Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas commission delays permit proposal after criticism from city officials

CLEARWATER — Blasted by residents and city officials, Pinellas County commissioners on Tuesday delayed a proposal to exempt county properties from cities' regulations.

Commissioners said they wanted time to iron out fears in St. Petersburg, Largo and Pinellas Park that the measure goes too far.

"This is like a marriage between the county and the cities," Commissioner Ken Welch said.

"Divorce," Commission Chairwoman Susan Latvala cracked.

The board voted 6-1 to delay action until Oct. 25. Commissioner Norm Roche opposed, saying, "This isn't a power grab, this is existing authority."

This month, St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster warned of homeless people migrating to panhandle on the Pinellas Trail because the city's ban could be upended, and floated the idea of a digital billboard going up atop a downtown county building. County officials say the examples are impossible under the proposal.

But residents carried those examples to Tuesday's meeting, leading Latvala and other commissioners to try to explain they were unfounded, sometimes in sharp exchanges.

"I've watched you, Ms. Latvala. Patronizing wouldn't be too much," said Cathy Wilson of St. Petersburg.

The dispute erupted last month over the county's costs for permits to build an $81 million public safety complex in Largo. The city's building fees are more than $200,000 above what Pinellas charges.

Unable to negotiate lower city fees, County Administrator Bob LaSala and county attorneys decided to push a broader ordinance pre-empting county projects from city rules.

The County Charter gives Pinellas authority over various services, such as public safety, without cities having oversight.

But the action alarmed officials and attorneys in cities.

It was "too much, too soon," St. Petersburg urban planning chief Rick MacAuley said.

A toned-down version released last week limited exemptions to development issues, but it didn't quell their opposition.

David DeCamp can be reached at ddecamp@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8779. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/decamptimes

Other Pinellas County Commission actions

Incentives: The commission voted 7-0 to pay $275,000 into a $1.3 million incentive package with state and local support for an undisclosed company to move to St. Petersburg. The biotech firm would create 283 jobs over six years averaging $120,000 in annual pay. The county wouldn't identify the firm, but a staff report indicated the business would invest $9.8 million in the project. If the company's proposal succeeds, then county money would be repaid, economic development director Mike Meidel said.

Pinellas commission delays permit proposal after criticism from city officials 09/27/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 12:13am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cue the Scott Frost to Nebraska speculation

    Blogs

    Nebraska shook up the college sports world Thursday afternoon when it fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst.

    And that should scare UCF fans.

  2. Oh, Florida! Irma's gone, but she left behind plenty of lessons for us

    Columns

    I don't want to make light of the misery and death that Hurricane Irma inflicted on Florida this month. A lot of it was ugly, and some of it was downright criminal. We saw greed and pettiness on display, and it brought illness and death.

    Tampa Bay Times staff writer Craig Pittman.
  3. Make-A-Wish Foundation aims to help more kids in Tampa Bay

    Health

    The Make-A-Wish Foundation is on the lookout for sick children in the Tampa Bay area who need a once-in-a-lifetime pick-me-up.

    Grace Savage, a 10-year-old girl with a chromosomal disorder made a trek to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium last year, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The foundation intends to beef up its presence in the Tampa Bay area after a reorganization. The region is now the responsibility of the foundation's Southern Florida chapter, one of the most active in the country, with more than 11,000 wishes granted so far. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times ]
  4. William March: Frank Reddick says all-white Tampa council possible

    Elections

    A decline in the percentage of black voters in Tampa's only majority-black City Council district, District 5, has council member Frank Reddick worried.

    City Council member Frank Reddick said that if Tampa can't maintain African-American voter numbers, he could be the council's last African-American representative. [JAMES BORCHUK   |   Times (2016)]
  5. Florida hides details in nursing home reports. Federal agencies don't.

    Medicine

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott widened his offensive Thursday against the Broward nursing home he blames for the deaths of 10 residents by setting up a tip line for information, but when it comes to access to the inspection reports of all nursing homes, the governor's administration has heavily censored what the …

    In the foreground is a document detailing the findings of a Feb. 2016 inspection at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills obtained from a federal agency, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Behind it is the state?€™s version of the same document, from the Agency for Health Care Administration, showing how it has been redacted before being released to the public. [Miami Herald]