New Pier survey offers many of the same answers - FOX 13 News

New Pier survey offers many of the same answers

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

There is an element of deja vu in a new survey about the next St. Petersburg Pier. The scientific telephone polling of 1,000 registered voters reveals the public's priorities: observation and viewing areas, air-conditioned fine dining, open-air casual dining, and activities such as walking, biking and jogging.

A Pier Advisory Task Force identified the same features -- and so did a "community visioning" process in 2008.

"I was a little surprised to see that [the new survey] really was what we knew before," city councilmember Leslie Curran told FOX 13 News.

Curran was one of the principal proponents of the Lens, which voters rejected at the ballot box after citizens petitioned for a referendum.

She pointed out the Lens had an air-conditioned restaurant on land, at the foot of the pier, and open-air dining at the end of the Lens.

"As we move forward, we need to make sure that everyone understands exactly what the plan is," Curran said Friday.

Mayor Bill Foster closed the existing St. Pete Pier May 31st, and admitted that played a part in his failed bid for re-election. He also admitted his personal preference was a competing design called the Wave.

"The Wave had the climate control, it had the elevations, it had the activity centers on the inside," Foster said. "It had more of what I wanted to see, and what I knew the public wanted to see, than the Lens."

Foster thinks the most recent survey provides good data for mayor-elect Rick Kriseman and the new city council that takes office next month. His advice?

"If you're going to spend the money...you'd better have walls, and climate control," he said.

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