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St. Pete City Council moves forward with plan to add needed parking in Edge District

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Pete City Council approved on first reading a plan to increase parking spaces in the popular Edge District. A second reading and public hearing is scheduled for June 4.

Under the plan, parking would be made available in various locations in the area extending from 22 Street East to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street east to west and then from Fifth Avenue North south to Seventh Avenue.

The new parking will be borrowed from that currently used in association with Tropicana Field.

The ordinance would require driveway aprons on the right-of-way. All spaces would have to be paved and contain wheel stops to delineate individual spaces. Grass, shell or gravel surfaces would also be allowed.

Any lots that abuts residential property would require a six-foot masonry wall.

The temporary parking arrangement would run until June 11, 2017.

The plan was quickly assembled after business leaders in the growing Edge District established a parking need to support increasing business.

Council member Karl Nurse praised the city and Edge District business owners for finding a solution quickly.

“Within a handful of days of our conversation here, Representatives of the Edge District did a walking tour and by the end of that conversation they knew what they wanted and moved forward quickly,” he said.

The timeline establishing a temporary solution is meant to give the city time to establish a longer-term plan as part of a broader master plan for the area.

Council member Darden Rice pointed out the District was recently designated an accredited Main Street program.

“That’s not easy to do and it reflects a commitment to historic preservation and community revitalization,” she said.

The Edge District includes the popular Green Bench Brewery, the Mercado burrito joint and various new, up and coming restaurants and nightlife hubs.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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