Building stronger communities: Community Overlay for East Lakes' 33,000 residents. Join CNCN to help develop a community overlay to help define what the East Lake area is. According to Pinellas county:
The COMMUNITY OVERLAY PLANNING PROCESS is intended to:
Geographically define a specific unincorporated community in the Pinellas County Comprehensive Plan (and on the Future Land Use Map).
Provide an area of focus for a community-based vision and goals.
Provide for an inclusive planning process that enables community stakeholders to work together on identifying, protecting or enhancing, special features, characteristics, and attributes that are unique to the community or important to its residents.
Allow for change and improvement that further a community’s vision and goals.
Represent, upon its inclusion in the Comprehensive Plan, the Board’s policy with regard to decisions and commitments that will have both short and long term effects on the community.
Ultimately, provide for the incorporation of community-based policies into the overall long-range comprehensive planning program of the County so that County decisionmaking better recognizes and considers local community desires and local characteristics.
Annexation of East Lake Woodlands proposal by City of Oldsmar
Recently the Council of North County Neighborhoods, Inc. (CNCN) Board of Directors has become engaged in the current annexation opportunity presented by the City of Oldsmar in their effort to annex the East Lake Woodlands subdivision and surrounding commercial properties. As we represent neighborhoods in the northern Pinellas County unincorporated areas of East Lake and Palm Harbor we are very concerned with the issues of annexation. Our area consisting of mainly the East Lake and Palm Harbor Fire Districts, representing 96,000 residents, is in jeopardy of being shrunk by significant size if the Oldsmar annexation and the inevitable upcoming surge by Tarpon Springs to annex some of the northern neighborhoods occurs. This represents a concern over our area’s significant donor status to the tax rolls of Pinellas County and quality of life issues that will be affected by a reduction in our unincorporated population by annexation.
CNCN has met with ELWCA, City of Oldsmar, East Lake Fire Commission and County Commissioners and is attempting to aggregate information and provide a conduit for discussions on this important issue. Some of the available options include: becoming part of Oldsmar, staying an unincorporated area with better representation, and possibly looking at the Tierra Verde proposed model of “light” incorporation to prevent small annexation efforts. Our Board of Directors would like to request that we are provided a voice in these upcoming discussions of annexation-free zones through formal representation or alternatively representation by the BCC in our interest.
Crescent Oaks issues
Jim McDonald and John Miolla the founding Charter Members of CNCN have worked for years, along with many Crescent Oaks residents, with the County government on several Crescent Oaks and County related issues with good success.
Our group worked on and got the speed limited reduced on East Lake Road north of Keystone Road from 55MPH to 50MPH.
Crescent Oaks HOA Board and residents worked successfully to gain approval to have a traffic signal placed at the intersection of East Lake and Crescent Oaks Blvd alleviating treacherous circumstances relating to ingress and egress to East Lake Road to/from those communities
Trinity Blending Facility construction
When the surprise blending facility in the Brooker Creek Preserve off of Trinity Blvd was announced, once again Crescent Oaks residents rallied to argue that no public hearings were held; there was no land use change for this facility and the layout and height of water towers went against the County’s own ordinances on land use. The plan would potentially destroy hundreds of acres of the Preserve. The blending facility was put on hold and now has been reconfigured and meets County code. It will be built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane and act as a staging area for First Responders after the storm.
East Lake Active Recreation facilities for youth sports:
CNCN has been following this issue for the past year and a half through the various proposals from the county. We’ve compiled a study of the need for active recreation facilities in northern Pinellas County which is now published on our website. We tried to examine all aspects of the issue and the level of services provided for the 33,000 residents of the un-incorporated area in the East Lake corridor relative to the rest of the county. CNCN publishes "Study for Active Recreation Facilities in East Lake" paper to help everyone understand what's happening.
The ELYSA ball fields were slated to be expanded into 38 additional acres within the Brooker Creek Preserve. This plan was challenged by many groups, including Crescent Oaks. One Commissioner commented that it was just a small group of people that were fighting this plan. Hence; the idea to form CNCN and to combine all the individual voices into a much larger voice. With a larger voice political pressure was applied to find a suitable solution. It was announced on June 19, 2007 that the School Board and The County had gotten together and worked out a plan to locate the fields on School Board Property at the corner of East Lake Road and Keystone Roads meeting the County obligation for fields for ELYSA.
Tarpon Woods Stormwater Management:
CNCN is currently working with Tarpon Woods Action Committee. By joining forces, we have substantially increase the total number of residents applying pressure to local government to adequately and thoroughly investigate all options to solve the flooding issue while maintaining the existence of the Tarpon Woods Golf Course. CNCN has attended and helped facilitate meetings with Senator Fasano, Representative Nehr and Commissioner Susan Latvala on this issue. Representatives from CNCN are on the newly formed Tarpon Woods Action Committee.
The real impetuous and the sheer numbers of people that began showing up at Board Of County Commissioners meetings, work sessions, and Public Hearings clearly demonstrated the interest our neighbors had in what County government is or isn’t doing fostering the County to begin listening to these large groups of people on various issues. It’s all in the numbers; when fifty or a hundred people show up the Commission needs to listen. If you really want to get their attention as Crescent Oaks did, show up in bus loads of residents.
Commissioner Duncan commented to CNCN that the "Council of North County Neighborhoods is a novel organization – one which is new, “coming afresh”, and one which is welcomed as a breath of fresh air."
Council of North County Neighborhoods, Inc.
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