Friday, September 01, 2006

Heights Business District Strategic Plan update

From Randy Baron:

"Many of you were involved in the creation of the Seminole Heights Business District Strategic Plan. Early this year, the plan was presented to City Council who then instructed city staff to respond to each of the recommendations. In March, the city submitted its responses in the form of an Implementation Review. Throughout their responses, staff noted that regulatory changes would need to occur to implement key Strategic Plan goals. For example, on page 6 of the review, in response to item 5 - Creation of a commercial or mixed-use overlay district or business improvement district, Land Development Coordination (Zoning) responded:

BHD – Strategies #5 and #6. An overlay district should not be established, rather a rework of land use categories and establishment of special district for larger Seminole Heights area as a mixed use/form-based zoning area should occur, based on Urban Village criteria in Comp Plan. LDC will need to conduct a study to identify types and locations of commercial corridors/nodes, density needs, aesthetic/design criteria, and conduct several neighborhood/public workshops prior to drafting regulations. Need for Comp Plan text and map amendments and Zoning map and text amendments to complete. Study will take approximately 12-18 months to complete; text and map amendments will take another 6-9 months to complete following the study completion. Also, this could be a part of the comprehensive plan update.

Clearly there is a lot of work to be done by the city. To this end, a meeting has been scheduled on September 12th with Cyndy Miller, the Director of Growth Management and Development Services, the department in charge of zoning and construction services. Also expected to attend are Thom Snelling, Deputy Director of Growth Management and Development Services, Gloria Moreda, Manager of Land Development Coordination (zoning) and Cathy Coyle, the city's Zoning Administrator. From Seminole Heights the attendees invited are representatives from B'Gosh, the Business Alliance and the three neighborhood associations. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss each of the responses in the Implementation Review and get a commitment from the city to a timetable to begin the necessary work. A lot of time and effort was spent creating the Business District Strategic Plan. It is our intention to make sure that city staff remains aware of, and focused on, the Plan and their role in its successful implementation. I will keep you advised of our continuing progress. "


Anonymous said...

This looks like the biggest waste of time. Why do we need an urban village? I like Seminole Heights the way it has always been.

Anonymous said...

OK, and which used car lot is it that you own?

Resident Blogger said...

Goodness I love it just the way it has been too! The good ole days,,,,,,,,,,,,, What's not to like? Services we all love were so easily available. Used to be you could get a prostitute on the corner, darn near any corner. Need some crack to make your day go by easier? You could use one of our numerous drive thru drug service. Need a needle, look on the ground, you'd have one in no time. No money and want to buy a broken down car for an exorbitant amount of money? Got no money and need a place to stay, there was always a house with broken windows, no key needed. I can certainly understand why you would not want things to change. Such a fabulous place. Don't you just hate safety and beauty? Darn, keep that away please! I would much rather live in a pig stye and be threatened all the time, more challanging! Screw progress. I want to wallow!

Anonymous said...

Somebody clue me on how changing the zoning to mixed use is going to create a urban village.What is a urban village? This is not a walking community.Though I do walk to work alot. How is it we (residents) think we have the right to change the zoning of the commercial coridors when we don't own the property. Imagine if someone tried to change your zoning on your property- How would you feel. Today you can open any type of business you want here with CI zoning. Downgrading the zoning to mixed use will not create a rush of businesses moving to SH.

Now if you want a specific type of bus. here in Sh ,(example rest.) Than the Porch, Cappys, Steffanos, Frida, Starbucks,BlueSea, Nickos ,Tbus etc. have to be successful here!
Success will breed more success!

The businesses that are here today are here because of 1 reason the only reason they exist -- they make money. Be it car lots to funeral parlors they make money!!

Arificial or government incentives will not help. Look at the Winn Dixie or Albertson on 22nd. as soon as the tax incentives are gone so are they.
my rant for the day.
philip m

Greg said...


I don't think it is about downzoning from CI - it is about the ability of a new owner of a parcel to reuse the land for something other than a carlot. Current zoning favors surburban development (read big box as an example)that requires a 2,3,4 acre parcel and has stormwater and parking requirements to fit that 40,000 - 50,000 sq ft project. We all know that those types of projects are neither wanted or more importantly will fit on the urban sized parcels that exist in the 'hood. Why should we handicap the parcel and never have any of them be redeveloped because zoning creates a "dead" parcel in essence because none of them can ever come close to complying to current zoning requirements for new development. Factor in the setback requirements, storm water retention and parking requirements to name a few and how much of the typical neighborhood parcel would be left to actually build on - I'd guess 10' x 10' - effectively rendering the parcel "dead" to redevelopment. If the city decided to apply the 50 yr storm water retention requirement to your new project then the typical 100 x 100 commercial parcel in the neighborhood would not even be big enough for that required rentention much less have room for parking and also a building.

If your building was damaged over 50% and you had to rebuild I think that zoning as it is curently written and applied would give you so many hassles that you could not and would not choose to rebuild.

The only way to get retail in the 'hood is to encourage the ablity to reuse the existing parcels without having to buy 3 properties to cover parking and stormwater retention requirements and by the way have enough land left to build a 1,000 sq ft space - who would break even on that?

When the city of St Pete enacted "urban village" zoning the area around Kenwood on Central Ave came alive with businesses and new construction. I would anticipate the same here. My thoughs are why has the city taken so long to even consider changes that affect the urban core that is outside of the Mayor's chosen zone of downtown??

I say bring on the "urban village" - it's about so much more than being able to walk to businesses but that wouldn't be a bad thing AND why can't we be a walkable business neighborhood - we are residentially.

The merits of being able to open any type of business with a CI zoning - yeah I want a metal smelting plant in my neighborhood -it is an allowable use under CI zoning and there is nothing you can do to stop it either - the zoning allows it.

Rick F. said...

In my own blog post on 5/20 I put some stuff out there about SH as Urban Village and some related links. You might want to check them out.