You Spoke, We Listened

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You Spoke We ListenedWe will be highlighting efforts that the City has already, or plans to address and resolve. “You Spoke, We Listened” will highlight solutions to priorities that residents are passionate about.

Affordable Housing:
You told us that affordable housing is important. In response, the City hired Langton Consulting to conduct an Affordable Housing Needs Assessment, and is working with its housing partners to explore ways to create additional affordable housing in the City. Although many challenges exist (including the high cost of land), all ideas, such as rezoning and incentives, are being explored. Check the Affordable Housing page under the Economic Development webpage for more information.

Hurricanes:
Hurricane preparation and safety is a concern for many citizens. The Fire Department is always available to give Hurricane presentations to residents and/or groups. You may contact 727-298-3090 for more information or to schedule a presentation. We heard your hurricane shelter concerns. Because Pinellas County Emergency Management is responsible for the operation of shelters, the City met with Pinellas County twice following Hurricane Irma to express our concerns for the shelter operation at the Community Center.  We are hopeful this has been resolved for any future incidents.

Parking:
Parking issues are on many of our citizens’ minds. To address those concerns, the City will be building a new parking garage downtown in 2020-2021, and we have eliminated paid parking downtown except during certain special events, with no plans to reinstate paid parking.

Many of our residents have asked us to address the tremendous need for parking in the downtown area during special events.  We have formed a task force to explore various opportunities and solutions, including researching and working to establish ride share (i.e. Uber and Lyft) drop-off and pick-up sites in the downtown. City staff is also working together to establish offsite parking locations that would utilize shuttle services to events.

Parks:
Thanks to your suggestions, our Parks Division recently added staff to now provide for daily trash collection throughout the City’s parks and downtown areas. Previous collections were only 4 days per week. 

Dunedin takes great pride in offering a safe and clean environment for all of our visitors to our facilities. After much discussion, the City of Dunedin has listened to our residents and park users.  To avoid conflicts between different golf carts and pedestrians, golf carts will now be restricted to just the southern portion of Highlander Park between the Patricia Avenue bridge and Harvard Avenue providing access to the Little League fields and other park amenities.  If you are driving a golf cart to Highlander Park or the Dunedin Community Center, we ask that you please remain on designated cart areas only and park in appropriate parking spaces. We thank everyone for their cooperation in this matter.

Golf Carts:
With the continued growth of golf cart ownership in Dunedin, the City Commission asked staff to form an ad hoc group of golf cart stakeholders to recommend changes to the City’s golf cart regulations. In July of 2018, the group identified four focus areas: increased access to downtown including neighborhoods east of CR1, golf cart access to Highlander Park, enhanced golf cart safety education, and golf cart information outreach. The task force generated a series of recommendations for the City Commission.  Following two workshops and significant work with Pinellas County Traffic Operations and the Florida Department of Transportation, an updated Golf Cart Ordinance (Ord 19-14) was passed on July 25, 2019.  The highlight of stakeholder collaboration is the creation of a large golf cart zone east of CR1 that includes three approved CR1 crossing points.

Development:
One of the most common themes in both the Citizen Survey and the 2017 Visioning was the term “over-development”.  As the City came out of the “Great Recession” in 2013, changes to the development review process, a new Land Development Code, and a hot real estate market combined to create many new development projects in Dunedin. Many residents viewed the new development, especially in the downtown, as a threat to its perceived village-like ambiance. With this backdrop, the current City Commission and the new City Manager directed staff to make the following code changes to address residents’ concerns:

  1. Create an Architectural Review Committee to ensure quality development projects.
  2. Reduce or eliminate incentives and discounts traditionally provided to developers.
  3. Eliminate the LDO discounts in the Downtown Core zoning district.
  4. Reduce maximum heights allowances in three zoning districts (DC, PRD & FX-M).
  5. Eliminate bars, restaurants and hotels from the residential downtown “B” streets.
  6. Commercial buildings in special flood hazard zones will now be measured from grade instead of the base flood elevation (lowers maximum height 5 to 8 feet).

All of the above are now part of the City’s Land Development Code.

Safety
Several of you told us that we do not have enough police ticketing speeders. As a result, our new Contract with the Sheriff's Office provides for an additional two Community Policing Officers whose main responsibility is traffic enforcement. 

Pedestrian and traffic safety on the Dunedin Causeway was a concern voiced by many residents. To address that, the City has requested additional patrols on the weekends at the Causeway, and is also in the process of hiring a Park Attendant who will monitor the Causeway and contact PCSO as needed.