PTB, along with the Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood Association (HONNA) and supported by a strong resident turnout, successfully convinced the city’s Development Review Commission (DRC) to deny special exceptions sought for a drive-thru restaurant and the demolition of a home to create a parking lot on residentially-zoned property.
City staff had recommended approval for the project planned for 4th Street between 28th and 29th Avenues North and within the Historic Old Northeast neighborhood. If approved, the development would have demolished a National Register listed home within the North Shore National Register Historic District, replacing it with a parking lot. While city requirements mandated 18 parking spaces, the developer, in demolishing the historic home, was planning to have 38 parking spaces.
Preserve the ‘Burg provided key background context and research, assisting HONAA with their presentation, while PTB president and CONA Advocacy Chair Robin Reed spoke at the December hearing.
As development along the 4th Street commercial corridor continues, whether that development should be allowed to extend into adjacent residential areas, including historic districts, is of growing concern. Many felt the issue had been addressed during the StPete 2050 visioning process when citizens spoke up, calling for neighborhoods and historic properties to be protected. “Community Character & Growth” became one of ten “themes” addressed within the 2050 vision plan that was adopted in 2021. The purpose of the theme is to:
Allow[ing] for growth while preserving the many desirable aspects of the community’s character is key. Within the City’s development framework of neighborhoods, corridors, and centers, there are areas for protection and areas of growth opportunity. Areas for protection include the waterfront, open space, and neighborhoods, including our local historic districts.
PTB will continue to speak up and help neighborhoods protect their community character and historic properties. After all, that is what the StPete 2050 plan calls for.