INDIAN SHORES - A final site plan review request was unanimously approved to construct a single-family home with two floors over parking at the Aug. 8 Indian Shores Town Council meeting.
At the meeting, Freddy Socias represented Alvarez New Concepts of Tampa, a custom home builder that is the contractor for the project at 20230 Gulf Blvd. Socias presented a rendering of the residence at both the Town Council and Planning, Zoning and Building Committee meetings.
The property owners are Shylendra and Madhu Kumar.
ST. PETE BEACH - After a few tweaks, St. Pete Beach commissioners voted unanimously Aug. 8 to pass a revised ordinance on first reading that allows the consumption of alcoholic beverages in cabana areas on the beach.
A second and final reading is anticipated Aug. 22.
The ordinance would revise Chapter 6 of the city code to allow public consumption of alcohol on the beach in conjunction with a hotel. It would be allowable only in a hotel cabana area and no closer than 50 feet from the “wet sand.” Also, those enjoying a drink would be required to wear wristbands to identify themselves as hotel guests.
REDINGTON SHORES - The first report from traffic counters on the town of Redington Shores’ major residential through streets is in. The results are “not good,” said Commissioner Jeff Neal.
The devices reveal speeding is a big problem on all the streets surveyed except 175th Avenue, where traffic control devices are in place, said Neal, speaking at the Aug. 9 town commission meeting.
Commission members sat silently, apparently stunned as Neal read the percentage of drivers who exceeded the speed limit, which was well over half on all the roads except one. Neal said the counter showed “76 percent of the people on 182nd Avenue were driving over the speed limit, 55 percent on Wall Street, 75 percent on 176th Terrace Drive, and 91 percent on 176th Avenue.” Only on Longpoint Drive did fewer than half (44 percent) violate the speed limit.
NORTH REDINGTON BEACH - The Aug. 10 town hall meeting began with a moment of silence for former North Redington Beach commissioner Jerry Knight, who passed away on Aug. 1.
Knight served the town as commissioner from 2003 to 2012 and concurrently as vice mayor from 2006 to 2011.
A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Knight graduated cum laude from Ohio State University and moved his family to Florida in 1994. His wife, Gail, is a registered nurse and they have three grown children who reside out of state.
TREASURE ISLAND - Sea Dog Brewing Co. is nearing completion on the development of a 10,000 square foot brewery and restaurant in Treasure Island that is targeted to open this fall.
Sea Dog owners are still in the midst of renovating the former Captain Kosmakos Bar and Grill at 9610 Gulf Blvd., but when complete the first of two phases will include an elevated restaurant, merchandise store, downstairs bar with grab ‘n go sandwiches, drinks and seating for up to 300. The second phase will be a tiki bar that will offer such amenities as Adirondack chairs, fire pits, boat slips and water views.
“I believe our waterfront bar and open-air dining, beer infused sauce recipes and signature cocktails, along with the gorgeous views of Sunset Beach right across the street makes us a destination spot for all locals and vacationers,” said General Manager Charles Breakiron.
TREASURE ISLAND - Missy H. Hahn, president of the Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce, was appointed to the tourism industry relations committee of Visit Florida, effective Aug. 1.
The committee is Visit Florida’s primary source of feedback on matters related to communication and engagement among businesses involved in the Tourism industry. It aids in developing partnerships among these businesses, and encourages participation in activities designed to increase tourism. The committee also works to improve customer relationship management.
“I am honored by this appointment and proud that the Treasure Island and Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce is recognized for its dedication to Florida’s tourism industry,” Hahn said in a press release. “Tourism is our state’s primary economic driver, one that supports our state economy and provides visitors with one of the most attractive destinations in the world.”
TREASURE ISLAND - A request for support from the state of Florida for maintenance of the 10-year-old bascule bridge and two other bridges on the Treasure Island Causeway has been turned down by state officials.
In an April 11 letter to Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Commissioner Ken Keys asked if the state could take over maintenance of the causeway and its bridges based on the fact that it is the principle evacuation route for the city.
Paul Steinman, District 7 Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation, responded recently to Keys and said no.
NORTH REDINGTON BEACH - After four years of sitting vacant, the site of the former Wine Cellar restaurant will soon be redeveloped into a group of restaurants called Redington Village.
The two-acre site at 17307 Gulf Blvd., was purchased last week for $2.04 million by Redington Village LLC, which is a subsidiary of Tampa-based AG Development Group. Principals in the project are Allen Goins, chief executive officer of AG Development, and Robert Schmidt of Belleair Shore, owner of Schmidt Investments of South Florida.
Goins said the project encompasses four buildings and a total of 16,000 square feet. Plans call for 120 or more parking spaces.
ST. PETE BEACH - Stay alert and informed this hurricane season with SPB Connect, a new app for the city of St. Pete Beach that allows residents to access their government in a single location.
The app, the city’s official platform, enables residents to find information on public health, safety warnings, evacuation notices, severe weather and major service interruptions as they occur through notifications sent right to your device.
It also lets residents submit, track, and view nearby service requests through their smart phones, online, via phone, and SMS.
ST. PETE BEACH - Wireless communications companies seeking to install new 5G towers in the city will have to wait a few months.
St. Pete Beach commissioners voted unanimously July 25 to pass an ordinance on first reading that creates a 120-day moratorium on submitting applications and receiving permits for any wireless communications facility, tower or antenna. The move is designed to give the city time to amend its land development code regarding cell towers.
The action comes on the heels of the Florida Legislature passing House Bill 687, also known as the “Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Act,” which prohibits local and county governments from charging for the installation of small wireless antennas in public right-of-way. However, local governments can pass regulations for accepting, processing and issuing wireless permits.
MADEIRA BEACH - Interim City Manager Derryl O’Neal may soon be dropping the “interim” from his title. Two of five city commission members appear ready to forego an agreed upon candidate search and name O’Neal as city manager.
Speaking during a discussion of how to move forward on filling the city manager job at the July 25 commission workshop, Mayor Maggi Black said if O’Neal would accept the position, “then we would have no need for a search.”
But Commission Terry Lister appeared astounded after hearing Black’s comment. “What?!” he exclaimed. Turning to O’Neal, Lister said, “Chief, you don’t want to be the city manager, do you?”
BELLEAIR BEACH - With three months left in sea turtle nesting season, it is imperative to help out adult turtles and hatchlings as much as possible.
That was the word from Lindsey Flynn, the acting supervisor of sea turtles at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, who was speaking July 26 before members of the Barrier Islands Governmental Council in Belleair Beach.
Flynn said as turtle nesting season enters its final 90 days, it is important for beach residents and businesses to aid hatchlings by using amber, orange or red lights, shielded in a downward pattern, and keep interior white lights shielded by blinds or drapes.
TREASURE ISLAND - Jill Foraker recently joined the staff at the Treasure Island and Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce.
"The Treasure Island and Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce is happy to announce the addition of Jill Foraker to our staff," said Missy H. Hahn, chamber president, in a press release. "Jill will concentrate on coordinating special events for the chamber while assisting with duties at our welcome center."
Foraker is a former partner in the graphics and design firm Squid Ink, and served on the board of the Old Salt Fishing Foundation where she helped coordinate fundraising events for that nonprofit organization.
ST. PETE BEACH - A beach stabilization project is scheduled to begin at Upham Beach on Tuesday, Aug. 1. The $9.5 million permanent T-groin installation project will slow erosion at the popular beach, located at the north end of St. Pete Beach.
Currently, yellow sand-filled tubes form five T-groin structures on the beach. Those structures will be replaced with four rock T-groins during the project, which is scheduled to be completed by February 2018.
The work on the beach will proceed from the south to the north, with no more than half of the beach closed to the public at one time. More sections of the beach could potentially be closed for short periods as a safety precaution, depending on construction activity.
ST. PETE BEACH - An inquiry at The Blue Parrott Bar and Grill about when the Tomkats Jazz Orchestra is playing always gets the same response.
“Every Monday night, seven o’clock, rain or shine.”
It has been that way for the past eight years. The big band never misses a Monday night.
The band’s gig at The Blue Parrott, 85 Corey Circle, is just the latest since the band was founded in 1984 by two musicians who felt the area needed a band that could play the old standards. For many years the band played at the Bilmar Beach Resort in Treasure Island. Then it hopped around for a bit before settling at the Blue Parrott.
TREASURE ISLAND - The search for the city of Treasure Island’s next manager took another step forward July 18 when city commissioners hired Florida-based executive search firm Colin Baenziger and Associates.
Baenziger was one of two head hunters considered but not the most inexpensive. Treasure Island leaders also considered Strategic Government Resources of Keller, Texas, for $23,000 but Baenziger’s extensive résumé and history of searches for Florida cities and counties made its $26,500 fee more acceptable.
Baenziger, based in Daytona Beach Shores, was recommended by Personnel Director Jennifer Poirrier.
REDINGTON BEACH - Nonresidents who park at Beach Park may see more tickets on their windshields after a resident told Redington Beach commissioners July 19 that current efforts to restrict spaces to residents were ineffective.
Speaking during a commission workshop, Stephen Brantley said despite the addition of more signs at the limited access lot, cars without valid permits were still parking there.
“It’s still not working,” Brantley told the panel, listing the reasons why he felt the recent changes did not have the desired result.