Pinellas land preservation amendment closer to ballot listen08/05/08 Emily Reddy
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Pinellas County Commissioners moved one step closer today to putting a charter amendment on the November ballot to require public approval of the sale of any of the county’s environmental lands.
After years of debate, a compromise amendment focused on conserving county-owned environmental lands in Pinellas County is now all-but-certain to go to voters in November. Final tweaking is being done to the amendment before what looks to be a finalizing of the language by the commission on Aug. 19. The quest to require citizens to okay the sale of any sensitive environmental lands was first suggested by Commissioner Susan Latvala.
In past versions of the amendment, voters would have had to approve the sale of environmental lands, but not the leasing or licensing. Today’s version contained changes that would limit leases and licenses to 10 years. Environmental groups pushed for this change to ensure that no one would be given extended leases on the land. Environmental activist Lorraine Margeson supports this tightening of regulations.
The amendment would still allow the sale, conveyance or transfer of less than one acre of the county’s environmental land.