tampabay.com

New sign ordinance aims for less clutter

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 19, 2007


LARGO

After two years of debate, the city of Largo is finally poised to adopt a new sign ordinance June 1. It will mean chunkier, shorter, signs - a change aimed at reducing the visual clutter that graces the streets and pierces the sky.

"It's to improve the quality of the city of Largo, " said Michael Staffopoulos, director of the city's Community Development Department. "It will reduce sign clutter, and it will improve the aesthetics of the community." The new rules will also be easier to understand, Staffopoulos said.

Current businesses will have 10 years to conform to the change. But any signs going up after the ordinance is passed will have to comply immediately.

DUNEDIN

Commission approves lawyer's resort plans

The bid to return the historic Fenway Hotel back into a premier resort came a step closer Thursday when the City Commission signed off on the 150-room development plan.

But the win for developer George Rahdert, an attorney who represents the St. Petersburg Times, came only after two hours of presentations, public input and a promise of 37, 000 free ice cream cones.

And it came more than a year after his initial proposal for a 250-room hotel was thwarted by neighbors.

Rahdert wants to convert the 1924 building at 453 Edgewater Drive into a condominium and hotel complex.

OLDSMAR

2 cities okay tax break for low-income seniors

Starting this year, low-income senior homeowners in both Oldsmar and Dunedin can qualify to exempt as much as $75, 000 of their home's value from property taxes under a pair of ordinances approved this week.

The two North Pinellas cities are among the first in Pinellas County to act on authority voters bestowed in November. In the election, voters approved doubling the optional property tax break low-income homeowners 65 and older can receive from their local government. Dunedin leaders approved the change Thursday; Oldsmar approved it Tuesday.

WESLEY CHAPEL

Pasco County attracts major lacrosse tourney

The Wesley Chapel Athletic Association has all but sealed the deal to bring a national-level lacrosse tournament to Pasco County.

Organizers of the Dick's Sporting Goods Tournament of Champions have listed Wesley Chapel District Park as the venue for its Jan. 5-6 event.

The Dick's Sporting Goods Tournament of Champions draws 40 teams from 25 high school tournaments from across the United States and Canada, said Mark Schneider, an athletic association volunteer. The group got a $15, 000 grant from Pasco's tourism development council.

BROOKSVILLE

Clearwater agency assumes foster care

Foster care services in Hernando County will now be supervised by a new agency that will have many of the same workers as its predecessor but will operate with less money.

Beginning today, Camelot Community Care of Clearwater will supervise foster care and protective supervision of 327 cases of 696 children in Hernando.

In March, Kids Central Inc., the community-based provider hired by the state to oversee foster care and adoption in this area, canceled its $6.6-million contract with the Harbor.