Citizens of Madeira Beach, Florida, Oppose City Government Development Projects

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Madeira Beach, Florida, citizens formed Madeira Beach United and filed a petition for a referendum to prevent what they believe is the excessive urbanization of their small town center.

In Madeira Beach, Florida, a small town with 4,300 residents on a barrier island connected to the mainland by a single drawbridge, citizens have formed an organization, Madeira Beach United (, to oppose two development projects undertaken by their city government that would increase already congested traffic and change the small town center into a high rise urban environment.

According to the Tampa Bay Times on May 20 (, Madeira Beach city officials approved negotiating contracts for the Holiday Isles and Madeira Beach Town Center projects with a total of eleven buildings, all over the height and density allowed by pre-existing zoning laws but permitted by Ordinance 2014-08 recently adopted by the Board of Commissioners that allows Planned Development Zones.

On June 10, the Madeira Beach United Petition Committee filed a petition ( with the City Clerk with 1,025 signatures for a referendum in accordance with Section 13.2 of the City Charter, more than the 793 required to mandate action. This petition, as specified in the Madeira Beach City Charter, requires the Board of Commissioners to repeal Ordinance 2014-08, which added Planned Development Zones to the zoning districts allowed in the city. If the Board of Commissioners do not repeal this Ordinance, it will be placed on the ballot at the next election for approval or rejection.

Samuel Baker, a member of Madeira Beach United, commented, “We formed a group of citizens to ensure that our city officials act in our interests and preserve the character of our small town.”

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Jack Westman