BELLEAIR BLUFFS - The Gulf Boulevard beautification subject, akin to the weather insofar as everyone talks about it but nobody does anything about it, got the support of the Belleair Shore Town Commission at its meeting here last Wednesday.
Belleair Shore commissioners meet in this nearby city because the town has no public buildings itself in which to meet.
The Gulf Boulevard project has been talked of for years. The county has sent around to all the cities that lie along its path - from St. Pete Beach to Belleair Beach - a resolution seeking support of the beautification in principle.
That assent has been easily given, but when one gets down to brass tacks the cost of what is being envisioned is beyond the ability of municipalities to pay.
In brief, the resolution would have the county paying for the undergrounding and the cities paying for landscaping and all the ancillary elements that would go with the project.
Also, individual cities would pay for any undergrounding off the main drag.
The idea began some years ago with a potential price tag of $30 million or so with the county paying half and the cities paying the other half. That is now overtaken by prices that have skyrocketed.
Not much is being done on Gulf Boulevard beautification beyond talk.
At Wednesday's meeting Mayor John Robertson reported that Steve Spratt, the county administrator, had responded to the request from Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue that the county take over the fire district.
Alarmingly, it appears that Tom Hafner, chairman of the PSF&R commission, does not know that the county has no such jurisdiction and that the district is under the sole control of the Florida Legislature.
Spratt pointed this out to Hafner in an instructional letter that said, among other things, that Hafner was applying to the wrong place.
On the question of short-term leases of residential property in the town, John Elias, the town's lawyer, said that there were no ordinances addressing the question.
Commissioners have made plain that they don't approve of leases of less than 30 days.
Elias said they might rely on county ordinances that spell out that in an area zoned for single family residential, leases of less than 30 days could be deemed a commercial use which would be barred.
Elias will consult with the Pinellas Planning Council to come up with a clear-cut policy.
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition