Although the City Council formally approved the 10-year, potentially $55 million downtown waterfront revitalization plan this week, a centerpiece of the design will immediately be stalled in legislative red tape.
The Imagine Clearwater plan calls for converting Coachman Park into a garden and relocating its concert band shell to a new 4-acre open green space, what is now the large parking lot just south of Coachman.
But the Special Act of 1925, passed when the state granted Clearwater strips of uplands and submerged lands to construct the Causeway Memorial bridge, prohibits any “carnivals or shows of any character” in the 500 feet north of a boundary that runs by the bridge — the roughly 500-foot outline of the proposed green.
An amendment to the Special Act of 1925 must be passed by the Florida Legislature to allow the band shell in the green. That will have to wait for the 2018 session.
Other development outlined in the Imagine Clearwater plan will require a referendum because city charter prohibits uses “other than open space and public utilities” on the area west of the 28-foot bluff line.
This would apply mostly to structures proposed for the waterfront like the playground, water features and art installations, along with a boardwalk with terraces planned for the bluff line.
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