3/5/12 East Lake Annexation bill passes

CS/HB 699 - East Lake All or None Annexation Bill passes the State Legislature!

East Lake, FL - March 5th,2012 - The Council of North County Neighborhoods, a nonprofit community organization based in East Lake Florida is proud to announce that after three years of coninuous efforts, the Florida State House of Representatives and Senate today passed the All or None Annexation bill unanimously. This bill (CS/HB 699 and SB 1892) provides over a decade of protection from Annexation for the entire 33,000 residents of the East Lake area of northern Pinellas County and provides for All or None annexation requirements through a public referendum should a city desire to annexation the whole region.

CNCN's Board of Directors would like to send special thanks to the hard work by Representative Peter Nehr and Senator Mike Fasano, co-sponsors of the bill, who together and tirelessly advocated for the bills passage in Tallahasee for the past three years. Representative Nehr who overcame many hurdles and objections was able to continuously steer the bill through the various committees until it finally reached the House floor for a vote. Senator Fasano who has always supported the East Lake residents helped the bill move through the Senate. The bill passed 116-0 in the House and 39-0 in the Senate.

The birth of the bill occured after an annexation attempt of East Lake Woodlands community of over 5,000 voters by the City of Oldsmar during a referendum in 2009. The voters of East Lake Woodlands defeated the referendum by a vote of 92% against annexation. This lead to an effort by CNCN and members of the East Lake communities to try to prevent annexation attempts in the future. After two previous attempts in the legislature and some fine tuning of the 2012 bill the legislation finally passed this year.

For more information on the bill and CNCN:

Access the CNCN website

County Approves Overlay 2/12/12

Pinellas County Commission Approves East Lake Community Overlay

East Lake , FL - February 13, 2012 - The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously in a 7-0 vote on January 24,2012 in favor of approving the Community Overlay for the East Lake Community of 33,000 residents. The Board of County Commissioners will utilize a community overlay to define East Lake Tarpon as a cohesive community and their decisions will support the local vision, community character and natural environment of the area. Small businesses support the residential character of the community. Maintaining the community’s quality of life, low density residential character, and expansive open spaces is to be considered before any zoning changes or increased densities are considered. The next step in this process will be for the State to approve the document and then it will be incorporated into the Pinellas County Comprehensive Plan.

The Overlay document is the result of over two years of public meetings and collaborative planning sessions with the residents and businesses in the East Lake area. It joins 3 other community overlays the county has approved in Alderman Road, Tierra Verde and Ozona. It has been publicized in several newspaper articles and discussions with communities and businesses, service groups and posted on the CNCN website for discussion.

For more information on the Overlay:

Access the CNCN website or this direct link

Access the Pinellas County Planning department website 

Contact John Miolla of CNCN


The Council of North County Neighborhoods, Inc. held its Annual Members Meeting on Monday, January 16, 2012 at the East Lake Library.  The election of new Board Members for the year took place.  Seven of the 9 directors were up for election.

 The slate of directors recommended by the nominating committee were elected by acclimation. Re-elected were Don Ewing President, Ron Schultz 2nd VP, Barbara Schultz Secretary, Terry Haas Treasurer, Bill Hickman director, Roger Johnson director, Jeff Hunt director. Founders John Miolla 1st VP and Jim McDonald director serve as permanent members of the board.

A review of the accomplishments of the organization in 2011 were reviewed with the attending member organizations and members of the public. Through its committees of Government Affairs, Communities and Membership the organization's major accomplishments were:

  • Developing a Community Overlay for East Lake
  • Submitting legislation to the Florida Legislature for Annexation protection for the East Lake area (2012 HB 699 / SB 1892)
  • Help East Lake Youth Sports Association secure funding for expansion
  • Help Tarpon Woods secure funding for storm water drainage improvements
  • Held public forums on County EMS future, Recycling options, Education, Legislative session briefing, Brooker Creek preserve, Legislative Redistricting and Mass Transit
  • Held Annual Town Hall Meeting with the Pinellas County Commission
  • Sponsored a student essay contest for Palm Harbor students with scholarship awards
  • Assistance with adding street lighting to approach streets at East Lake High School
CNCN is a nonprofit (501c4) organization formed to bring together the North County's neighborhoods to promote communication and cooperation between member organizations of Northern Pinellas County, to foster a sense of community, to provide a forum for member organizations, and most important is to act as a neighborhood advocate for the benefit of our member organizations and to bring a common voice to county & state government including and not limited to the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners and our State Legislators.





For Immediate Release

February 16, 2009

Contact:  Don Ewing, President

 (727) 560-5586


CNCN rallies to protect the borders of the East Lake Tarpon area of 33,000 residents


CNCN, a nonprofit corporation organized to provide a common voice for neighborhoods in the unincorporated area of East Lake and Palm Harbor, has begun an initiative to inhibit surrounding contiguous cities from annexing portions of the unique East Lake area. CNCN believes that if the cornerstone of the entire East Lake area is allowed to be annexed then Tarpon Springs and other neighboring cities will follow suit. The tax base represented by our demographics makes any of our communities an attractive annexation candidate. We are exploring all options to protect the entire district; Option 1 is to change the East Lake Fire Control District charter to protect the area from annexation as the Palm Harbor Fire Control District was created; Option 2, working with the County Planning department to create a land use overlay in the county Comprehensive Plan like the Tierra Verde community did to deflect the City of St Petersburg annexation attempt.


CNCN Board of Directors are working to build a stronger community by engaging with the East Lake community associations, the Board of County Commissioners and Senator Fasano & Representative Nehr on this initiative. Together CNCN membership will have a stronger voice to provide protection of the entire East Lake Tarpon area from annexation.


CNCN’s membership has been growing significantly during the past year as more and more neighborhood associations see the value in involvement in a larger group with a proven track record of working with county and state officials on a regular basis. Join CNCN at the public information session sponsored by the Board of County Commissioners on Monday February 16th at 7 pm at the East Lake High School theater to discuss the value of keeping the East Lake communities part of a proud East Lake Tarpon area.


The mission of the Council is to bring together the North County's neighborhoods to promote communication and cooperation between member organizations of Northern Pinellas County, to foster a sense of community, to provide a forum for member organizations, and most important is to act as a neighborhood advocate for the benefit of our member organizations and to bring a common voice to county government including and not limited to the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners.

As a Florida non for profit organization we have a board of directors that govern our group. For more information please contact:

Don Ewing, Jr.


Council of North County Neighborhoods, Inc.

Cell Phone 727-560-5586    website:





Council of North County Neighborhoods

                                                                              CNCN, Pinellas County, Florida 

                                                                (under construction)                                                      










The mission of the Council of North County Neighborhoods (CNCN) is to bring together residents of northern Pinellas County and to speak as a common voice to the County and State governments.

Our purpose it to:

1.       To promote communication and cooperation between member organizations, Home Owners Associations and individuals that don’t live within a community governed by a Home Owners Association located within Northern Unincorporated Pinellas County.

2.       To foster a sense of community

3.       To provide a forum for member organizations

4.       To act as a neighborhood advocate for the benefit of our member organizations and to bring a larger voice to County and/or State government including but not limited to the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners.

Jim McDonald and John Miolla the founding Charter Members of CNCN have worked for years, along with many Crescent Oaks residents, with the County government on several Crescent Oaks and County related issues with good success. 

Our group worked on and got the speed limited reduced on East Lake Road north of Keystone Road from 55MPH to 50MPH. 

Crescent Oaks HOA Board and residents worked successfully to gain approval to have a traffic signal placed at the intersection of East Lake and Crescent Oaks Blvd alleviating treacherous circumstances relating to ingress and egress to East Lake Road to/from those communities

When the surprise blending facility in the Brooker Creek Preserve off of Trinity Blvd was announced, once again Crescent Oaks residents rallied to argue that no public hearings were held; there was no land use change for this facility and the layout and height of water towers went against the County’s own ordinances on land use. The plan would potentially destroy hundreds of acres of the Preserve.  The blending facility was put on hold and now has been reconfigured and meets County code. It will be built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane and act as a staging area for First Responders after the storm.

The ELYSA ball fields were slated to be expanded into 38 additional acres within the Brooker Creek Preserve.  This plan was challenged by many groups, including Crescent Oaks. One Commissioner commented that it was just a small group of people that were fighting this plan.  Hence; the idea to form CNCN and to combine all the individual voices into a much larger voice.  With a larger voice political pressure was applied to find a suitable solution. It was announced on June 19, 2007 that the School Board and The County had gotten together and worked out a plan to locate the fields on School Board Property at the corner of East Lake Road and Keystone Roads meeting the County obligation for fields for ELYSA.

The real impetuous and the sheer numbers of people that began showing up at Board Of County Commissioners meetings, work sessions, and Public Hearings clearly demonstrated the interest our neighbors had in what County government is or isn’t doing fostering the County to begin listening to these large groups of people on various issues.  It’s all in the numbers; when fifty or a hundred people show up the Commission needs to listen. If you really want to get their attention as Crescent Oaks did, show up in bus loads of residents.


CNCN is currently working with Tarpon Woods Action Committee. By joining forces, we have substantially increase the total number of residents applying pressure to local government to adequately and thoroughly investigate all options to solve the flooding issue while maintaining the existence of the Tarpon Woods Golf Course.  CNCN has attended and helped facilitate meetings with Senator Fasano, Representative Nehr and Commissioner Susan Latvala on this issue.  Representatives from CNCN are on the newly formed Tarpon Woods Action Committee.

Commissioner Duncan commented to CNCN that the "Council of North County Neighborhoods is a novel organization – one which is new, “coming afresh”, and one which is welcomed as a breath of fresh air."


Jim McDonald

Charter Member


An additional note:  We meet with Commission Chairman Ronnie Duncan on a regular basis and he wanted to express his appreciation for the formation of the Council of North County Neighborhoods; he is a resident of the East Lake area and feels that he and his community can benefit from the Coalitions efforts.  Additionally, Chairman Duncan wants to meet with CNCN Board on a quarterly basis to discuss our concerns, areas of interest in the area and to keep CNCN informed of County activities that especially those that can impact in north County.