Preserve the 'Burg is asking the Charter Review Commission ("CRC") to approve a provision requiring a Community Character Master Plan focused on historic preservation, the arts, local business, neighborhoods, and diversity. It is these elements, along with our downtown waterfront, that are the key drivers to keeping our city special and to its ongoing success. Click here to read PTB's letter to the CRC.
St. Petersburg's City Charter directs the creation every ten years of a CRC. Each council member and the mayor appoint one of nine members. The CRC is charged with reviewing and recommending changes to the City Charter. The CRC's recommended changes are placed on the next city wide election ballot and, if approved by a majority of the voters, becomes a part of the City Charter.
In 2011, the last CRC recommended a provision mandating the city have a downtown waterfront master plan, a proposal approved by over 55% of the voters. Similar to the waterfront master plan concept, the community character master plan would offer an opportunity for the City to proactively and holistically assess and plan for how best to maintain the community character that makes our city special.
July 2011: The last established charter review commission, recognizing the importance of the downtown waterfront, approves a recommendation for creating a downtown waterfront master plan. In November 2011, the proposal is approved by over 55% of the voters.
January 2021: A new charter review commission is established.
April 19, 2021: The CRC will hold a public input session asking for recommendations from the public for changes to the city charter.
July 2021: The CRC must finalize recommendations for changes to the city charter to allow for placement on the November election ballot.
November 2, 2021 - City will conduct elections for mayor, 4 city council seats and the city charter changes recommended by the CRC.
Although St. Petersburg can say today it is special, a community's sense of place is not a given, rather, it is something to be cherished and protected. St. Petersburg is booming and the pace and scale of new development is happening like never before, threatening to change and adversely impact what makes St. Petersburg special.
With the once every decade charter review commission having been established, now is the time to look at the city charter and determine how it needs to be changed to ensure St. Petersburg's future growth respects St. Petersburg's sense of place. The CRC can ask the voters to approve of St. Petersburg having a community character master plan requirement in the city charter. PTB believes there is no better way for our city to show that it recognizes the repercussions of insensitive growth and the need for diversity than by having a master plan addressing the key elements that keep St. Petersburg special.
We are reaching out to our members and the public and urging them to speak up and push the CRC to approve of placing a proposal to amend the City Charter on the November ballot. The City Charter amendment would require St. Petersuburg to adopt a community character master plan addressing historic preservation, the arts, local business, neighborhoods and diversity.