Last summer, the St. Pete City Council rejected the bid by the folks at VoteOnThePier.com to place a referendum on the ballot that would allow St. Pete residents the chance to weigh in on whether the aging iconic St. Pete Pier should be razed as currently planned, or simply refurbished and then maintained in its current structure.
The Council rejected the bid, which included more than 15,000 people signing a petition to save The Pier. But those people group didn't go quietly, filing a lawsuit — shortly after they were rebuked by the Council — that finally had its day in court on Wednesday.
Today, Circuit Judge Amy Williams ruled that the city of St. Petersburg and Kathleen Ford, who represents VoteOnThePier.com, have to meet with a mediator within 60 days to come up with ballot language for a referendum on The Pier's future.
The decision comes a day after the St. Pete City Council held a three-and-a-half hour workshop about the latest design revisions from architect Michael Maltzan, who is being paid to put together The Lens — the new Pier concept the city establishment has rallied around. This Thursday, the Council is scheduled to approve $5.4 million in funding to continue the design and pre-construction phase.