PassaGrille beach property complaint scales back All Childrens 2009: St Pete

PassaGrille beach property complaint scales back All Childrens


PETE BEACH &8212 A July 4 All Children's Hospital charity event has run smack into a long-standing political buzz saw this week, forcing a major downscaling of planned activities. That buzz saw was an angry Chet Chmielewski, a Pass-a-Grille resident who has long fought the city over use of the beach behind his home at 3214 El Centro St. Chmielewski, who ran unsuccessfully in 1974 for the County Commission against Charles Rainey, lost a fight with the city in the mid 1970s over a plan to convert a neighboring stucco, two-story building into the Don Vista Cultural Arts Center. In 1983, he threatened to distribute fliers advising his Pass-a-Grille neighbors to secede from the city. In 1991, the city considered filing a lawsuit against Chmielewski to stop him from calling them at their homes and private businesses with complaints. Then last year, Chmielewski won a court battle against the city, getting a judgment that he owns a 50-foot-wide section of beach extending from his home to the waterline on the Gulf of Mexico. The city subsequently acknowledged that members of the public using the Don Vista do not have the right to "travel onto" Chmielewski's beach property.

Reached by phone Thursday, Chmielewski said more lawsuits are planned against the city over public use of his property, which is part of the Block M&ampN property south and north of the Don CeSar Resort. "No one has ever received permission from me to use my property," he said.


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