BELLEAIR - Discussion of the potential new zoning designation as it relates to the Belleview Biltmore property again dominated the discussion at the Belleair Commission meeting on March 4.
The zoning designation RM-10 would allow any developer to build 10 units per acre on the land. The previous designation RM-15 was considered inappropriate for the property.
Several weeks ago, based on a motion by Commission Stephen Fowler, the commission voted 3-2 to shelve any discussion of the zoning for six months. That was considered a hindrance to developer Mike Cheezem, who intends to buy and develop the property.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - The five members of the city of Indian Rocks Beach’s Charter Review Committee met for the first time Feb. 26. They introduced themselves, shook hands and got down to work. Theirs is a six-month task and depending on what they discover, it could be a tough one.
The newly appointed chairman of the committee, Wally Clark, said he hopes the job will be finished long before the six-month deadline.
BELLEAIR BEACH - A group urging defeat of a proposed penny sales tax increase to fund rail transit and an improved bus system in Pinellas County presented their case at the March 3 Belleair Beach City Council meeting. A referendum vote on the issue, called Greenlight Pinellas, will be held this November.
“No Tax for Tracks” spokeswoman Barb Haselden said if the referendum passes, the county sales tax will increase by 14 percent, from 7 percent to 8 percent, and will be the highest sales tax in the state of Florida. The PSTA (Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority) bus system currently receives about $32 million a year in property taxes, Haselden said. Under the sales tax proposal, their revenue would increase to $130 million a year, hardly the “tax swap” that PSTA claims, she said.
Haselden said PSTA spending has continued to rise while ridership has leveled out. Citing PSTA figures, she said five local routes account for 46 percent of the system ridership and the trolley another 13 percent. The majority of the system’s routes have low ridership, “yet PSTA wants more bus routes, longer operating hours, higher frequency and a rail line,” she said.
BELLEAIR - Lorene Lane celebrates her 100th birthday Thursday, March 6. Born in Headland, Ala., on March 6, 1914, Lorene was the first of three children born to parents Margaret Ann and James Benjamin Quattelbaum.
When she was 7 years old, Lane’s family moved to Dunedin, where she attended elementary and junior high. After graduating from Clearwater High School, Lorene attended business school, then worked for two years for Coachman Estates. In 1935, she started what became a distinguished, 34-year-career with The Florida Power Company.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - For the past year Indian Rocks Beach Commissioners have been trying to figure out a way to allow golf carts to legally get from the northern section of the city to the Triangle Business District, south of the Walsingham intersection.
Despite the fact that golf carts are legal on city streets in Indian Rocks Beach they cannot get to the business district, where most of the restaurants are located, because the narrow yacht basin prevents sidewalks wide enough to accommodate them, and traveling on Gulf Boulevard is illegal for most golf carts.
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - A long talked about new fire station to replace current Largo Fire Station 43 on Indian Rocks Road could be under construction by early next year.
Belleair Bluffs Mayor Chris Arbutine said at the Feb. 24 City Commission meeting that the project is “back on track.”
The station would be built on city-owned property near City Hall that Belleair Bluffs acquired in 2007. The proposed station had been last discussed in May of last year. At that time, a three-party agreement including Largo, Belleair Bluffs and Belleair being pushed by Largo had been deemed unacceptable by Belleair Bluffs. There was talk of moving the station site to the Belleview Biltmore Golf Course property that Belleair had recently acquired.
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Two commission seats are up for election in the city this year. George Lawton is challenging three-term Commissioner Joe Barkley and Commissioner Taylour Shimkus, who is seeking a third term. Lawton ran unsuccessfully for a Bluffs commission seat a year ago.
Barkley and Shimkus believe the city is well run and financially sound, while Lawton sees flaws in city government and says changes are much needed.
The election is Tuesday, March 11, with mail-in balloting already in effect. The top two vote-getters will be the winners.
Antique Alley Spring Antique Show
BELLEAIR BLUFFS – The Spring Antique Show will be presented Sunday, March 9, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Antique Alley, 580 N. Indian Rocks Road.
The alley overflows with more than 50 outside antiques vendors at this annual event, plus several charming and eclectic shops that are open year-round. Admission is free and parking is available in designated areas.
Art show and fresh market
ST. PETE BEACH – The Suntan Art Center, 3300 Gulf Blvd., hosts a juried art show and fresh market each Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Admission and parking is free. Call 367-3818 for details.
Corey Fresh Market
ST. PETE BEACH - Corey Fresh Market every Sunday October through May, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the 300 block of Corey Avenue in St. Pete Beach. Corey Fresh Market hosts an average of 50 local vendors, offering roduce, flowers/plants, arts/crafts, specialty foods, live music, special appearances. Free admission and parking. Visit www.coreyave.com or call 727-498-8778.
Kiwanis Club annual fire truck pull
SEMINOLE – The Kiwanis Club of Seminole will hold its annual fire truck pull, Pulling for Kids, Sunday, March 9, 1 to 3 p.m., at the Seminole Community Library at St. Petersburg College, 9200 113th St. N., south parking lot.
This fundraiser benefits several of the club’s projects, including the Key Club at Seminole High School, the Builders Club at Seminole Middle School, K-Kids at Bauder Elementary School, Every Child a Swimmer and Horses for the Handicapped.
The club is looking for sponsors and teams to register for the event. Adult and teen teams should have no more than eight members, and kids’ teams should have 10 to 12 members. Cost per team is $150.
For more information, call Steve Zazzaro at 432-3544.
Latin ballroom dance classes
ST. PETE BEACH – The St. Pete Beach Community Center, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, offers Latin ballroom dance class on Mondays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., from Feb. 24 to March 17.
The cost is $40. For more information, visit www.spbrec.com or call 363-9245.
Non-Trivial Pursuits CLEARWATER – The next Non-Trivial Pursuits program will be presented Monday, March 10, 7:30 p.m., at Chapel-By-The-Sea, 54 Bay Esplanade, Clearwater Beach.
The event will feature guest speaker Capt. Tyson Wallerstein. Wallerstein will present Better Weather! Better Fishing! He will make recommendations about where to fish in the area and will offer other helpful fishing tips.
Non-Trivial Pursuits is a long-standing program at Chapel-By-The-Sea offering presentations to the public on various topics. There is no charge for the programs and light refreshments are available. Seat reservations are requested so proper arrangements can be made.
PINELLAS PARK – Senior Solos will meet on the second Monday of the month, 1:30 p.m., at the Pinellas Park Recreation Center, 7625 59th St. N.
Bring a potluck dish to share and pay $2 or pay $5 without a dish.
All singles 55+ are welcome.
Call Pat at 520-8797 for more information.
Speak Easy Toastmasters Club meeting
PINELLAS PARK – The Speak Easy Toastmasters Club meets Mondays at 6 p.m. at Lin’s K Hibachi Buffet, 7610 49th St. N.
Guests are welcome.
The Toastmasters program helps members become better speakers for their jobs, presentations and meetings.
Call Jim Martin at 536-3392 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
OLDSMAR – The city of Oldsmar offers high-energy zumba fitness sessions Mondays, 6 to 7 p.m., at the Cypress Forest Recreation Center.
The price is $5 per class with a recreation card or $7.50 per class without a card.
Community Chorus meeting
PALM HARBOR – The Palm Harbor Community Chorus meets Tuesdays from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Crystal Cove Community Church, 6900 County Road, Palm Harbor. No auditions are necessary. For more information, call Anita at 939-2952.