Stop signs and more on City Commission agenda

While Monday’s Safety Harbor City Commission will be filled with quasi-judicial hearings, Commissioners also will honor retiring City Arborist Art Finn, consider stop signs at the busy intersection of Main Street and 2nd Avenue and the creation of a new Diversity Advisory Board.

Monday’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: https://safetyharbor.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=6&event_id=1800.

City Hall will be closed for Monday’s meeting, which will be available via the Zoom video conferencing app that the city has used through the COVID-19 crisis. Details on how residents can watch and participate are at the end of this article.

City Commission will consider installing stop signs at the busy Main Street and 2nd Avenue intersection. (Scott Long)

STOP SIGNS AT INTERSECTION OF MAIN STREET AND 2ND AVENUE

At its last meeting, Commission was unanimously in wanting to install stop signs at the intersection of Main Street and 2nd Avenue, which has become busier after the addition of a new mixed-use building with restaurants and apartments. However, Commission delayed action, preferring that the item be placed on an agenda so public comment could be taken. While Commission does not wish to conduct a traffic study, city staff says the intersection qualifies for traffic calming.

DIVERSITY ADVISORY BOARD

At its recent Goal-Setting Workshop, Commission expressed interest in the creation of a Diversity Advisory Board. Monday’s proposed resolution, if approved, would add the board to the list of other volunteer boards that advise Commission, specifically to recommend policies that affect diverse communities, review city policies and work with our community groups, among other directives. The board would consist of seven residents and follow all of the policies of the city’s other volunteer advisory boards.  

QUASI-JUDICIAL HEARINGS

“Quasi-judicial” hearings mimic aspects of a courtroom process, including the applicant, city staff and anyone who proves they have “affected party” status will be sworn in, provide evidence and be able to cross-examine, if desired. A court reporter may be present. While the public will have the opportunity to speak on the agenda item, Commission is bound to make its decision based solely on “competent substantial evidence” presented at the meeting.

Conditional use request for tourist home at 85 7th St. N: Florida Flats Realty Group LLC is requesting permission to operate a tourist home at this address. City staff says the application meets the standards for review. The Planning & Zoning Board voted 4-3 to recommend approval of the request, with modifications including a maximum of six guests and two vehicles with vehicles parked in paved areas, posting of the city’s noise ordinance and management company contact information and annual notice given to neighbors with the management company’s contact information.

Conditional use request a two-family dwelling at 1404 3rd St. N: Madelyn Schmidt is requesting approval to have two single-family detached dwellings on this property. City staff says the application meets the standards for review, and the Planning & Zoning Board unanimously recommends approval.

Conditional use request for a business and professional office at 1183 Cedar St.: James Macholz is requesting approval to be able to lease out the second floor of an existing home improvement showroom and warehouse at this address in the city’s industrial zone as an office. City staff says the application meets the standards for review, and the Planning & Zoning Board unanimously recommends approval.

ALSO ON THE AGENDA …

Ready for 100 additional language: In June 2019, the city signed on to the Ready for 100 clean energy initiative. Subsequently, Commissioner Andy Zodrow has suggested adding language to the original resolution. That language is: “The city will give priority to ensuring that the most vulnerable residents share in the benefits of clean energy transition, by including low income and historically marginalized residents in the decision-making process. Furthermore, the city will seek to partner with community-based organizations to measure and reduce the cost burden for low income customers.”

Local Mitigation Strategy update: In 1999, Pinellas County adopted a Local Mitigation Strategy to serve as a blueprint for all Pinellas County communities to have a unified plan to reduce or eliminate the effect of disasters. Commission is being asked to approve the fourth update to that strategy.

Future Land Use change and rezoning for Folly Farms addition: In separate votes, Commission will be asked to make changes to a 1.05-acre piece of land at 1550 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street N that has been added to the city’s Folly Farms park. The housekeeping changes include changing the Future Land Use designation from Residential Low (R/L) to Recreation/Open Space (R/OS), and the zoning from Single Family Residential (R-1) to Public and Conservation (P). 

Code Enforcement Board appointment: Bob Tate has resigned from the board that hears Code Enforcement complaints. Jeffrey Doll is the board’s alternate member, and applications also have been received from Scott Hood and Jacob Burnett.

Retirement recognition: City Arborist Art Finn is retiring after five years as the city’s only arborist. 

National Parks & Recreation Month proclamation: The city’s Leisure Services department will make a presentation.

Duke Energy Clean Energy Connection program presentation: As part of the city’s commitment to the Ready for 100 clean energy initiative, it has enrolled in Duke Energy’s Clean Energy Connection program, and a Duke employee will make a presentation on what that entails.

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 of minutes from four previous meetings, renewal of a cooperative agreement with Pinellas County on Community Development Block Grant programs and extending the city’s participation in Pinellas County’s EMS Growth Management Initiative. 

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

City Hall will be open for Monday’s meeting. If you come to city hall, you will be screened and required to wear a mask. The recommended, alternative way to participate in the meeting is via the Zoom application that many residents are using more and more during the coronavirus crisis. Residents can watch, listen to and participate in the meeting in these ways:

  • Web Browser: Go to https://cityofsafetyharbor.zoom.us/j/95471199068 to watch and participate or http://www.cityofsafetyharbor.com/557/Streaming-Media to watch but not be able to participate.
  • Mobile Phone: Download the Zoom app from the Apple Store or Google Play and enter Meeting ID # 954 7119 9068 to watch and to participate.
  • Phone: Call in to the meeting by dialing toll-free 1-877-853-5257 or 1-888-475-4499 to listen and to participate.
  • Television: Watch, but not participate, on Spectrum Channel #638, Wow Channel #15 or Frontier Channel #30.

Residents wanting to have their opinions heard during the meeting but not wishing to participate by the available means have a few choices on how to participate:

  • Email: Send your comments to pcomment@cityofsafetyharbor.com prior to the meeting. Emails of 500 words or fewer will be read during the meeting, with longer emails not read but distributed to Commissioners.
  • “Live:” Residents watching or listening to the meeting live via the Zoom link or Zoom app can click on the “Raise Hand” icon on the Zoom app or in their web browser and wait to be recognized by Mayor Joe Ayoub, and those listening in via phone can press *9 and wait to be recognized by the mayor.
  • Attend the Meeting: Everyone will be screened and required to wear masks

Contact your Commissioners:

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

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