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Community news: Clearwater has no objections to Scientology New Year's tent wrap

The Church of Scientology covered its huge tent with a new wrap for the holiday.
The Church of Scientology covered its huge tent with a new wrap for the holiday.
Published Dec. 27, 2013


New Year's wrap gets the okay from city

The Church of Scientology covered its huge tent with a new wrap in anticipation of a planned New Year's Event, but this covering doesn't bother city officials.

The new wrap, put up around Christmas, doesn't violate the city's sign code, said City Manager Bill Horne.

Church representatives previewed the wrap — festooned with depictions of colorful confetti and inscribed with "New Year's 2014" — for city officials earlier this month. The church's New Year's event, traditionally held in Los Angeles, will be held in Clearwater this year.

The November christening of the Flag Building and a subsequent gathering of the International Association of Scientologists were also held in the city this year.

A 150,000-square-foot tent was erected next to the Flag Building along Court Street, a major thoroughfare to Clearwater Beach in August.

A wrap unveiled in October was deemed to violate the city's sign code because it had lettering, including an acronym for "Keeping Scientology Working" and "The Golden Age of Tech."

The church wasn't fined, but it was put on notice that future illegal wraps would draw fines by the city's Code Enforcement Board.


Fenway a step closer to razing

Dunedin commissioners this month preliminarily approved an ordinance that would let historic structures such as the Fenway be razed and rebuilt because of their poor condition, because they aren't in compliance with current building and fire codes, or due to their location in the floodplain.

Under the proposal, the developer would be required to replicate the demolished structures' historic look.

City planning director Greg Rice said being able to start from scratch is a more attractive, cost-effective option for developers. He said it's also much safer for the Fenway, an all-wood structure that is caving from water damage, lacks hurricane and fire protection devices and sits in a velocity zone.

Commissioner Julie Ward Bujalski said she's sad the original structure can't be restored. But she echoed Commissioner Ron Barnette's comments that the city needs to find a "clear balance" between history, visual appeal and building safety and said the city has no choice but to approve the ordinance.

"It is sad seeing an old building go away. But when you could probably huff and puff and blow it down, it's probably had its better day," Mayor Dave Eggers said. "It is degrading quickly. And we'd certainly like to bring that historic use back in some way."

A second public hearing and final vote is set for Jan. 9.

Dredging project on the agenda

The public is invited next month to listen in on a citizen advisory board's discussion about the dredging of Lake Sperry and Cedar Creek, and how that potential project and others might affect residents' utility rates in the future.

The Stormwater Advisory Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 7 at the Hale Activity Center, 330 Douglas Ave.

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Members will discuss a preliminary dredging analysis drafted by city consultant Taylor Engineering. They will also discuss a separate report examining budget needs for a list of stormwater improvement projects proposed throughout the entire city over the next six years.

Both reports are available on the city's website:

The Dunedin City Commission will discuss the dredging report during its regularly scheduled meeting, set for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at City Hall, 542 Main St.

Commissioners will hear public comment during their meeting but do not plan on making any final decisions.

The final dredging report is expected to be completed in April 2014.


Christmas trees get second life

Recycle Christmas trees so they can be processed into useful mulch. Remember to remove all decorations, including hooks, garland, tinsel and lights. Keep the tree loose, not in a bag or trash can.

For apartments and condos, residents should consult with their property managers for disposal instructions.

The following cities offer Christmas tree recycling:

Belleair: Curbside collection with yard waste on regular day. For information, call (727) 588-3769, ext. 401.

Clearwater: Curbside collection with yard waste on regular day. For information, call (727) 562-4920.

Dunedin: Curbside collection with yard waste on regular day through Jan. 10. Residents without curbside yard waste pickup can plan a pickup day with their association property manager. For information, call (727) 298-3215, ext. 1328.

Oldsmar: Drop off at 107 Shore Drive W, across from Park Boulevard. Open through Jan. 13. For information, call (813) 749-1266.

Safety Harbor: Curbside collection with yard waste on Wednesdays. For information, call (727) 724-1550.

Tarpon Springs: Drop off at the yard waste facility at 898 S. Levis Ave. for a fee, or put out for curbside collection with yard waste on regular day. For information, call (727) 943-4837.


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