Pinellas Park is a city located in central Pinellas County, Florida, United States. The population was 49,079 at the 2010 census. Originally home to northern transplants and vacationers, the hundred year old city has grown into the fourth largest city in Pinellas County, the most densely-populated county in Florida. The city and surrounding areas are almost completely urbanized. Pinellas Park contains a substantial portion of the "Gateway" area of the county, targeted for future infrastructure, residential, and commercial development as it sits roughly in the middle of Tampa Bay's 2+ million people. Though technically land-locked, its borders lie only a few miles from Tampa Bay to the east, and Boca Ciega Bay and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. The city is known for its popular equestrian facilities and events, and many residents also participate in fishing and water activities in nearby venues. On Park Boulevard, the city's oldest street and primary thoroughfare, one can find anything from produce stalls and flea markets to high-end luxury vehicles.
|City of Pinellas Park|
Location in Pinellas County and the state of Florida
The city was founded by Philadelphia publisher F. A. Davis, who purchased 12,800 acres (52 km2) of Hamilton Disston's land around 1911. Promotional brochures lured northerners, especially Pennsylvanians, to the town, noting the pleasant climate in the winter and the agreeable agricultural conditions. The Florida Association, a corporation, set up model farms and offered a free lot in the city with the purchase of ten acres of nearby farm land. The primary crop promoted was sugar cane. By 1912, lots in the city were being sold separately. The City of Pinellas Park was formally incorporated October 14, 2014 or in May, 1915.
Though not on the original Orange Line Railway, Pinellas Park did have a train depot, razed in 1970, on the line between Clearwater and St. Petersburg. Growth was moderate until after World War II, when the city's population more than tripled.
The Pinellas Park Historical Society seeks to preserve historical artifacts related to the area as well as educate the public through displays in the public library and elsewhere.
Pinellas Park is located at . Pinellas Park city limits are contiguous with those of St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo, Seminole, Kenneth City and unincorporated areas of Pinellas County. Annexation into the City is voluntary by both the property owner and the City Council.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.2 square miles (41.9 km2). 15.5 square miles (40.2 km2) of it is land and 0.66 square miles (1.7 km2) of it (4.14%) is water.
Because of the city's relatively low elevation between major bodies of water, and its generally flat topography, it has historically been subject to flooding. Through construction of a network of drainage canals and other measures by the Pinellas Park Water Management District, flooding in the city has been greatly mitigated.
Pinellas Park has a Council-Manager form of government. The current Mayor is Sandra Bradbury, who is the daughter of former Mayor Cecil Bradbury. The current City Manager is Douglas Lewis. Various volunteer citizen boards are appointed by the City Council to advise the Council on normal governmental matters.
The City maintains its own Police Department of more than 150 employees. Police Chief Mike Haworth in 2015 assumed the position previously held by Dorene Thomas, the first female police chief in the county.
The Fire Department was established in 1912, when the City had only 50 residents. It serves the City and the surrounding areas.
The Police Department facilitates the Police Explorers, a youth education and service group. Likewise, the Fire Department facilitates the Fire Explorers. Youth in both programs are involved in community service as well as competitions among similar groups.
The Pinellas Park Civic Orchestra and the Sunsation Show Chorus perform regularly in the City-owned 500-seat Performing Arts Center. Regular theatre organ concerts are given at the City Auditorium. The city is home to an active Arts Society.
With its easy access to the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, Pinellas Park is home to many marine businesses, from manufacturing to service and supplies. Also, large optical manufacturers are located either in Pinellas Park or within a close perimeter. Many citizens work in nearby financial and marketing industries. The Pinellas Park Chamber of Commerce promotes the interests of local businesses.
A concentration of Vietnamese and other Southeast Asian restaurants, businesses, and produce stalls makes Pinellas Park a destination for interested patrons. The Library maintains a special collection of materials in Vietnamese to serve the local population.