CMA Expansion appeal
Island Estates residents appeal City approval of CMA expansion
Update on Appeal- April 19, 2016
Clearwater - February 2, 2016
An official Appeal of the Clearwater Community Development Board's approval on January 19, 2016 of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium's newest expansion plans on Island Estates has been filed today with the City Clerk of the City of Clearwater. This Appeal comes on the heels of specific concerns voiced by numerous residents and homeowners, and follows on their feeling that the residents of Island Estates have been excluded from any participation and consultation in plans that significantly affect the quality of life of their small island.
The CMA has been supported by the people of Island Estates in its highly laudable marine rescue mission since its inception on Island Estates in 1976. Those who support the Appeal continue to strongly support CMA's mission. Who on earth wouldn't support dolphins and the rescue of injured or ill marine life? Why, then, is there an Appeal?
Island Estates is a small island, that was developed as a residential and shopping community. Homeowners and residents of Island Estates are heavily invested in their community and love it and chose it for its residential aspect. They care deeply for their homes, their neighborhoods and their environment. They have supported the business and commercial activities on their island and have helped them succeed. In turn, can they not expect from their commercial neighbors to be consulted, especially when significant change is proposed?
The CMA and the City of Clearwater have not consulted residents as these ambitious new development plans were being made, changes that will deeply affect residents' daily lives, their quality of life, their safety, their property values. Why not? We say communication and consultation among neighbors can only improve life for both parties. We support a win-win approach that can only exist in the face of goodwill and transparency.
This, unfortunately, has not been the case with the CMA. The people of Island Estates have not been given an opportunity to weigh in on any of these plans until the very last moment, when they had neither time nor resources to equal those of the City and CMA. We seek this right now, via the Appeal process. This is about three parties, the CMA, the City of Clearwater and the residents of Island Estates. We are a legitimate third party in this process and look for the opportunity to communicate with the other two parties.