Undeterred by a chain of rulings in favor of St. Pete Beach, former failed commission hopeful Jim Anderson will push on with an appeal of the most recent ruling.
The lawsuit and the myriad of related appeals center on the way commissioners adopted the city's (at the time) new comprehensive plan. The city commissioners has re-adopted the plan as a safeguard; however, no lawsuit has yet found in favor of those opposing the city's comprehensive plan.
City staff confirmed that some members of the Silver Sands Building B Board of Directors have joined Mr. Anderson in his most recent appeal, and District Two Commissioner Jim Parent made no secret of his feelings in an October 3 communique with his constituency.
"From my perspective, the perpetrators of these suits are being fed bad information about the reality of the comprehensive plan," Commissioner Parent wrote. "They are being scared by 'Clearwater-style' high rise buildings implying that the massive condos on the west side of Sand Key just this side of the Clearwater Bridge on Gulf Boulevard could be built here. Nope. The mis-informers say that there are city plans for a public beach boardwalk nearby, implying that one could run in front of Silver Sands. Again, Nope."
Silver Sands, a cluster of multi-story condominiums at 6595 Sunset Way, sits "right on top of the old St. Pete Beach Aquatarium, on the beach and, ironically, directly blocking the views of the other properties in the area," according to the commissioner.
Commissioner Parent told his e-mail subscribers the Silver Sands participants "object to the fact that Silver Sands is next to an area that our city has found blighted," referring to the Community Redevelopment Area (CRA), similar to the Gulfport Waterfront Redevelopment Area, created by the commission. A CRA will legally ensure the city will reinvest a portion of the CRA's tax dollars only in the CRA.
In that same e-mail, Commissioner Parent called out by name the Silver Sands Building B board as condoning the lawsuit. He criticized the forces behind the latest round of appeals.
"I am saddened that these people are so naïve, so un-savvy, as to believe the mis-statements about the comprehensive plan from their puppeteers behind the scenes keeping the mis-information flowing," he said. "On purpose? Because they have no clue? I wish I knew.
Contact Cathy Salustri at CathySalustri@theGabber.com.