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Best Damn Race on next City Commission agenda


The Safety Harbor City Commission will be asked to approve two special events, including the annual Best Damn Race, when it meets Monday night.

Monday’s meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Here is the link to the agenda, with additional material, known as “backup,” available via the hyperlink on each item: https://safetyharbor.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=6&event_id=1791.

The anticipated completion of new pedestrian bridge at the entrance of Philippe Park should greatly reduce road closures necessary for the 2021 Best Damn Race. (Safety Harbor Connect files)

The Best Damn Race, which has grown into the largest weekend of foot races in Safety Harbor, is seeking approval to host 5K and 10K races on Saturday, Feb. 6, and a half marathon on Sunday, Feb. 7. The race organizer and city staff anticipate a newly constructed foot bridge at the entrance of Philippe Park will finally be finished prior to next year’s races, which will significantly reduce the amount of road closures necessary. City staff has no objections to the event.

Also, Commission will be asked to approve a special events application from Harborside Christian Church for “The Movement,” a teen event scheduled for April 14 at Safety Harbor Waterfront Park. City staff has no objections to the event.


“Quasi-judicial” hearings mimic aspects of a courtroom process, including the applicant, city staff and anyone who proves they have “affected party” status will be sworn in, provide evidence and be able to cross-examine, if desired. A court reporter may be present. While the public will have the opportunity to speak on the agenda item, Commission is bound to make its decision based solely on “competent substantial evidence” presented at the meeting.

Conditional use request for 915 Harbor Lake Court, Suite B: Jeremiah Khokhar is seeking approval to operate a commercial photography studio at this address. The city’s Planning & Zoning Board unanimously recommends approval, and city staff says the request meets all codes. 

Rezoning for Folly Farms addition: The city recently bought the property at 1550 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. North to add it to the Folly Farms public park, and wishes to rezone it from Single-Family Residential (R-1) to Public and Conservation (P). In a related, non-quasi-judicial hearing item, Commission will be asked to change the Future Land Use of the parcel from Residential Low (RL) to Recreation/Open Space (R/OS).


Harbour Pointe West subdivision final plat approval: In 2018, Commission approved this mixed-use development with a mix of condominiums, apartments and retail space behind the Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce building 4-0 with Mayor Joe Ayoub abstaining under the advice of the City Attorney because of the proximity of his house to the project. Later in the year, Commission again voted 4-0, with Ayoub abstaining for the same reason, to give the developer an extension to build the development. Commission will be asked to approve the final plat for the development Monday. The city’s third-party surveyor and its Technical Review Committee say the plat meets all requirements.

Land Development Code waiver requests: Julia Scott wishes to build an accessory dwelling structure near the rear of her lot at 535 3rd. St. North, demolish the primary dwelling and construct a new primary dwelling, which requires the approval of two waivers of the Land Development Code. City staff is recommending that if Commission approves the waivers that it also establish a deadline for the new primary dwelling to receive its certificate of occupancy, establishment enforcement procedures in case it isn’t and that a temporary certificate of occupancy for the accessory dwelling require compliance with land use restrictions be met before the final certificate of occupancy for the accessory dwelling is approved. 

Pine Street traffic calming: Commission will be asked to approve building two speed humps on Pine Street after a traffic study showed the street was eligible for traffic calming.

Planning & Zoning Board appointments: The terms of Lorraine Duffy Suarez, Roger Menendez, Carol Zieres and Sue Caisse on the board that advises Commission on planning and zoning issues and serves as the city’s Board of Appeals are expiring. Suarez, Menendez and Caisse are seeking reappointment, but Zieres is not. Applications have been received from Colin Young, Stephen Wurst and Scott Hood.  

Read Across Safety Harbor Month proclamation: Lynne Tucker of R’Club will receive a proclamation declaring March Read Across Safety Harbor Month and March 2 as Read Across Safety Harbor Day. Also, the Harbor Exchange Club will be honored for installing a Little Free Library at Daisy Douglas Park.

Love My City Photo Contest Best In Show presentation: Dennis Wyrick will be honored for having the Best In Show winning entry in the city’s recently concluded Love My City photo contest.

Consent agenda: Items expected to have little debate, such as approval of the last meeting’s minutes and most contracts, are included en masse in the consent agenda, though any Commissioner can ask for any item to be considered separately. This meeting’s consent agenda includes approval of an agreement with Pinellas County for a social media campaign to reduce sanitary sewer overflows, approval of a contract for online timekeeping services and approval of an engagement letter with a consultant to replace the Enterprise Resource Planning System.


Attend the meeting: The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 750 Main St., with the workshop beginning at 6 p.m. Meetings typically run from 1.5 to three hours. Residents are given the opportunity to speak on all agenda items, except for presentations and consent agenda items. Come forward when asked by the mayor, state your name and address, and you’ll be given three minutes to address the Commission. For any issues not on the agenda, or any item that is on the consent agenda, residents get three minutes to speak at the beginning of the meeting during “Audience to be Heard.”  

Watch from home: Meetings are live-streamed to the city’s website at http://cityofsafetyharbor.com/557/Streaming-Media. The following day, a video of the meeting is posted for residents to watch.

Contact your Commissioners in advance by leaving them a message at City Hall at (727) 724-1555 or emailing them:

Mayor Joe Ayoub – jayoub@cityofsafetyharbor.com

Vice Mayor Cliff Merz – cmerz@cityofsafetyharbor.com

Commissioner Carlos Diaz – cdiaz@cityofsafetyharbor.com

Commissioner Andy Zodrow – azodrow@cityofsafetyharbor.com

Commissioner Nancy Besore – nbesore@cityofsafetyharbor.com

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