Letter to City of Largo Mayor and Commission
This is to provide additional follow-up on the continuing debate about the issue of Parkland Dedication and Park Facilities fees in Largo. I have reviewed the latest work prepared by city staff and their recommendations on this issue.
In prior correspondence I’ve clearly stated my arguments regarding the wisdom and justification and leadership by suspending the imposition of these fees until such a time as they are once again deemed appropriate. I’d like to restate these thoughts in light of the latest staff work product.
In her report concerning the current level of service Parks Director Byrne shows total parks area of 611.36 acres (after deducting wetlands). In this calculation she did not appear to include the Largo Municipal Golf Course in the total. That would add at least 45 acres to the total and there is no question that the golf course is an important city-owned recreational outlet for Largo citizens. Furthermore, the acreage shown for the two county parks is significantly understated. The Director’s report shows the John S. Taylor Park as being 130.2 acres when, according to County Records and the Pinellas County Parks & Recreation website, the park has 156.5 acres; a difference of 26.3 acres. The Director’s report shows Eagle Lake Park as being 156.85 acres when in fact (again, according to County Records) the park has 170 acres; a difference of 13.15 acres. The staff report includes that the population of Largo is approximately 76,000 people. At a 7.5 acre per thousand level of service objective that means that the city would need 570 acres of parkland – 41.36 acres less than the 611.36 acre total shown in the staff report. If you add 45 acres for the city-owned golf course, you get a total of 656.36 acres. Add another 39.45 acres to reflect the acute size of the two county parks and you have a total of 695.81 acres. This amount of parkland is enough to meet the needs (at 7.5 acres per 1,000) of over 92,700 residents . . . 22% more than the current population. Again, in the interest of encouraging economic development and as an issue of fairness and sound judgment, I implore you to suspend the imposition of all Parkland Dedication and Park Facilities fees on new residential development.
John A. Skicewicz, CCIM
Return to Current Edition