Future of St. Petersburg Pier rests with judge - FOX 13 News

Future of St. Petersburg Pier rests with judge

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A Pinellas circuit court judge is now considering whether to let the public vote on saving the St. Petersburg pier.

More than 23,000 people signed a petition in 2011 and 2012 asking for a referendum on what to do with the pier.

St. Pete city attorneys deemed the petition invalid and the city council rejected the request for a public vote.

In court Wednesday, the city explained its reasoning, but admitted the decision created a lot of hard feelings.

Pinellas circuit court Judge Jack Day agreed.

"It should be very troubling for all of us to think that many folks felt that strongly in some way and it's going to lead to naught, that's problematic," he said.

An attorney for the petitioners claims the city is required to have a pier referendum before it is demolished because it is destroying property.

"Where the city is replacing a bridge with another bridge there's no loss of property there. The issue here is that 78,000 square feet of commercial real property is being destroyed and not replaced," said Kathleen Ford, attorney for the petitioners.

The judge said he will issue a ruling later.


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