REDINGTON SHORES – A “niche shopping center” proposed for the long-vacant Wine Cellar restaurant property on Gulf Boulevard and 174th Avenue East got a unanimous approval from the Town Commission at its July 11 regular meeting.
The site is split between North Redington Beach and Redington Shores. North Redington Beach had already approved their portion of the development, meaning the way is now cleared for construction to begin.
This is the second try for AG Development, the property developer, whose proposal was turned down by the Redington Shores commission in February. At that meeting, a number of objections were raised by commission members.
The development, called Redington Village contains retail and office space, several restaurants, including one with a rooftop deck, and a Dunkin' Donuts.
The doughnut outlet was previously planned for the Redington Shores portion of the property, with primary access via 174th Avenue.
That had concerned the commission members, who did not want heavy traffic on 174th Avenue. They also asked for an 8-foot masonry wall between the development and the residential area on 174th Avenue.
A new development proposal was presented at the July 11 meeting by developer Allen Goins and his project manager Taylor Vandeboe.
In the revised development proposal, the Dunkin' Donuts has been moved to the North Redington Beach portion of the property, leaving only parking area in Redington Shores. The primary access to the Dunkin' Donuts is now from Gulf Boulevard. A 6-foot vinyl fence proposed to buffer the shopping center from the residents on 174th will be raised to 8 feet at the request of Mayor Mary Beth Henderson.
Goins said the speakers from the pickup window at Dunkin' Donuts would be “angled 90 degrees away from the neighborhood to the north” and that landscaping and the fence would abate the noise. Any foliage will have to be provided by the residents, as there is no room for landscaping on the shopping center side of the fence.
The Dunkin' Donuts would close between 9 and 10 p.m., Goins said. As to noise, Vandeboe said the orientation of the drive-thru speaker “would resolve the issue, we believe.”
However, Police Chief Terry Hughes said people can drive up to the pickup window with their boom boxes and stereos turned up.
Sound issues were also raised by Redington Shores Building Official Steve Andrews about a rooftop deck on one of the restaurants at the south end of the property. Vandeboe said “screened rooftop equipment between the deck and the residences to the north will mitigate that.”
In response to questions about potentially loud music, Vandeboe said that North Redington Beach has a sound ordinance and that code enforcement would address that.
The Redington Village development had been previously approved by the Redington Shores Planning Board. No residents at the Redington Shores meeting commented on the issue.
Millage rate unchanged
The commission voted to leave the town’s tax rate at 1.8 mills. The adoption of a tentative millage rate means it can be lowered, but not increased, at upcoming budget meetings. The rate is currently the third-lowest in Pinellas County. Belleair Shore has the lowest rate, followed by North Redington Beach.
A tentative budget of $2.5 million for the upcoming fiscal year was also approved.
Fireworks display “awesome”
Henderson said this year’s Fourth of July fireworks display was “awesome,” and drew a record number of people. Hughes confirmed the attendance was a record. Henderson praised the volunteers who helped with the event, and the businesses and residents whose donations made it possible.
One problem, Commissioner Michael Robinson said, was the number of tent frames and chairs left on the beach by those who watched the fireworks.
Leaving personal property on the beach overnight violates a town ordinance, and Hughes said items left behind were tagged.
The beaches need to be cleared, especially as property on the beach overnight interferes with nesting sea turtles, Robinson said.
Hughes said the police department has visited a number of condos, telling their residents the beaches need to be cleared.
“We’re doing greater outreach with the condos and property owners, letting them know they need to keep things off the beach at night,” the chief said.
Town attorney named Rising Star
Town Attorney Lauren Rubenstein was selected by Thomson Reuters to be included in their 2018 edition of Super Lawyers Magazine. Mayor Henderson said Rubenstein was named a “Rising Star” in the field of state, local and municipal law.
This is quite an honor,” said Henderson. “She is one of only four attorneys in the state to earn this designation.”