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Special events changes approved by Safety Harbor City Commission


The Safety Harbor City Commission unanimously accepted all of city staff’s recommendations for changes for special events at its June 18 meeting, which was dominated by discussion over an anti-cyberbullying resolution.

Complaints and concerns about the many events at Safety Harbor Waterfront Park have been common since the park opened, and the city’s Leisure Services staff put together a long list of recommendations, including an updated fee structure, that it feels addresses many of those concerns.

Here is what Commission agreed to for future Waterfront Park events: 

  • Events can not be held on back-to-back weekends 
  • Canceling the city’s annual Seafood Festival, though City Manager Matt Spoor said the Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce has indicated interest in taking over the event
  • Marina parking lot can not be used for events, other than for parking for approved events
  • Event parking is not allowed on Waterfront Park grounds
  • Fines have been established for event organizers who leave behind trash or debris
  • Emergency Management Services requests have been added to the event application
  • No food trucks allowed on Main Street for events, and the Fire Marshal is drafting food truck rules for Waterfront Park events
  • Event organizers must adhere to the city’s electricity plan or provide outside sources that are approved by the city’s electrician and Fire Marshal
  • Events that expect more than 2,500 attendees must have a parking plan that uses private lots and shuttles 
  • Rental fees adjusted to $500-$1,500 per event day depending on whether the organizer is from Safety Harbor, a non-profit and/or charging admission, and $250-$750 per day for setup and cleanup, as well as other fees for staff time and equipment rental.


Over nearly an hour and half, dozens of residents addressed a resolution written by Mayor Joe Ayoub resolving that “The City Commission of the City of Safety Harbor condemns cyber bullying in all of its forms and encourages residents to be aware of it and to not participate in it.”

After a lengthy discussion that clarified that the resolution is simply a policy statement and not a law with any kind of enforcement ability, the Commission voted 5-0 to approve the resolution with an addition suggested by Commissioner Cliff Merz that cyberbullying also not be directed at city staff, children and political candidates.  


Beneficiaries of 2018 Wine Festival: Commission voted 5-0 to approve a recommendation from the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board that Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center, the Safety Harbor Museum of Regional History, Kiwanis Club of Safety Harbor and Embracing Life Through Love Inc. be the four non-profits to share proceeds from this year’s Wine Festival.

Code changes concerning vehicular and bicycle parking and T-turns: Commission voted 5-0 on second reading to approve code change concerning downtown parking, bicycle parking and allowing T-turns in new developments.

Suggested code changes concerning design and accessory uses: Commission was unanimous in wanting city staff to draft for its consideration a policy encouraging variation in new construction design, which is one of the Planning & Zoning Board’s suggestions from its “small town charm” mission, but requested more information and photos before asking staff to draft any policy changes to accessory structures or dwellings.

Fire Chief retirement: Fire Chief Joe Accetta was honored for his 37 years of service to the city, and new Fire Chief Josh Stefancic was introduced.


Watch the video of it on the city’s website here: http://safetyharbor.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=2008


7 p.m., Monday, July 16.

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