The Safety Harbor City Commission will set its goals for the next two years at its next meeting Monday night, but not before continuing discussion on the topic that has consumed the past year – downtown building heights.
Every two years, the Commission holds a goal-setting session, allowing City Manager Matthew Spoor and city staff to update the Commission on progress made since the last goal-setting session, and for the Commissioners to suggest and discuss goals for the next two years. Sometimes this happens in a workshop rather than a regular meeting, but this year, it will take place during Monday’s regular meeting. Commission also discusses goals every summer during the budget process, which normally runs from June to September.
COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY MEETING
Before Monday’s regular meeting, Commission will meet as the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency to continue discussions of downtown building heights. The CRA gets its funding from property taxes that, in absence of a CRA, would go to Pinellas County. That pool of money can only be used for projects within the the city’s Community Redevelopment District, which consists of most of downtown, and there are restrictions on the types of spending allowed in the CRD. The purpose of the CRA is to encourage economic progress and redevelopment within the district.
Monday’s meeting is for continued discussions on proposed changes to the city’s Downtown Master Plan, which began last year when Commissioner Nancy Besore said she was in favor of lowering the maximum building height in the city’s Community Town Center zone to 35 feet from 45 feet. In April, Commission came to a consensus on, among other things, limiting buildings in that zone to a maximum of three stories. Also, Commission previously tasked the city’s Planning & Zoning Board with establishing a list of design features for downtown buildings.
At its April 10 meeting, the Planning & Zoning Board unanimously concurred with the Commission’s agreement on a maximum of three stories for buildings and changing the zoning of the new Baranoff Tree Park to “public.” Additionally, the board has made recommendations concerning bicycle parking, public park lighting, downtown landscaping and an architectural design review process. The CRA will discuss all of those items Monday night, with an eye toward a public hearing on June 12 and initial adoption on July 15.
ALSO ON THE AGENDA …
Building official services contract: The city’s Building Official resigned on April 18, and to limit delays in the permitting, the city contracted with Calvin, Giordano & Associates to fill the gap until a new Building Official can be hired and is requesting Commission approval of the contract.
Code Enforcement lien reduction request: The potential purchasers of 2175 Phillippe Parkway are requesting that a $98,225.98 lien on the property be eliminated so they can buy the property from the current owner and bring it into compliance. City staff recommends a reduction in the lien to $2,425 if the new owner is able to bring the property into compliance within 21 days.
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority appointment: The cities of Tarpon Springs, Oldsmar and Safety Harbor rotate appointing a member to the governing board of the county’s public transportation agency. The representative from Tarpon Springs was term-limited out of office and the city has no one to finish out his term, so Safety Harbor is being asked to appoint a representative to finish the term and serve an additional full term, ending in September 2023.
Audit Committee appointment: Two members of the city’s Finance Advisory Committee also serve on the city’s Audit Committee. The Finance Advisory Committee voted to appoint Nadine Orozco to fill a vacancy, and is asking Commission to approve her appointment.
2045 Advantage Pinellas Plan presentation: Whit Blanton, executive director of Pinellas County’s metropolitan planning agency Forward Pinellas, will make a presentation about what transportation projects should receive state and federal funding through 2045.
Kiwanis Club proclamation: The Kiwanis Club of Safety Harbor will receive a proclamation declaring May 30 as “Kiwanis Club of Safety Harbor Inc. Day” in honor of the club’s 40th anniversary.
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 radio equipment for Fire Department vehicles and a contract for an underdrain replacement project on Woodcreek Drive North.
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.”