City Commission disagrees on planning board appointments

The Safety Harbor City Commission inched closer to a contentious Election Day on March 17 with unanimity on all votes before them except one during a more than 3-hour meeting on Monday. 

In the final vote of the night, Commission was asked to fill four spots on the city’s Planning & Zoning Board and Board of Appeals, two volunteer boards that are often lightning rods in the debate over what direction the city is heading in. Lorraine Duffy Suarez, Sue Caisse and Roger Menendez were requesting reappointment, while Carol Zieres was not. 

In a 5-0 vote, Commission elevated alternate member Jennifer Sedillo to a full member, and then the disagreement began. Commission voted 4-1, with Commissioner Andy Zodrow opposed, to reappoint Duffy Suarez, Caisse and Menendez as full members. Commissioner Carlos Diaz then made a motion to appoint Colin Young as the new alternate, which failed 3-2, with Diaz and Mayor Joe Ayoub voting in favor and Zodrow, Commissioner Nancy Besore and Vice Mayor Cliff Merz voting no. Merz then made a motion to appoint Stephen Wurst as the new alternate, and that motion passed 5-0.


Harbour Pointe West subdivision final plat approval: Commission voted 4-0, with Ayoub abstaining under the advice of the City Attorney because he lives within 500 feet of the project, to approve the final plat for this mixed-use development that will have a mix of condominiums, apartments and retail space behind the Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce building.

Conditional use request for 915 Harbor Lake Court, Suite B: Commission voted 5-0 to approve Jeremiah Khokhar’s request to operate a commercial photography studio at this address. 

Rezoning for Folly Farms addition: In two separate votes on first reading, Commission voted 5-0 to rezone a recently purchased property at 1550 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. North that will be added to the Folly Farms public park from Single-Family Residential (R-1) to Public and Conservation (P) and to change its Future Land Use of the parcel from Residential Low (RL) to Recreation/Open Space (R/OS).

Land Development Code waiver requests: Commission voted 5-0 to approve Julia Scott’s waiver requests for her lot at 535 3rd. St. North, where she plans to build an accessory dwelling structure to occupy while her primary dwelling structure is demolished and rebuilt, and to give her six months to complete construction on the accessory dwelling structure and then 12 months from that time to complete construction on the new primary dwelling.

Pine Street traffic calming: Commission voted 5-0 to approve installing two speed humps on Pine Street after a traffic study showed the street was eligible for traffic calming.

Best Damn Race special event: Commission voted 5-0 to approve the 2021 Best Damn Race for Feb. 6-7. 

The Movement special event: Commission voted 5-0 to approve The Movement, a teen event sponsored by Harborside Christian Church, for April 14 at Safety Harbor Waterfront Park. 

Read Across Safety Harbor Month proclamation: Lynne Tucker of R’Club received a proclamation declaring March Read Across Safety Harbor Month and March 2 as Read Across Safety Harbor Day.

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


Watch the video of it on the city’s website here:


7 p.m., Monday, March 16

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