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Talking Points for Letter or Speaking to Pinellas County Commissioners

Updated: Jun 7, 2021

Dear County Commissioners:

I am writing to urge that on June 8th, you vote NO on the proposed Land Use change of the Grace Connection tract at 635 64th St S, outlined in Case No. CW 20-16.

I am a (homeowner/resident/voter) in the Bear Creek community. The tract’s application for a land use amendment into higher-density, multi-family housing is not consistent with the intent of the County’s Comprehensive Plan to “to achieve a sustainable future and a quality community where people will Plan to Stay”.


Thank you very much for listening. You have very tough jobs, and my family and I appreciate the consideration you will give on this issue, as we have a vested interest in promoting healthy growth within our neighborhood and surrounding community.

Sincerely – Name, address, phone

DON’T – argue effects on crime. Pejorative and there is no evidence.

DON’T – argue traffic will increase in-and-of itself. All the available evidence is that SFH generates more car trips than multi-family.

- We don’t argue that it is not in the city’s/county’s interest to support development proposals and/or applications which promote affordable housing. We argue that the Bear Creek neighborhood is not the right place for the proposed zoning and land use allowances.

- Because the tract itself encompasses a Coastal High Hazard Area, and there are 2 evacuation points from the subject property (1 of which would be inaccessible if Bear Creek Drainage/Estuary causes the bridge to be impassable), the County must consider the location of this proposed development and the impact on already existing residents, less 100 or more residents evacuating from or requiring emergency response in this area.

- Approval of CW 20-16 would not be adhering to Pinellas County Land Use Policy 1.17.2, “Pinellas County shall make decisions, both unincorporated and countywide, that do not detract from the established community identity and social support structure but, instead, serve to preserve and enhance that identity and structure.”

- Given the current land use of residential urban of the surrounding neighborhood, and structures no taller than 2 stories within roughly ½ mile from the subject property, we would like to see private developers who would build additional single-family stock or multifamily stock that compliments the existing land use and structures, both in horizontal orientation and in architecture style.

- The motivation for citing such redevelopment on this tract appears to be largely political in nature, and voids any consideration to the purpose and intent of having a comprehensive plan.

The city appears to have placed significant resources to Spot Planning this tract. The City itself tried to buy the land, with their own plans to alter the Zoning and Land Use, followed by supporting the FLUM-58 Applicant and the Blue Sky Communities by generating reports and providing data which predominantly supports the approval of the Zoning and Land Use changes, and finally spending tax payer dollars to appear in court for the petition filed with the Department of Administrative Hearings by PGSP Neighbors United opposing the Land Use amendment due to non-compliance with Florida Statute 163.3184, 163.3177 and 163.3187, requiring any and all amendments to be internally consistent to the Comprehensive Plan.

- The tract is environmentally sensitive, with a Preservation zoning designation on the GIS for at least part of it. Bear Creek, and estuary that flows directly into Boca Ciega Bay, wraps around the church property. Has consideration of what the impacts of run-off from additional impervious surfaces throughout the county, waste and increased human activity been considered?

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