TREASURE ISLAND – Residents in and around downtown Treasure Island who were concerned about the area going to the dogs breathed a sigh of relief May 1.
After a lengthy public hearing and commission discussion, the City Commission voted 4-1 to turn down Diane and Eric Myers’ request for a special exception that would have allowed the couple to open a pet care services business on 104th Avenue.
The area in question is zoned commercial general, which does not allow pet care services and overnight boarding of animals as a permitted use.
After previously being turned down by the city’s planning and zoning board, the Myers decided to try again by going through the City Commission and seeking a special exception.
The proposed business would have been located at 230 104th Ave. and used a lot next door as a site for dogs to get exercise.
“We won’t be able to open our windows in the winter,” said Brenda Hott of the Boca Ciega Shores Condominium Association. “If you change the zoning, they move out and then something worse may come in. My residents don’t want this and I don’t want it.”
“We strongly oppose this application,” said Sue Quigley of the St. James Condo Association. “We have 54 units and not one of the residents has said they are in favor of this. We’ve had more complaints about dogs barking across the water. So we don’t want this, which would be even closer. Please vote no.”
Sue Lamont, who operates Lamont Management at 250 104th Ave., said if the proposal passed, “a kennel could be placed at any location with CG zoning.” Lamont and Stephanie Hendrix collected 112 signatures on a petition objecting to the proposed business while proponents produced a petition with about the same number of signatures in favor of the business.
Commissioner Alan Bildz, who supported the special exception, said by passing the measure it would only pass it on to the city’s LPA.
“This is just asking that it be allowable under a special exception in the commercial general zone,” Bildz said.
His sentiments fell on deaf ears.
“I don’t have a problem with this personally but I do have a problem with it being in CG,” said Commissioner Phil Collins. “It seems to me the majority of the people are against it. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I can’t vote for this.
Commissioner Butch Ellsworth concurred.
“I love dogs but we’re going to have to vote the way our constituents see it,” he said. “For that reason I’ll have to vote against it.”
Commissioner Carol Coward agreed.
“It’s a great idea but I don’t think it’s a good location,” she said. “There are a lot of people living around there. I wish we could find a better location for it.”
“I would sympathize with the sentiments of the majority here tonight,” said Mayor Bob Minning. “I walked this area and took a look at it. With that said, I’d have to say I’m not in favor of Doggie Daycare.”
In other action, commissioners:
• Accepted a donation of $3,933 from the Gulf Beaches Rotary Club as part of the proceeds from the 13th annual Golf and Tennis Challenge at Treasure Bay Golf and Tennis.
• Passed a motion to accept an $11,500 donation from Bill Edwards to the Treasure Island Volunteer Fire Department for the purchase of a thermal imaging camera.
• Approved $14,800 for the replacement of the roof of the Public Works Administration building by Professional Roof Systems Inc.