Next month's referendum will contain one item: whether to change the zoning of several lots near Town Hall.
Changing a zoning designation requires a two-thirds majority of the town's registered voters, said Deputy Town Clerk Marilyn Daminato.
The city bought six lots next to the town government building on Gulf Boulevard in 1972. In total, they compose slightly less than an acre. The site was zoned general purpose and it was proposed for municipal use as an eventual expansion site for Town Hall, said Commissioner Maureen O'Connor.
In 1990, residents approved a referendum to change the zoning to that of a park to meet the requirements of the city's comprehensive land-use plan, a blueprint for growth, O'Connor said.
Last year, the city bought two waterfront lots across the street from Town Hall. Commissioners hired the University of South Florida (USF) to design a site plan to determine the best use for all town-owned land, O'Connor said.
USF recommended that four of the six lots next to Town Hall be returned to municipal use, while the remaining land there remain a park. The existing children's playground would stay. Mean-while, the two waterfront parcels would become a new park, the USF study recommended. The referendum asks to change the zoning of the six lots to municipal from residential and of the two waterfront lots to parkland from residential.
O'Connor said the current park on the six lots isn't used very much; it contains a gazebo and the children's playground. The waterfront park would be used much more, she said.
"What we're actually doing is creating a nicer park on the waterfront," she said.