EAST LAKE ANNEXATION BILL PASSES STATE LEGISLATURE

East Lake Anti-Annexation Bill Passes the State Legislature in 2012!

Introduced in the Florida Legislature for the past two years the bill was  re-submitted to Legislature for the 2012 session. The bill is sponsored by Representative Nehr and Senator Fasano who will once again push to get this important legislation passed this year.

The bill strives to prevent surrounding cities from piece meal annexation by providing an "all or none" approach to Annexation. If a surrounding city wants a portion of East Lake (As Oldsmar did with East Lake Woodlands in 2009) they will have to bring compelling enough reasons for the entire East Lake area to be annexed. The bill also provides for a referendum be voted on by all residents of the East Lake area for approval.

This bill is the right bill, for the right reasons, for the people of this district in Pinellas County. Once you hear about the benefits to the members of this strong community of 33,000 residents in Pinellas County we believe that you will agree to support the bill passage in the House and Senate in 2012.

 This Pinellas County local, no cost, bill will dramatically help the residents of this cohesive community of 33,000 from being torn apart by unwanted annexation and broken into different communities by cities 1/3 the size of East Lake. The bill seeks to define the East Lake region of un-incorporated northeast Pinellas County and protect the area from annexation as well as “keep the community whole” in the language of redistricting. CS/HB 699 and SB 1892 is a simple bill with no cost and no controversy and is modeled after the successful 2009 HB 1375 / SB 2712 for the Tierra Verde community in southern Pinellas County.

It is desired by the people of East Lake and proven by referendum. It has been vetted with the City of Tarpon Springs and the City of Oldsmar for several years and modified to include their suggestions. It passed the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation unanimously favorable vote this year.

Who is the East Lake Tarpon Community? Here a few facts to help you know the community residents and why this bill is important to them.

  1. One of the largest unincorporated areas in Pinellas County with 33,000 residents

 

  1. Mostly residential neighborhoods designed and built with similar demographics, philosophies and quality of life goals

 

  1. Rapid, controlled growth of the area. From rural, almost 30 years ago to planned neighborhoods today

 

  1. The East Lake Tarpon area of 33,000 residents has grown into a “community” with common goals and spirit.

 

  1. When asked, virtually anyone in the county can immediately define where and what defines “East Lake”. It is unique.

 

  1. The area is a designated US Census district known as East Lake. Google defines the area as East Lake on its maps

 

  1. Strong concern from residents about splintering the East Lake community by piecemeal annexation

 

  1. East Lake Tarpon has vibrant community associations and involved citizens who do not want to be part of a city. They prefer to be part of unincorporated Pinellas County and be kept together as a single community that they have become during the past three decades.

 

  1. The community has drafted the “East Lake Tarpon Community Overlay” which was approved by a unanimous vote by the Pinellas County Commission in January 2012 to adopt into the Comprehensive Plan. This overlay seeks to define the character, quality of life and land use desires by the area residents. It will be sent to the Community and Military Affairs Committee in February 2012.

 

  1. CNCN member communities when polled favor keeping East Lake whole and are against annexation (96.7%)

 

  1. We understand these times of tighter budget concerns by cities increase the desire for increasing their tax base & East Lake demographics are attractive as a tax base

 

  1. Annexation attempt by the city of Oldsmar proved residents desire to remain whole and part of the East Lake community by rejecting the public referendum in 2009 by a vote of a whopping 63% of voters voted 92% against being annexed by Oldsmar.

 

  1. State statutes provide some degree of protection from Annexation but the resident’s desire an additional safeguard to prevent future attempts of “land grab” annexation by surrounding cities.

 

  1. Tierra Verde’s successful All or None Legislation (HB 1375) passed in 2009 set the precedent for annexation protection of cohesive un-incorporated areas.

For more information on the bill and it's status please contact Don Ewing ( done@cncnpc.org).

CLICK HERE  for more information on the merits of the legislation.

Click here  for the bill language for 2012.