Two ballot measures in St. Petersburg sailed to easy victory Tuesday: Both would extend lease terms on city-owned waterfront land.
They both passed with nearly 70 percent of the vote.
The pier amendment allows Tampa Bay Watch, the nonprofit group that will operate the pier marine education center, a better guarantee on its investment in the pier. The group requested the change to protect its $2 million investment and provide some longer-term assurances for potential donors to fund the project.
The other charter amendment allows Harborage Marina to reset the clock on its current lease that has just five years remaining to a 30-year lease over submerged lands at the property. The change would allow the marina to build a 200-foot dock, update its electrical system and increase the number of boat slips available for public use.
The charter amendment change would not cost the city. Supporters say the change is necessary to accommodate more boaters in a marina that is currently over capacity, which would result in more economic development for the city.
The lease extension would add additional boat slips to the marina for use by visitors and residents.
A St. Pete Polls survey predicted the referenda would easily win. More than half of those surveyed in that poll indicated they supported the Harborage Marina referendum while 47 percent indicated support for the pier lease extension. Nearly 30 percent of those asked who had already or planned to vote on the issue were still undecided.
The St. Petersburg City Council approved ballot language for both measures earlier this year, noting the need for continued economic development opportunities along the downtown waterfront.