Commission’s building heights debate could end tonight

The issue that largely has consumed the current Safety Harbor City Commission’s time together – downtown building heights – may finally come to an end tonight when Commission will consider second and final readings on two ordinances.

Tonight’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=1680.

As part of the ordinances to reduce building heights in the city’s Community Town Center zoning designation from 45 feet to 35 feet, the future land use of the city’s new Baranoff Park will be changed to “public.” (Mayor Joe Ayoub’s official Facebook page)

In the nearly two years this Commission has worked together, it has held several hearings and discussions over lowering the maximum building heights in select downtown zoning districts from 45 feet to 35 feet and no more than three stories, as well as adding various design incentives that would allow qualifying developers to build to 40 feet, and protection for owners of current building owners to rebuild completely if their buildings were damaged or destroyed through fire, weather or other similar events. The legislation also changes the future land use of the new Baranoff Park to “public.”

Because the changes must be added to city’s Downtown Master Plan and Land Development Code, they not only needed to go through various approvals of the City Commission, the Commission acting as the city’s Community Development Agency and the city’s Planning & Zoning Board, but also needed to be approved by various county and state agencies. All of those approvals have been received, and state agencies have voiced no objections, so if Commission votes in favor of the two ordinances tonight, they are expected to go into effect in December.

ALSO ON THE AGENDA …

Lien reduction request: Matthew Mayers, owner of 3131 Hillside Lane, is requesting a 100 percent reduction of a $125,405.14 code enforcement lien on the property. City staff says the application meets the criteria for a 45 percent reduction, which would reduce the lien to $68,972.83, including administrative fees, which can not be waived. If approved by Commission, payment must be made within 90 days or the lien reverts to the full amount. 

Christopher Palmieri Employee of the Quarter presentation: Brian Dennington of the Engineering Department will be honored for the third quarter. 

Firefighter swearing-ins: Michael W. Fogarty and Matthew J. Tilka will be sworn in as firefighters/paramedics. 

Staff swearing-in: Sixteen other city staff members hired since June 1 will be sworn in.

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 buy a 2020 Ford T-350 15-passenger van, a 2020 Ford Escape and a vacuum well point pump. 

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

Attend the meeting: The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 750 Main St. 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *