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City Commission to take first step on library expansion


The Safety Harbor City Commission will kick off 2020 by taking the first step toward building a second story on the Safety Harbor Public Library,  while also making the final vote on the future of the city’s recycling program. 

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: http://safetyharbor.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=6&event_id=1787.

Commission will be asked to approve a $173,674 contract with Long & Associates for architecture and engineering services for the second-story addition to the library, which has long been needed as the existing meeting rooms are often reserved months in advance. Long & Associates is the firm that prepared a master plan for the addition back in 2008 that would add 4,900 square feet of space above the existing meeting rooms. (Long & Associates and the author of this column have no connection).

The second story is expected to essentially mimic the first-floor meeting room space, with meeting rooms with movable walls, a dedicated teen space, a kitchen and storage. Solar panels on the roof will be considered. While city funds will be used for the expansion, the Safety Harbor Public Library Foundation is in the midst of a $500,000 fundraising campaign to pay for most everything that will be needed to equip the new space. 


Ordinances or changes to city code require two hearings before the City Commission. 

Sanitation rate increases: Commission voted 5-0 on first reading to increase residential sanitation collection rates by 5.25 percent a year and maintain the current collection schedule, but instead of taking recyclable material to the City of Clearwater for processing, it will be taken to Pinellas County’s Waste to Energy Plant to be incinerated and turned into energy. For an in-depth look at this issue, please see Connect’s most recent article on it.  

Land Development Code changes on mobile home setbacks, accessory structures and secondary front yards: Commission voted 5-0 on first reading to approve these various changes to the Land Development Code. 


Amend Land Development Code for alleyways, sidewalks and utility locates: Commission approved these changes on first reading at its last meeting, but also voted for changes to the maximum lot coverage item that was included. Because of that, the lot coverage item has been removed and will be considered separately in the future, and Commission will need to revote on first reading on the remaining items.  

Impervious surface ratio changes: Commission will consider two separate items dealing with “impervious surface ratio,” or ISR, which is the amount of land that can be covered by concrete and other materials that water can’t penetrate. The changes include making the ISR requirements for the Residential/Office General (R/OG) Future Land Use classification consistent with Pinellas County, making the ISR requirements for multi-family dwellings consistent with other Future Land Use classifications and consolidating ISR requirements into one table.  

Comprehensive Plan glossary update: Commission will consider modifying a density definition and adding a definition for submerged lands in the city’s Comprehensive Plan to be consistent with the city’s Land Development Code. 

Professional Services contract: Commission will consider approving a contract with Quorum Services Inc. to conduct building inspections in the city at a rate lower than Pinellas County charges. The city has been without a Building Inspector since September. 

Audit Committee appointments: The city’s Finance Advisory Committee has recommended that Commission appoint Elizabeth Wadsworth and Christos “Chris” Politis to serve on the city’s Audit Committee, which serves with Commission during the city’s annual audit. 

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 to replace audio visual equipment and to award a contract for the construction of restrooms at Folly Farms.  


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


  1. Our library is the jewel of downtown. There are a lot of people working very hard to contribute to the much needed addition. I hope to see this vision come to life in the near future.

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