Friday, December 30, 2016

The Pier – who got us here

Along with the Pier problems, the uplands development is starting to raise a few eyebrows.

Originally Posted May 15, 2016

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

I thought it was time to remind everyone about who got us into the slowly unfolding Pier and uplands debacle.

The well-orchestrated effort of the Kriseman administration to tear down the inverted pyramid and build a new millennial playground on St. Pete's waterfront is starting to come back and haunt them.

Things continue to move a bit slowly at the Pier construction site. It appears the demolition contractor, Sonny Glasbrenner, is having a few problems of their own.

Apparently, the old Pier approach may have been a bit tougher than City Council was led to believe. Demolition originally scheduled for early spring is  estimated to be finished in September.

You can check out the administration's spin on the pier at Current Progress and what's next.

Along with the Pier problems, the uplands development is starting to raise a few eyebrows. Local restaurateurs on the Beach Drive have suddenly figured out that those nice new water front restaurants proposed by the administration may be a problem.

Here is a comment from a reader:

Hi Doc.  Did you know that people are getting stirred up about the uplands development that is planned by hizzoner, the mayor?  The pier issue aside, virtually nobody wants those restaurants on the uplands of the pier.  The City is planning on removing parking for the public for the most part, unless you are a restaurant customer and they definitely want to remove the parking along the shoreline, on both Straub Parks.  I have heard that the Museum of Fine Arts is not happy about this and that Beach Drive establishments aren't either.  

The owner or manager of the Birchwood was quoted a few months ago saying that St Pete has reached a saturation point of restaurants.  Now, the City is using public money to increase their competition.  Everyone knows that restaurants with a closer view of the water will surpass Beach Drive.  Look what happened to Baywalk/Sundial when Beach Drive was enhanced?  

All in all, the City and the wanna be greenies think that people will abandon their cars and rely on those looper trolleys that really belong at the beaches, not as a legitimate form of transit.  Keep hearing that the residents aren't all that happy with the over abundance of activity on the waterfront and the mayor just doesn't listen to their concerns.  

There is a petition about to happen to address waterfront development.  It is being started by Tom Lamdon of Vote on the Pier.  He thinks that nobody cares anymore and I keep telling him that people are just not aware that there IS something that can be done with this over development.  

They are separating the pier issue from the development issues.  If you recall, it was overwhelming at the Pier Envisioning sessions that people didn't want development on the uplands.  Overwhelming, even more than the support of the inverted pyramid.  I bet that none of the council and certainly not the mayor were at the envisioning sessions.  They are wolves in sheeps' clothing thinking that we elected them to make all our decisions for us.  They don't listen even though they meet with people. –JC

As you watch all of this unfold and the price starts rising, the features disappear and the Kriseman spin machine keeps telling you it will be another iconic destination just remember: these are the same people who promised they would heed your input and totally ignored your wishes.

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