Leave Shoppes zoning alone
March 20, the City Council of Clearwater will consider a zoning action that would zone the Shoppes on Sand Key to "T" — Tourist. In the strongest possible terms, I and many of my fellow Sand Key residents oppose this action. Sand Key is a residential community and needs to remain a residential community.
I am not against development; I am in favor of improvements in line with the long-range goal of preserving Sand Key as a residential community, improvements which could become a model for other residential beach communities. I and numerous other Sand Key residents would be pleased to work with the city's planning staff in developing such a plan, as was done for Island Estates.
Also, I am concerned about the city extending the county's new high-density rules for overnight accommodations to Sand Key. If this application is approved, it could very well mean the destruction of the Shoppes and in their place another hotel. Again, we are a residential community, not a tourist area like Clearwater Beach.
I ask that the mayor and City Council members seriously consider the input and voice of the many Sand Key residents who have spoken out against the zoning to Tourist.
Sand Key provides about 17 percent of Clearwater's tax base while sending only six youngsters to the school system in Clearwater. We are doing more than our share of Clearwater support. Our voice merits their consideration and support.
Don Infante, Clearwater
Water quality in bay slips
story, March 8
School bus depot would harm bay
After reading this article, the first thing that occurred to me is what will happen to Old Tampa Bay if the proposed school bus depot, fueling station and maintenance shed is built at McMullen-Booth Road and State Road 580?
In 2006, all parts of the bay were clean, but in 2007 the quality declined in Old Tampa Bay. According to the article, this decline is a result of "polluted runoff from fertilized lawns and a multitude of other sources on the developed shoreline." Imagine, if you will, the amount of runoff caused by the fueling and running of 300 school buses, the grease and oil from the maintenance shed and from all the cars of the employees. Can Old Tampa Bay survive that much increased "urban slobber"?
The site planners promise a retention pond that will prevent any pollution from reaching Tampa Bay. I, for one, do not believe that is possible, especially since the existing pond has already overflowed its banks in the past. The only way to guarantee no pollutants will reach the bay is not to build the depot in the first place.
Barbara Bergling, Safety Harbor
Dunedin official says thank you
To Dunedin voters:
I sincerely thank you for re-electing me as your representative on the Dunedin City Commission. Your confidence that I will continue to represent you with equality, accountability and courage is humbling and greatly appreciated.
Throughout the last two years, I've often been asked, "Is the job of a city commissioner what you thought it would be?" My simple answer is, "No, it's so much better!" I approach this job with great excitement and I look forward to working with you to ensure we carry out your vision of Dunedin.
I also commend you for your decision to move forward with a new election system. It was important that your government afforded you your democratic right to choose how best to elect your own representatives. Now that your voice has been heard on this issue, our job will be to fully support your wishes and continue to ensure you have a fair election process that both encourages new candidates and ensures that every vote counts.
Additionally, I would like to thank the candidates who ran during this election. Anyone who is willing to give of their time, talent and family speaks of incredible depth and I'm honored to have stood beside them. I congratulate Vice Mayor Deborah Kynes on her re-election. I look forward to working with her and the rest of the commission to ensure Dunedin is the best it can be.
Regarding the future, Dunedin prides itself on being innovative and rising to the challenge of improving itself in every way. In the next three years, we will need to tap into many creative ideas to see us through the challenges that lie ahead:
• Doing more with less and keeping tax rates low.
• Ensuring development enhances who we are.
• Improving stormwater drainage.
• Bringing jobs into our community.
• Revitalizing stagnant areas of Dunedin.
These are just a few priorities you've told me to focus on as your representative. My commitment to working through these issues on your behalf will continue to be steadfast and never ending.
Again, my heartfelt thanks for your vote and here's to keeping Dunedin delightfully different!
Julie Ward Bujalski, Dunedin city commissioner