Sand Key Residents Re-Act to Re-zoning Question
Photo/text by Renee Burrell
CLEARWATER - The Community Development Board (CDC) will hold a public hearing Tuesday, 1 p.m. at 112 S Osceola in Clearwater.
Item number 1 on the agenda is a matter continued from the board's 12-18-07 and 1-15-08 meetings concerning a request for an application for a zoning atlas amendment from the business district to the tourist district for the Shoppes on Sand Key, owned by D.A. Bennett Company.
The Shoppes of Sand Key are located at 1241 -1281 Gulf Blvd., and if rezoned from retail to tourist would allow for a hotel or condominium to be built, jeopardizing the neighborly feel Sand Key residents enjoy and the future of the specialty stores and restaurants.
Many Sand Key residents would like to see the Shoppes of Sand Key remain as they are, however; the 2.94 acres of waterfront property haven't escaped the eyes of developers.
The Clearwater Neighborhoods Coalition and the Sand Key Civic Association are both listed on the agenda and expected to give the board citizens' views.
Not listed is Save Our Shoppes (SOS), a grass roots group that has mobilized over concern that if the shops are re-zoned to tourist, any future development will alter the community's character and allow for the possibility of a 10 story hotel or condominium towers to be built.
According to the SOS committee on their website, Saveourshoppes.com, "The Community Development Board needs to know that the residents on Sand Key want to keep the Shoppes. Without them, the residents would have to leave the island for the basic necessities. The residential nature of the community would be lost. This would result in a decrease in existing property values. It is very important that you attend the hearing and voice your opposition."
Residents say they rely on the shops for banking, dining, entertainment and shopping and most often walk to get there. Not wanted they say are more traffic, more hotel rooms, condominium towers and boat slips blighting the views.
To eliminate transportation and parking hassles for those who want to attend the hearing, SOS is offering a ride for $7 (round trip, cash only) on a 57 passenger, air conditioned bus they've chartered.
To sign up for a seat on the bus, go to the Bank of America or Dunkin Doughnuts, located at the Shoppes on Sand Key, 1241 Gulf Blvd. Sand Key condo residents can go to their building's lobby for additional information.
For more information about SOS, go to: www.saveourshoppes.com
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