Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Is it time for a building moratorium in downtown St. Pete?

More sewage from development just adds to the problem when the rain events occur.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin

As the confusion and misdirection about St. Petersburg's wastewater problem continue, is it time for a building moratorium in downtown St. Pete?

Multi story construction in downtown St. Pete continues at a break-neck pace. With the Albert Whitted treatment plant off line, there has yet to be any serious discussion of taking steps to slow down growth and reign in the increasing population east of 16th Street.

Think of the "Animal House exploding toilets"

While much is made of rain events and leaky pipes, little has been said about how much high-density development in the downtown core may be contributing to the long-run  wastewater pollution problem.

I am sure the immediate reaction will be a raft of numbers from the City indicating that the "events" of the recent past are all related to rain events, and the wastewater system is completely capable of handling all the current and planned future development.

What else would you expect from a City administration and water department that has as of yet failed to come up with a coherent plan to resolve the City's wastewater problems.

However, more sewage from development just adds to the problem when the rain events occur.

Is a building moratorium a bit harsh?

Maybe.

However, one thing is for sure if City Council even brings the subject up the Mayor's phone will be ringing off the hook with developers, realtors and bankers who are all future campaign contributors pushing the Mayor to come up with a solution.

So far, the all City Council's pushing on the Mayor has produced is a lot of rhetoric, excuses and apparently contracts with very ineffective consultants who can't seem to get anything accomplished and a cute little twitter site.

Maybe some leverage like a proposed downtown building moratorium would be enough to get his honor it a bit more engaged.

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