St. Pete Beach to enlighten, clarify

Published April 17, 2005

ST. PETE BEACH - Concerned about public perception and understanding, St. Pete Beach commissioners will embark on a detailed public information campaign Monday to educate residents about new land development regulations.

City Manager Mike Bonfield recommended that, beginning with Monday's commission workshop, the city take special steps to correct any misperceptions on the proposed regulations and the "character districts" that will guide the city's development.

The commission will take a final vote on the regulations in June.

"The concern is to make sure everyone understands what is happening," Bonfield said. "We want to make sure everyone understands how we got where we are, so people can offer their ideas instead of just saying, "I don't like it.' "

With Monday's workshop serving as an overview, meetings after that will allow residents to ask more specific questions about building heights, signs and other technical details. The city will have a public information display in City Hall with staffers available to answer questions on these dates: May 7: 9 a.m. to noon

May 9: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

May 11: 6 to 8 p.m.

May 12: 2 to 4 p.m.

May 14: 9 a.m. to noon

The commission will hold another workshop May 17 before making final adjustments to the plan. Bonfield told commissioners that residents generally support the new regulations, based on comments from earlier workshops, but that enough questions remain that the city needs to make a special effort to clarify the rules.

In other action, the commission:

Approved spending $18,702 to hire a part-time building inspector to meet increased demand for inspections. The city has taken in an additional $45,000 in permit fees because of greater interest in development, so the commission will spend some of that money to answer the additional inspection requests.

Approved two contracts related to construction of the master pump station. One contract, for $153,777, is with PBS&J to perform construction management services. The other, for $151,955, is with the lead contractor, Camp Dresser and McKee, for general services.

Agreed to accept a $5,185 grant from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and use it toward a $9,842 purchase of forensic video equipment.

Approved a $20,000 contract with Bell's Fireworks of Tampa for the fireworks display July 4.