We are writing this petition to express our profound concern for the continued existence of the Redington Long Pier. The Pier has served as a beach fishing and tourist hotspot in our community for over 55 years. Over the years, we have done everything we can to renovate and repair the Pier, and to continue to keep the landmark alive. As many of you are aware, the Pier closed access for fishing and walk-ons several months ago to begin another round of extensive repairs of the Pier. We are constantly flooded with phone calls and messages with pier-goers anxious as to when the Pier will be reopened. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that we regret to inform you of the current status of the Pier…it is not only closed, but at risk of being gone forever.
As one would imagine, the maintenance of a pier over a body of water is an expensive undertaking. We have taken extensive efforts over the past decades to preserve this landmark, including, taking out significant loans to finance the ongoing construction projects, renovation of the bait house, as well as to carry out a large-scale piling repair/replacement project in 2006. Notwithstanding all these efforts, the storms over the past few years have taken a heavy toll on the Pier, requiring yet another large-scale repair and piling replacement. Despite all our best efforts to continue our ongoing construction projects, we are unable to finance the major structural repairs needed at this time. To make matters worse, the State of Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, our landlords, have notified us of their intent to seek legal action to tear down the Pier due to its lack of the structural repairs after Hurricane Irma.
In the hopes of finding an alternate solution, we have negotiated with at least two different buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase the Pier immediately on the condition of repairing it themselves. The State has relayed to us that it “stand[s] ready to help any prospective purchaser apply for and otherwise process a…lease to safely operate the Pier,” thus saving it from being torn down. Officials from Pinellas County have also expressed that they would be amenable to any zoning changes required for such a sale. Unfortunately, however, Town Hall is standing in the way of the Pier’s only hope. Town Officials have told buyers that there was “no political will” to change the zoning, to allow for condo or hotel development on the land, even if the Pier remained open. There may not be political will in Town Hall, but we believe that if given the choice between a zoning change that could save the Pier or the Pier’s removal, our community wouldn’t want to see the Pier torn down.
In our almost three decades of ownership, we have done our best to keep the Pier true to its original intent, a fishing haven for those near and far…..our little piece of heaven on the Gulf. Whatever your opinion is, now is the time to speak up! Whether you’re a Town resident and voter, a Town business owner, a Pier visitor, a Pier regular, a fisherman or fisherwoman, or just someone with an opinion, we urge you to make your voice heard.
Here are the names, numbers, and emails of the Town of Redington Shores Officials who have the power to make a difference, and to get the zoning change approved that will make the sale to save the Pier possible:
Mayor MaryBeth Henderson (727) 492-6495 firstname.lastname@example.org
District 1 Commissioner/Vice-Mayor Tom Kapper (727) 458-3306 email@example.com
District 2 Commissioner Jeff Neal (727) 423-5185 firstname.lastname@example.org
District 3 Commissioner Michael Robinson (727) 397–5538 email@example.com
District 4 Commissioner Pat Drumm (727) 423–0494 firstname.lastname@example.org
Town of Redington Shores Town Hall, 17425 Gulf Blvd., Redington Shores, FL 33708
A local government that would allow a landmark and one of the best fishing spots on the coast to be torn down on their watch…for no good reason…is not operating in the best interest of its residents. We can’t emphasize enough the urgency of the situation. Once the Pier is gone, it will be gone forever. These officials are accountable to you and should not be making decisions based on their own personal agendas or based on misinformation. If you agree, please join us! Call, email, and knock on Town Hall’s doors….and please sign our Petition linked on our Facebook page. Don’t underestimate the power of your voice.
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Visit our webpage at http://www.redingtonlongpier.com/