Safety Harbor seeks input regarding future development of 13 acres of waterfront property

The land was purchased earlier this year

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. - When the Safety Harbor Spa was going through bankruptcy debt restructuring, the City of Safety Harbor jumped at the chance to purchase 13 acres of waterfront property behind the spa.

"The commission saw it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  I think where we're at right now is what do we do now that we have it," said Brad Purdy, with the City of Safety Harbor.

So the city wants its residents to share their opinions through an online survey on the city's website to help shape the future of this land.  

Gary Sawtelle enjoys coming to the pier, which is right next door to the spa.  He supports the idea of the survey.

"This is another reason to live in Safety Harbor.  They're so good about asking us on what we want.  And as far as feedback for this property, that's the greatest way to go, ask us how to do it," said Sawtelle.

The trick, city leaders say, is to successfully connect the already popular Veteran's Marina Park and Pier with the new land on the water.

The unrestricted area of the land is nearly one square acre.  It's located directly next to Marina Park and is the biggest question mark on the property. It can be anything from food and drink to entertainment and retail. But maintaining green space and preserving mangroves upland appear likely. But for now, everything ranging from a spray park to picnic shelters is being submitted.

"The options are completely wide open," said Purdy.

After compiling the data from the online survey, the city plans to hold public meetings before a final decision is made on what to do with the thirteen acres of waterfront property.

Go to www.cityofsafetyharbor.com to view the survey.

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