Spring Break and the season is upon us. It is an exciting part of the year that some of us dread and some of us join in the fun. Either way, this time of year is vital to our economy and seeing the faces of our visitors smiling when they share our sun rises and our sun sets, brings a smile to my face. It is invigorating to hear the ohs and aahs while standing on our beach.
March also marks the one-year anniversary of our Crystal Island Roadway Improvement project which is entering the punch list stage when the remainder of restoration work is completed. I want to thank each of the residents for their patience and understanding as this project draws to a close. Also, during March we expanded our Resident Parking Permit Only Parking Zone near 141st and Bayshore. The Planning Commission recommended approval of the redevelopment of the Schooner site on Gulf Blvd. and the development is headed to the first public hearing at the April 14, 2021 Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting. As we head into April, the finishing work is beginning on our new Building Department addition and we are looking forward to a May completion date.
April will also bring us closer to finding the right fit for our open Public Works Director position. We hope to begin interviews soon after the initial screening is completed. A new permit clerk and marina assistants are scheduled to start in April as well. The next Breakfast with Bob is scheduled for Thursday April 22nd, at the Madeira Beach Fire Station near City Hall. Please join us for an hour of information, conversation, and sharing.
On the COVID-19 front, our County has increased the positivity rate in March to 6% but has started to decline again. We are not out of danger yet so please be patient. We don’t stop the race when we get close to the finish line. We must continue to mask up, socially distance, avoid large groups, and get vaccinated. The vaccination reservations definitely takes patience but it is now open to all 16 years old and up. Don’t worry which vaccine you get. At this point it is important to get vaccinated as soon as you can! Be safe!
BUILDING OFFICIAL(S)- DEVELOPMENT REPORT- (March 2021)
City Building Official, Frank DeSantis reports that our redevelopment/economic development continues at a fast pace including several large condominium projects on-going and under plan review.
- The Madeira Bay Project (44 units) at 13101 Gulf Blvd. The side banks need to be re-graded to meet code. Waiting on as-builts and revised drainage calculations. Spoke to Al, NO CHANGE.
- The Madeira del Mar Condominiums project (13 units, 4-stories with two floors above parking) 15305 1st Street East. New pool permit issued, waiting on final storm drainage install at rear of property. Landscaping, parking & pavers left. Final M-E-P’s to be scheduled asap, elevator install in-progress, the project is at 98% completion.
- The Gulf Grille project. (Restaurant) 14080 Gulf Blvd. – PROJECT COMPLETED; C-O ISSUED!
- The Harbor at Town Center Condominiums project 212 150TH Ave – The third floor and third vertical lift have been poured, no site work or exterior block work has been done at this point. The project is at 20% completion.
- The Holiday Isles projects –
- 555 150th Ave. (Hampton Inn Hotel) – NO CHANGE Overall progress is still at 1%. Permit has been extended per Executive Order 20-52.
- 565 150th Ave. (31-unit residential condo building) – Permit has been approved and is awaiting pick up by contractor. NO CHANGE.
- City Hall Generator Structure, 300 Municipal Drive – PROJECT COMPLETED; C-C ISSUED!
- The Office Suite Downstairs – The M-E-P’s & Fire “above ceiling” inspections are due by end of week. The new front door and back employee door concrete is scheduled for pour Thursday 4/1. The space is prepped & ready for conditioned air. The project is still ahead of schedule and is estimated for completion by Mid-May.
Monthly Totals (03/01/2021 through 03/29/2021):
- Building Department:
- 118 different types of permits were processed & issued.
- $49,855 Permit fees collected.
- $1,917,663. Permit estimated value or cost.
- 186 completed inspections (average 11-per day)
- Building Code Compliance & Residential Rental Inspections:
- 1 new code compliance cases were created.
- 7 code compliance cases being resolved.
- 25 open/outstanding code compliance concerns with the help of the Special Magistrate.
- 14 rental units scheduled for March inspections.
- PCSO-Community Policing and Code Enforcement (MUNIS).
- 5 new code compliance cases were opened.
- 3 existing code compliance cases were resolved.
- 35 code compliance cases remain open.
- PCSO-ACISS Cases (Activities that generate case #’s)
- Deputy Moren, 75 cases
- Deputy Snyder, 66 cases
- 141-Total Cases
In March, the Community Development staff began working with the land use planning consultant who will help develop the land use map changes needed to bring the city into compliance with the county, and with its own development policies and patterns. There are specific problems with the current maps and land use categories that cause conflict with the county and that leave the economic sector vulnerable to permanent loss. Even the existing development in Johns Pass Village and in some areas along Gulf Blvd are not reflected by the existing city definitions. This means that they would not be able to rebuild to existing levels if destroyed or severely damaged by storm. What is more, over the years the county downgraded the land use in the Village and along Gulf Blvd to a low-level suburban sprawl type. This was done without the understanding of the Madeira Beach community. Since the city is obligated by law to be compatible with the county, protection of the property values and economic health of the entire city, requires both the city and the county maps be amended. More detailed zoning and design regulations will follow, and the staff is developing a schedule for public input meetings to help in this process. Both landowners and business owners will be invited to participate by way of mailed invitation and door-to-door visits.
CITY OF MADEIRA BEACH MARINA
Cold weather and storm fronts will limit your fishing opportunities this month, however sheepshead will start to make their way inshore to start spawning. Large numbers of the convict striped crustacean eaters will school up around bridges, docks, and rocky seawalls. Sheepshead like areas with lots of growth, (oysters and barnacles) with some moving water. Look for these areas around the passes and the nearby canals. Bait can vary but must be a crustacean or muscle such as, oysters, barnacles, fiddler crabs, sand fleas or fresh cut shrimp. Use medium heavy spinning tackle with 20–30-pound braid and 25–40-pound leader depending on water clarity. For tackle I prefer an Owner hook model 5111 in #1 to 2/0 depending on the size bait you are using. Put a split shot on the line about 8 inches from the hook and make sure that you use just enough weight to hold bottom as the bite will be very subtle. Sheepshead are a delicious eating fish but must be 12 inches overall with a daily bag limit of 8 per person.
The start of hurricane season is just months away. Are you prepared if a hurricane or severe storm strikes this year? The City of Madeira Beach will host a Hurricane Preparedness Expo on April 17th to assist residents in becoming prepared ahead of the season.
In recent years, our area experienced Hurricane Irma and Tropical Storm Eta. Both very different storms, from the strength and formation to the damage caused. Irma, category 4, heading directly for Madeira Beach changed track last minute. Although we were spared major devastation, the community felt the effects of the damage. Most was caused by wind, with powerlines and trees down and significant structural damage to buildings including collapse or roof damage. The lack of power lasted weeks affecting residents and businesses operations. Tropical Storm Eta on the other hand hit our area unexpectedly, causing severe flooding throughout the barrier island communities. A countywide evacuation was issued during Hurricane Irma however, there was no evacuation mandate prior to TS Eta. Knowing what we know now of TS Eta, from the emergency rescue calls generated during the storm, to the after storm damage assessment it is clear this tropical storm was as destructive, and put many in harm’s way as a declared hurricane.
Being pro-active in preparing for tropical storm activity when living in paradise such as Madeira Beach is a regular start to our summer season. It is very important to do what we can now, before a storm comes our way. Tasks such as setting up official weather and alerting apps, knowing evacuation zones and shelter locations, or establishing a communication plan with family can be completed before the season begins. The City is here to help you establish an efficient plan by offering an opportunity to speak to representatives from the City, local organizations and businesses who can provide information on how to prepare for the storm and for the days after the storm.
Join us on Saturday, April 17th from 9 am to Noon at Madeira Beach City Hall for the 2021 Hurricane Preparedness Expo. The event is open to the public, you do not have to be a resident of Madeira Beach to attend. For more information visit the City’s website at www.madeirabeachfl.gov.
As of March 31, 2021, the Board of Commissioners have held 12 meetings in 2021. All meetings are open to the public. For March 2021, the Board held 3 meetings. The public can view meetings by webcast or on Spectrum Ch. 640 and public comment is accepted by email in advance of each meeting. Regularly scheduled meetings are held:
Board of Commissioners Meetings – City Hall, 300 Municipal Drive, Madeira Beach, FL 33708
- Workshop Agenda Setting 2nd Wednesday @ 5:45 p.m.
- Regular Meeting 2nd Wednesday @ 6 p.m.
- Regular Workshop Meeting 4th Wednesday @ 6 p.m.
Meeting dates and times are subject to change due to holidays, etc.
Public Works and Sanitation have installed the new 96-gallon toters on the beach over the last couple weeks. There are 70 toters along our beautiful beach and would encourage residents and visitors to please use the toters and keep the lids closed. Staff will begin changing out the old receptacles at Archibald and Johns Pass Park with the new 96 – gallon toters within the next week. We have replaced 28 metal trash can receptacles in Johns Pass Village with the recycled plastic enclosures from the beach.
Crystal Island Updates
A final walk through is scheduled April 6th.
- All inlets and outfalls are in place and tied in.
- curbs are in place throughout the entire project area (Johns Pass Ave, Lillian Dr, Flamingo Dr and Crystal Dr).
- The first lift of asphalt is in place throughout the entire project area
- The final lift of asphalt (approximately 1.5”) is in place throughout the entire project area.
- Concrete and Paver Driveway in progress.
- Irrigation and sod restoration in progress.
- City Inspector is keeping a detailed punch-list of items that need to be corrected/completed. The Contractor has begun working on the punch-list items.
March was an exciting month in Recreation as the weather heated up, as well as the activities around ROC Park. Youth Baseball and Softball began their season with games nearly every night of the week on the softball diamonds. With registration numbers north of 225 athletes, the Madeira Beach Youth Baseball and Softball organization continues its strong presence within Pinellas County.
The Gulf Beaches Rotary Spring Break Waterfront Festival took over the events field during Spring Break bringing excitement and fun to the Madeira Beach Community. The 4 day festival played host to carnival rides and games as well as a great selection of local live music, headlines by Pirate Flag. In it’s 5th year, the event is the largest fundraiser for the Gulf Beaches Rotary and pumps funds into local charities and organizations in need.
Looking ahead, the City of Madeira Beach has begun planning for the 75th Anniversary of the City. Currently seeking community input and folks who want to volunteer, the City is looking to host a marquee event each month during 2022. If you are interested in a particular event or volunteering at one more information is available here: https://madeirabeachfl.gov/75th-anniversary-celebration/
Below are some upcoming events and activities throughout Madeira Beach:
- April 3rd – Trash Pirates Beach Clean-Up – Archibald Memorial Beach Park, Caddy’s On The Beach, & John’s Pass Park – 8am – 10am
- April 4th – Easter
- April 17th – Hurricane Preparedness Expo – City hall – 9am – 12pm
- April 23rd – FREE Movie In The Park – Matilda – ROC Park – 8pm
- April 24th – NSA Softball Tournament – ROC Park – All Day
- April 24th- Wild West King Rush Tournament – John’s Pass Village
- April 29th- May 1 – King of the Beach – ROC Park