It appears there is already a petition circulating to put a referendum pertaining to St. Pete’s Pier on a ballot for voters.
The petition, unlike the 2013 referendum that killed the Lens, would instead amend the city’s charter.
In a petition posted on the Vote on the Pier Facebook page, the group wrote that Tom Lambdon, the man behind the Lens push, has started the petition drive to “amend [the city’s] Municipal Charter to provide additional protection for the city’s waterfront property.”
“Breaking news! Tom Lambdon, founder and chairman of Vote on the Pier, announced today a new petition drive to afford city voters the opportunity to approve any future developments on the highly cherished downtown waterfront.”
The draft petition posted on its Facebook page is titled, “Petition for Referendum to Amend the Municipal Charter of the City of St. Petersburg, Florida.”
It states “the purpose of this section is to protect city-owned park and waterfront property. Except as provided herein, no waterfront or park property owned by the City may be sold, donated, or leased, demolished or constructed upon without specific authorization by a majority vote in a city-wide referendum.”
The petition also establishes boundaries including the property where the pier and uplands are located.
The petition is an obvious reaction to the likelihood that the Pier Selection Committee will move forward with awarding its top-ranking to the Alfonso Architect design known as Alma.
That design ranked number five on the city’s public survey out of seven possible designs. In a second independent survey, it ranked dead last. And in a poll commissioned by Florida Politics it earned less than nine percent approval rating.
By contrast, Destination St. Pete Pier has shown overwhelming support in all three polls and during public comment during a meeting last week in which the committee decided not to finalize their rankings until they got more information from design teams.
If they move forward with ranking Alma number one, City Council could reject that move. If they don’t, Mayor Rick Kriseman will have the green light to begin negotiations with the team.
This is a breaking story. We’ll bring more details as they emerge.