Special events will highlight the next Safety Harbor City Commission meeting on Monday night, as three large events seek approval and Commission will decide which local non-profit organizations will benefit from this year’s Wine Festival.
Commission will be asked to approve applications for three upcoming events at Safety Harbor Waterfront Park:
Melons for Moolah: Started two years ago as a small watermelon-eating contest at the Gazebo, the event grew last year into a large-scale contest that set the Guinness World Record for “Largest Watermelon-Eating Contest.” This year’s event, which will benefit the Safety Harbor Public Library Foundation, will not attempt to set a record but will be an all-day festival on July 6 featuring a kids area with waterslides, a premium area for adults, vendors, live entertainment and contests.
Art & Seafood by the Bay: The event formerly known as Seafood Fest was taken over by the Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce this year from the city and rebranded to include a juried art show. Next year’s event will be Feb. 22-23.
Bands on the Bay: This event, benefiting the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center and Kiwanis Club of Safety Harbor and featuring an all-day lineup of local bands, has been one of the most successful events over the past four years. The fifth event will be March 7.
Also, Monday, Commission will be asked to select four non-profits to share the proceeds of this year’s Wine Festival. Applications have been received from Friends of the Safety Harbor Library, Huddle in the Harbor Inc. Kiwanis Club of Safety Harbor Foundation Inc., Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center, Paint Your Heart Out Safety Harbor, Rotary Club of Safety Harbor, Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce, Safety Harbor Museum of Regional History, Safety Harbor Public Library Foundation, The Harbor Dish Inc. and VFW Post #10093.
DOWNTOWN MASTER PLAN HEIGHT CHANGES
This issue, championed by Commissioner Nancy Besore to reduce the maximum height of buildings in the city’s Community Town Center zoning classification, has been discussed more than any other over the past year. At its March 18 meeting, Commission voted down a proposed moratorium on buildings of more than three stories and 40 feet, however, the original idea to change the city’s Downtown Master Plan and Land Development Code continues to work its way through the process. Commission has asked the city’s Planning & Zoning Board to prepare some suggestions that go beyond building heights and include architectural standards and design elements. The board has met once to discuss those ideas, and will finish the discussion at its April meeting and report back to Commission at its May 6 meeting. On Monday, Community Development Director Marcie Stenmark will make a presentation to Commission on the Community Redevelopment Agency and the preliminary discussions Planning & Zoning has had. No votes are expected be taken Monday.
ALSO ON THE AGENDA …
Annual update to the Capital Improvements Element: Each year, the city is required by state law to update its five-year plan for proposed spending on capital projects. Included is the annual Level of Service review, which shows the city is meeting or exceeding the minimum level of service set by the state. Budget wonks and citizens with a heightened level of interest in one or more capital projects can see the changes, which were approved unanimously by the Planning & Zoning Board, in the agenda item’s backup materials. City Manager Matthew Spoor said the biggest change is a reduction in the amount of material being recycled. Spoor said this could be for many reasons, including that products are being produced with less waste these days or that more loads are being rejected at the recycling station because they are contaminated by trash, which could be improved by better education on what can and can not be recycled, and he recommends residents review the city’s recycling instructions: http://cityofsafetyharbor.com/125/Recycling
Poet Laureate appointment: Steve Kistulentz has been recommended by the Safety Harbor Public Library staff to be appointed the city’s poet laureate for the next three years, replacing Barbara Finkelstein, whose two-year appointment is expiring.
Baranoff Oak closing art presentation: Artist Dale Dervin will present to the Commission a portrait of the closing ceremony for the Baranoff Oak property.
Career Online High School diploma presentation: Jennifer Fuehrer will receive her diploma for graduating from this program available at the Safety Harbor Public Library.
Donate Life Month presentation: A proclamation declaring April 2019 as Donate Life Month will be presented.
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 dispose of some Public Works assets that have outlived their usefulness.
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.”