Coopers Point Development by CCC
I attended last Thursday's Clearwater city council meeting to review Clearwater Christian College's development plan, and was appalled at the actions of Mayor Frank Hibbard and the council members. They showed utter disregard for the provisions of the city's comprehensive plan that are designed to preserve wetland habitat and safeguard wildlife. The plan put forward by the college is indirect violation of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission's Bald Eagle Management Plan, and the list of comp plan items that it contradicts took three minutes to read-just their titles, mind you, not their full text.
It was the job of the mayor and council to vet this plan before passing it on to permitting agencies, and they totally failed in that regard. Their questions were designed to give them any excuse to pass the plan, not to elicit information about its details or the likely results of its completion. Their cavalier dismissal of planning rules is too often what happens during such a hearing, but rarely is it quite this blatant. It demonstrates why Amendment 4, the Florida Hometown Democracy Amendment, is so popular and why it is necessary. Clearwater residents tempted to wave away this important local issue as the whining of a bunch of enviros owe it to themselves to visit the city's website and view the video of the hearing to understand how their elected officials are failing them and compromising the integrity of local natural resources.
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