Belleair Approves Action for Historic Preservation
By Leo Coughlin
BELLEAIR - The Town Commission Tuesday night completed bringing its ordinance into line with state law in order to be certified in requirements for historic preservation.
The issue arose out of the recent history with the Belleview-Biltmore Hotel, currently undergoing renovation.
Also dealt with by the commission in first reading was an ordinance regulating the maintenance of foreclosed properties.
Micah Maxwell, town manager, estimated there are about 30 such properties.
The town's ordinance will put the onus on the listed owner - which could have been the foreclosing party - as responsible for any upkeep and safeguarding of unoccupied residences.
Also on first reading the commission discussed making seven months the minimum amount of time for leasing a property. Less than seven months might require the payment of a state "bed tax."
The commission supported in principle, without any financial obligation, the idea of a high speed rail network in the area which, by all current planning, is a long way down the road.
This action came after a presentation by John Bradley of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority.
An interlocal agreement with the Sheriff's Office regarding prisoner transport fees was also agreed on.
Preparations are being made for a celebration in February of the town's 85th anniversary. Actually, Belleair was founded in May 1925, but the festivities will be held earlier.
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