Two regular commission meetings were held in December, with an adjusted schedule, on December 12 and December 13.
BP Money for Sewers
At the December 12 meeting, the St. Pete Beach City Commission unanimously approved Ordinance 2016-22, providing for supplemental appropriation to the general fund for fiscal year ending September 30, 2016. This ordinance allows approximately 1.2 million dollars in BP money to become part of the budget. These monies have been appropriated for use as part of the sewer budget over a two-year period.
Medical Marijuana Moratorium
A first reading of Ordinance 2016-25 proposed a temporary moratorium for medical marijuana dispensaries following the passage of Amendment 2, which legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, in the November election. According to St. Pete Beach City Attorney Andrew Dickman, many municipalities in the state are adopting these moratoriums for a period of six months to one year while the Florida Department of Health, which propagates rules and policies, determines how retail outlets, or dispensaries, will look, operate and regulate. Dickman also recommended a six-month moratorium be approved on the first reading and reviewed again in four to five months in order to determine whether to terminate the moratorium early or extend for another six months if the Department of Health has not finalized details. The commission unanimously approved the ordinance.
Conditional Use Approved
The commission also gave a green light to a conditional use item at the December 13 regular meeting agenda that was postponed from an earlier date. Authorization of an off-premise 346-space parking structure and approximately 4,000 square feet of meeting space adjacent to the Postcard Inn at 6390 Gulf Blvd was approved unanimously after a few stipulations. The hotel agreed to terminate a proposed garage entry point at 64th Ave. and ensure that landscaping and architectural features that were in the initial presentation be included in the final project after objections from residents of Silver Sands condominiums. The hotel was also required by the city to bury new and existing utilities on Gulf Boulevard prior to the time the city buries utilities. Garage use will be restricted to Postcard Inn guests, their visitors and employees and will not be available to the public.
Candidate Night Announced
The city clerk announced that the League of Women Voters’ candidate night will be held on Thursday, February 16 at 7 p.m. at city hall. Three candidates are running for the position of mayor-commissioner in the March 14 general election: John-Michael Fleig, Alan Johnson and Deborah Schechner.