Pier demolition permit filed in St. Pete before decision on referendum

07/31/12 Janelle Irwin
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The City of St. Petersburg has applied for a demolition permit for the iconic and possibly doomed Pier. The move comes as City Council members are considering putting a referendum on the ballot asking voters whether they even want the inverted pyramid destroyed. But Rick Dunn, a building official with the city said a permit can’t be approved until all utilities are turned off.

“And in this case, the Pier itself is not planned, scheduled to close until at least the Spring so, we would not disconnect any utilities so, again, this particular permit application could not be approved until the utilities have all been removed properly.”

If the Pier were over land, the permitting process could go as quickly as a couple of weeks, but because it is over water, Dunn said the city has to obtain extra permits.

“Additionally we would require any documentation showing how they’re – in the case of the pier – how they’re protecting the waterways from any contamination. They would also require, or we would require, a DEP permit – Department of Environmental Protection – since they’re working in a waterway.”

City Council members have already chosen a design for the new pier which is an over-water walking and bike path called the Lens. A group of opponents who want to save the present Pier gathered enough petitions from residents for council members to consider a referendum. But St. Pete City Council member Steve Kornell told WMNF in an unrecorded statement that council never said they were going to stop moving forward with the process to build a new pier.

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