For many years, the ABC has worked in collaboration with Eckerd College to improve the condition of landscaping along the Pinellas Bayway. Initial discussions with FDOT and their contractor, and with our state and city representatives resulted in some improvement to conditions on the Bayway, but not to the level expected by ABC and Eckerd College. We are very pleased that, as of December 1, the City has prime responsibility for landscape maintenance on the Bayway. This should result in much more attention to our area and noticeable improvement in the landscaping along the Bayway, our front yard.
Negotiations with Spectrum have resulted in a bulk digital video and internet offer for ABC associations to consider. Association leaders learned of the offer at January 16 and 23 Town Hall sessions at Isla Del Sol Y&CC. In summary, the offer provides Spectrum’s platinum video service, two HD set top boxes, internet with 100MB download/10MB upload speed, and a modem/router for $42 per month per unit. The alternative is to remain under the video-only agreement (negotiated in 2014) which currently costs $27 per month per unit, with residents continuing to individually purchase internet service. The net additional cost for including internet as a bulk service is $15 per unit per month. As is currently the case, all other services/equipment (phone, DVR, higher internet speed, etc.) are available to residents at Spectrum’s normal retail prices.
In past updates, concern was raised that the Florida Legislature might pass legislation favorable to short-term rental services like AirBnB. As this year’s session started, we were very concerned that Senate Bill 1400 addressing this matter might allow short-term rentals even when they violate condominium governing documents. ABC discussions with Senator Brandes and others have helped deflect such legislation. Senate Bill 1400 now includes the clarification statement that “application of vacation rental provisions created by the bill do not supersede any current or future declaration or declaration of condominium, cooperative documents, or declaration of covenants or declaration in a homeowners’ association.”
While there is less current public debate about St. Petersburg’s sewer/wastewater situation, substantial efforts continue. As you know, a Town Hall has been scheduled for 2:30PM on Thursday, March 8, at Eckerd College to discuss Saint Petersburg’s plans to fix the system. Claude Tankersley (Public Works Administrator) and Leisha Pica (Jacobs Engineering project leader) will present an update on the status of the sewer/wastewater system and on the long-term master plan under development. Walter Donnelly, the ABC Principal closely associated with this work, will introduce the topic and provide the ABC’s position on the plan and process.
The City has selected the ABC area for one of their future “Living Local” shows where neighborhood residents highlight why they love their neighborhood. The five-minute video will be an excellent opportunity to explain the benefits of living in our area (water views, beach access, Isla Del Sol, Eckerd College and ASPEC, proximity to the city, etc.). The resulting five-minute video will be created during the month of March and should become a valuable component as a promotional website open to non-residents. A recent Living Local show can be seen at: https://youtu.be/r1-s7ZJuiqA?list=PLcJIVjR7DacjTCwmNCc_8v7_Go1pxBFW9.