ahead with plans.

So Rep. Jim Frishe, R-St. Petersburg, persuaded a House panel not just to pass the measure, but to amend the bill to make it retroactive.

"That was the intention all along," said Frishe, the bill's author, adding the city's actions "didn't pass the smell test."

The House's Military and Local Affairs Committee voted 14-0 for the stricter bill. Two more committees are due to hear the bill before the full House and then Senate take it up. Frishe promises the Legislature will approve the measure, which applies only to Tierra Verde.

St. Petersburg officials are crying foul, saying the bill creates an unfair exemption for Tierra Verde. "The whole bill is the Legislature meddling," St. Petersburg City Council Chairman Jeff Danner said. "The rules were set up by the county, and we followed them. It was piecemeal, but we followed the rules."

Pinellas County contends the city failed to follow state law because it annexed 10 acres of submerged land to extend its boundary to the desired 18 acres.

Tierra Verde residents relished lawmakers' action. They fear more development in their community and allege the city failed to follow the proper procedures to justify adding the land.

"It is good news," said Paul Murray, president of the Tierra Verde Community Association.

Commercial property owners in the annexed areas approached St. Petersburg about joining the city, which has more flexible development rules than the county. The county expects to file a lawsuit today challenging the annexation. Mediation between the city and Pinellas failed.

House bill seeks to void St. Petersburg's annexation of Tierra Verde slice 04/01/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 10:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Astros rout Yankees to force Game 7 of AL Championship Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Luis Severino for the second time, and the Astros bats came alive in their return home as Houston routed the Yankees 7-1 Friday night and forced a decisive Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

    The Astros’ Brian McCann, who has struggled during the ALCS, breaks a scoreless tie with an RBI double during the fifth inning off Yankees starter Luis Severino.
  2. Review: Faith Hill and Tim McGraw shower love, star power on Tampa's Amalie Arena

    Blogs

    Near the end of their potent new duet Break First, Tim McGraw stopped singing, and let Faith Hill's powerhouse voice take over.

    Faith Hill and Tim McGraw performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Oct. 20, 2017.
  3. Senate to take up AUMF debate as Trump defends reaction to Niger attack

    World

    WASHINGTON — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is taking up a long-awaited debate about authorizing military force against the Islamic State as President Trump comes under unprecedented public scrutiny for his treatment of dead soldiers' families, following an ambush on troops helping to fight Islamic …

  4. In fear and vigilance, a Tampa neighborhood holds its breath

    K12

    TAMPA — There was a time, not long ago, when Wayne Capaz would go for a stroll at night and Christina Rodriguez would shop whenever she wanted. Michael Fuller would go to his night job as a line cook, not too worried about his wife at home.

    More than 50 people gathered and walked in the Southeast Seminole Heights community Friday to pay respects to the victims of three shootings. The crowd took a moment of silence at the corner of 11th Street and East New Orleans where Monica Hoffa was found dead. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  5. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.