Waterfront Master Plan to create ‘vision’ for key downtown properties

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Seven miles of St. Petersburg waterfront are about to become the focus of intensive review, as the city develops the first-ever master plan to envision the future for a chain of parks and public venues, including the city Pier, harbors and museums.

On Sept. 9, USF St. Pete will host the first in a series of public meetings with members of the Urban Land Institute. The goal is to collect ideas and views from the public about the master plan, which will cover an area extending from Coffee Pot Park south to Lassing Park.

The properties at issue represent the jewels of the downtown waterfront. They include:
• Sixteen parks
• Albert Whitted Airport
• History Museum
• City Pier and pier approach
• Bayboro Harbor
• Vinoy Basin
• Museum of Fine Arts
• Demens Landing Marina
• Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club

The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. at the University Student Center
, 200 6th Ave. South. The city and St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring the event.

After the initial meeting, urban planners will continue to collect information in St. Petersburg from Sept. 29-Oct. 3, when they will meet with downtown neighborhood groups, businesses and organizations.

The master plan process is the result of a City Charter amendment that voters adopted in November 2011 that required the city to adopt what is being called a Downtown Waterfront Master Plan. The master plan must be completed and approved by July 1, 2015.

The goal is to establish both a “future vision” for the downtown properties and a “policy framework.”

The following are components that are required to be in the waterfront master plan:

• Inventory of the 16 waterfront parks and their condition
• Inventory of 16 waterfront facilities
• Detailed look at pedestrian and transportation services in the area
• Examination of “supporting infrastructure and land development regulations.”

According to a report released by the city about the master plan process, the blueprint is a “concept plan and is not intended to provide specific details for projects…”

For more information on the waterfront master plan process, see Waterfront.Plan@stpete.org.

If you do not plan to attend the Sept. 9 meeting, you can still submit a public comment by using the following form:
http://www.stpete.org/downtown_waterfront_master_plan/docs/Public_Comment_Form.pdf