The two lots are located immediately south of a town park at Gulf Boulevard and 164th Avenue.
REDINGTON SHORES – The town of Redington Beach wants to buy a piece of property within its town limits that is owned by neighboring Redington Shores. Redington Shores would like to sell the land, which consists of two lots the town acquired a few years ago in a swap with a condominium developer.
But the two communities are far apart on the selling price.
Redington Shores wants $350,000 for the property. Redington Beach is offering $215,000. The issue was discussed at the Aug. 14 Redington Shores Town Commission meeting.
Redington Shores Mayor Bert Adams said he had met with Nick Simons, mayor of Redington Beach, to discuss the sale. They agreed the best solution would be to hire a property appraiser to determine the value of the lots.
“None of us really know what it’s worth,” Adams said.
Redington Shores Vice Mayor John Branch said that sounded like a good idea. But Commissioner Tom Kapper, an experienced property developer, cautioned an appraisal may not work out to the advantage of Redington Shores. The land is zoned residential medium, which allows a maximum of two units development, Kapper pointed out. A commercial zoned property would be worth much more, he said.
“Grab the $215,000 and run,” said Kapper, advising the commission, “It may not be worth that based on what it is zoned for.”
Redington Shores Commissioner Lee Holmes said his town should “put up a ‘for sale’ sign” on the lots and see what the response is.
“We should see who is interested and what they are willing to pay,” said Holmes.
Commissioner Casey Wojcik had a more innovative approach. Redington Beach should buy a lot currently for sale next to Constitution Park,
Redington Shores’ prime green space. Then swap the land, which could be used to extend the park, to Redington Shores for the two lots in question.
The commission voted 4-1 to hire an appraiser as recommended by the towns’ mayors. Holmes voted no. He explained after the meeting that he believes putting a “For Sale” sign on the property would bring the best offers. The land sale could significantly benefit the town’s finances, Holmes said, and “we owe it to the residents to get the highest price possible.”
A property appraisal will cost around $100, Adams estimated. The two towns will split the cost.
Redington Shores has owned the lots in Redington Beach for a few years.
The town acquired them when the developers of the La Vistana condominium project offered them in lieu of money for Land Development Units (LDUs), which allow changes in the number of units allowed on a property.
In April, officials of the adjacent Royal Orleans Hotel came to the Redington Shores commission with a request to use a portion of the property for overflow parking, at no charge. The commission turned that down, but offered to consider selling the land.
Mayor Nick Simons said the town would like to use the two lots to extend its town park, located at 164th Avenue and Gulf Boulevard.
Speed limit study underway
A decision to reduce the town’s speed limit from 25 to 15 mph, made at last month’s workshop meeting, may not be the final say on the matter.
A traffic study is underway by the police department “to see where the speed limit will end up,” Adams said. He said controlling excessive speeding in the town needs to be a joint effort of the citizens and the police.
“We all need to watch out for the safety of the people in the town,” Adams said.
Meanwhile, vigorous enforcement of the current speed limit will continue, Branch warned.
“It’s a ticket if you get it,” he said. Referring to some residents who have asked commission members to “fix” their speeding tickets, Branch said, “There is nothing we can do to get you out of it.”
Clerk gets salary increase
Town Clerk Mary Palmer celebrated her 29th year as a Redington Shores employee with a 3 percent merit increase in her pay. The commission voted unanimously to give the raise.
Holmes commended Palmer for doing “an outstanding job,” noting she started her long relationship with the town “cutting grass, cleaning out sewers and emptying garbage cans,” among other needed but thankless tasks. She became deputy clerk in 1994 and moved up to the town clerk position in 2003.