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© St. Petersburg Times, published December 18, 2000
Re: From pie in sky to castles on the sand, Dec. 10 story.
The three proposals for building hotels and garages on Clearwater Beach have something in common: They don't belong here! They are too big and too commercial for our family community.
If any one of these monoliths is built, it would turn our livable village into an unlivable parking lot.
I lived in New York City for 35 years and I saw, first hand, how over-building turned a bustling metropolis into a permanent parking lot where traffic, when it moves, does so at 8 mph!
The building in New York City over the years was all done in the name of progress. Now Clearwater is thinking about building huge edifices in, you guessed it, the name of progress.
After the roundabout fiasco, can Clearwater Beach handle any more progress?
-- Fred Nassif, Clearwater Beach
Re: Planned Clearwater projects are key to future tourism, Dec. 8 letter.
I suggest that there is a finite limit to the increase in tourists which can be "absorbed" by Clearwater Beach.
One example: Previous estimates of cost/revenue factors stated that parking garages (at about $10-$12 a day to park) must have an 80 percent or better occupancy factor daily, year-round, to be economically feasible.
If David Mack's project actually produces such milkable cash-cow revenue, why would he give the garage to the city in five years?
My primary concern continues to be, what about when the beach is wall-to-wall people and tourists can't even walk from the Adam's Mark to the Hilton Hotel, let alone to the "unpopulated" north end?
How many more new tourists will come to Clearwater Beach for the purpose of crossing the new city-built, state-owned bridge, negotiating the Roberto Runaround, parking in an expensive garage, elbowing their way through over-crowded sidewalks, just to patronize the many shops selling souvenirs of the beach they never saw? And do it more than once? And go back home to tell their friends what a good time they had?
I certainly hope that developers (and more important, city planners) have the correct mix worked out before those all-important new tourists stop coming to Clearwater Beach.
R.J. Radford, Clearwater
By a small margin, a referendum recently was defeated by Palm Harbor voters to add a small tax to maintain the Palm Harbor Senior Activity Center.
If the 47 percent or so of the voters who favored the senior center were to send in a check for the amount they thought they might be taxed, I'm sure it would be a great benefit to the center and its workers.
I've only attended a card party at the center, but I found it to be most handsome and the workers (mostly volunteers) to be quite efficient. They work long hours and I believe there are only two paid staffers.
Come on, let's give these people a break in 2001 and send in our checks to help them help our elderly and many, many others.
-- Patricia Ann Reppin, Palm Harbor