Friends of Tierra Verde was formed in 2004 as a way to involve and engage the "grandfathered" homeowners and annual rental residents on the island who pay taxes and vote here, but who were not always being invited to the table, so-to-speak--when their voices were needed to help impact positive change.
As a full-time resident on the island since May 2002, my husband, Tom, and I discovered, through the buying disclosure process, that our single family home in Monte Cristo was grandfathered out of TVCA (the Tierra Verde Community Association). Our home, we learned, was one of 30 homes on the island that (originally) had this deed protection. However, since that time, many newer homes, mostly condos, are also now grandfathered out. This should not be held against the 30 original homeowners, but questions should be raised as to how and why so many other, newer construction properties ended up with this designation. It was curious to me. Because our home was grandfathered out, we did not, back then, receive any communications from TVCA.
When I went into TVCA's office and offered my services, as a volunteer, based on an extensive background in chamber-related activities and management, I was, well, effectively shown the door. There was, at the time, a line in the sand. An attitude of "them vs. us." I learned that our island was facing many challenges--and still is.
Then, Tierra Verde was threatened with island-wide annexation, there was much discussion about forming a village, talk of increasing the bridge tolls and funds paid into Pennies For Pinellas were, apparently, diverted to other infrastructure projects. It was a disruptive time for our island, to be sure. Today, new issues face us. Shifting sands at Shell Key . . . Coyotes that live among us . . . The need, as I found out firsthand in January 2016, for not one, but two ambulances to transport a resident from the island to a hospital. This was a potential life and death situation for my husband and me. To address important issues all islanders, including homeowners, renters, and especially voters, need to work together.
To join Friends of Tierra Verde, provide your full name and mailing address, along with your email address and phone number w/area code, and you will be added to the Friends of Tierra Verde email list (should we need to call upon you for your support).
NOTE: Friends of Tierra Verde does not send out regular mail or email communications. Friends of Tierra Verde, if desired, are invited to sign up to receive the Tierra Verde Real Estate Report, produced by THINK Realty, LLC. This monthly eNewsletter includes current real estate statistics, local business and community news, island event announcements, and helpful links.
To sign up for the Tierra Verde Real Estate Report, visit www.ConnieSellsFlorida.com.
Thank you for visiting the Friends of Tierra Verde website. Please bookmark the site and stop back often to review newsworthy announcements. Friends of our island are invited to offer suggestions for improving this website. Direct comments and suggestions to Friends of Tierra Verde via the "Contact Us" page link on this website.
To continue to seek community input and provide updates on toll hikes and the Tierra Verde Bridge project.
(Friends of Tierra Verde was successful in championing the defeat toll hikes in 2008).
Explore ways of bringing residents into one community organization. This initiative would include exploring term limits for TVCA board members, removing constraints of individual "neighborhood" board members, since the island's total homeowner population is too small to not permit talented and interested residents from serving, if they so desire, and, lastly, reducing the expense of membership, using other nearby unincorporated communities as a model. Consider adding residents who are not TVCA members to serve on committees and/or as at-large board members.
(This is an ongoing initiative.)
Discuss ongoing implications of the Tierra Verde Overlay Program, which is now part of Pinellas County's Comprehensive Plan. This program brought to the attention of residents at a public forum hosted by Friends of Tierra Verde.
(Friends of Tierra Verde was successful in bringing this concept to the attention of TVCA and to the island. A mailer from Pinellas County went out to Tierra Verde homeowners in December 2007. The Overlay Plan has been approved. Additional information about the Tierra Verde Overlay Plan appears on the News & Information page of this website and on Pinellas County website.)
Lobby to restrict density issues, including, but not limited to, zoning changes and height variances, and additional development, until the island has a localized disaster plan and the scope of this project has been sufficiently identified (i.e., weather, emergency, traffic, environmental, infrastructure concerns). Ask for explanation and disclosure when any new construction project is grandfathered out of TVCA, as so many have been in recent years, as in the last ten years.
(This is an ongoing initiative.)
Address the concerns of residents and bring them to the attention of TVCA and Pinellas County, with the aim of making our community more family-friendly and supportive of our small business base.
(This is an ongoing initiative.)
Introduce landscaping and beautification awards, awards for holiday light displays, and other community-based concepts.
Friends introduced beautification awards in May 2007 as published in The Island Reporter. TVCA introduced holiday light display awards in December 2007, after Friends published an article about this issue in a 2007 issue of The Island Reporter)
Thanks, in part, to Friends of Tierra Verde, the island has a better communication system in place,
with regular emails to residents who sign up to receive them via TVCA.
Non-TVCA members are now invited to public forums and to TVCA monthly meetings.
Beyond this . . . Tierra Verde benefits from:
An active and growing business partnership (TVBP) that supports island businesses and events.
Construction on the new "Structure E" fixed span bridge is slated to begin in Fall 2018.
Annexation of commercial property by the City of St. Petersburg, FL, has occurred.
It has come with new construction and other improvements to the island.
Pinellas County provided new street lights and landscaping, and our streets have been repaved.
TVCA has secured a million dollar beautification grant. The island has new fire equipment.
President & Founder
Friends of Tierra Verde
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