Short agenda results in quiet Safety Harbor City Commission meeting

A brief agenda sparked very little discussion at the June 4 Safety Harbor City Commission meeting, with most of it centered on what to do with the decaying elephant ear tree at the city’s entrance, as Safety Harbor Connect previously reported on.

The only other substantive item on the agenda was suggested code revisions concerning downtown parking. After a brief discussion, Commission was unanimous in approving most of the suggestions, including allowing for a 25 percent reduction in parking requirements in the Community Redevelopment District for new businesses in existing buildings when it can be determined that additional parking can not be reasonably added, adding standards for bicycling parking and adding a bicycle parking requirement for site plans.

The one change Commission decided not to go with at the suggestion of Commissioner Cliff Merz was allowing city staff to decide without Commission approval on parking reduction requests when a new business is simply changing the use of the building. Merz prefers that Commission to make those decisions, in addition to decisions on parking reduction requests when a new business adds square footage.

Commission will consider the changes again on second reading at its next meeting on June 21.          

OTHER ACTION TAKEN

Retention pond rezoning: Commission voted 5-0 on second reading to rezone a 7.26-acre, city-owned retention pond at the corner of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Pine streets from “residential” to “preservation” and make a corresponding change to the city’s Future Land Use Map.

Budget and goal-setting workshop: Prior to the regular meeting, Commission held a workshop in advance of the budgeting process, which will take place later this summer. While Commission struggled over whether to include a merit raise or bonuses for city staff in the 2019 budget, there was consensus on two points that will be discussed further in the budget process. One was buying the land where the Baranoff Oak is located, as well as land adjacent to the main Public Works complex, which will allow all Public Works activities to be consolidated in one location, and to do so by looking largely at paying for both by issuing a bond. The other was, at a cost of $10,000, joining various other Florida cities in a lawsuit against the state Legislature to overturn a prohibition on cities passing gun-control ordinances.

MISSED THE MEETING?

Watch the video of it on the city’s website here: http://safetyharbor.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=2003

The video of the Budget and Goal-Setting workshop can be seen here: http://safetyharbor.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=1999

NEXT MEETING

7 p.m., Monday, June 21.

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