Pier plans discussed after St. Pete voters reject Lens - WFLA News Channel 8

Pier plans discussed after St. Pete voters reject Lens

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ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) -

Voters in St. Petersburg voted down the city's proposed Lens project, which was set to be the replacement for the current inverted pyramid pier.  A committee will meet Wednesday to discuss what the next steps could be.

About 63 percent, or 31,439 people, voted "yes" to terminate the contract with the current architect. Just under 37 percent, or 18,291 people, voted "no" to proceed with the Lens.

"As much as we knew from being on the street for so long that the city's sentiment was with us - I was even surprised at how far the city sentiment was with us," said Lorraine Margeson, who headed  Stop The Lens. "This should be a prime example displaying if you do something wrong - what happens to citizens that have lost their voice."

Voters said there were obvious reasons they were against the project.

"No A/C, no draw, the design doesn't match the city," Greg Baez said. "There were too many reasons to name."

Mayor Bill Foster formed a group of people called the 828 Alliance, which stands for Wednesday's date, in case voters rejected the Lens. That group will meet Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 at City Hall.

Jesse Landis, who headed up the group Vote No to build the pier, said he was proud of the work his fellow volunteers did these last weeks.

"We didn't build a pier tonight but we did something. We built a movement," Landis said. "There were several factors that played into the timing when we got started. Obviously it'd be nicer to have a little bit more time. We were moving the needle in the right direction."

Margeson said, even though voters had their say Tuesday, their work is still not finished.

"Our waterfront is still not protected," she said. "This particular project that no one liked is gone, but we still don't know what we're going to do with our waterfront."

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