A Vision Plan for St. Petersburg
October 2020 Draft
Mayor’s Message
                 to the Community

Dear Resident,

The City of St. Petersburg’s        many, we have experienced
vision statement states, in part,   the growing pains associated
that we will “honor our past        with such success. There is still
while pursuing our future.”         much work to be done, and
We take this to heart, and we       a long-term vision is vital to
work hard every day to attain       ensuring our city will be a place
that vision. St. Pete’s future is   for all who come to live, work,
a bright one, and it will now be    and play. It will take continued
made even brighter thanks to        leadership and engagement to
the feedback we received from       ensure StPete2050 translates to
our engaged citizenry during        sound public policy.
the StPete2050 process. I am
                                    Thank you for your
proud of our unprecedented
                                    participation, input, and for
outreach efforts, and proud of
                                    imparting such a gift to future
how our community responded.
                                    generations. You are one of the
I have often remarked that          many reasons we say the ‘Sun
St. Pete had its renaissance,       Shines Here.’
endured the ‘Great Recession,’
and emerged a more resilient
city. As we came of age and
became a destination for
Deputy Mayor’s
 Message to the Community

Dear Resident,
World-renowned environmentalist        opportunity, improve quality of life
Winona LaDuke got it right when        and foster ongoing engagement
she said, “Let us be the ancestors     by an informed citizenry. Like plans
our descendants will thank.” The       crafted in previous generations,
privileged experience of being a       StPete2050 begins and ends with
resident of St. Petersburg – our       St. Pete’s people – and serves as
stunning piece of paradise known       an introspective reflection and
as the Sunshine City – comes           projection of our community’s
with a great call of responsibility.   aspirations for our brightest future.
Engaging meaningfully to guide         The themes are familiar but far-
sustainable, resilient and equitable   reaching, combining the best of
growth that makes the most of our      our past with bold possibilities for
impressive long-term trajectory is     what’s to come. And, now that the
one of the most important ways we      work of crafting a vision comes
answer. Our collective commitment      to fruition, the critical charge of
to create and maintain an inclusive    implementation over the next three
culture that is values-driven and      decades comes next. I am confident
vision-led sets us apart as one        our community’s effort will earn the
of the most promising places in        gratitude of all who follow.
                                       To the expert team of servant
StPete2050 builds on a robust          leaders who led the charge to
legacy of stewardship and              create StPete2050 and the citizens
dedication to people, place and        who offered the insight, passion
purpose. Long-term visioning           and time required to get it right, we
has been a part of St. Pete’s DNA      say well done.
since the 1920s. It explains much
of our city’s resilience and ability
to evolve responsively to generate
Mayor of St. Petersburg:                          City Core Team:
Rick Kriseman                                     Elizabeth Abernethy, Director, Planning &
                                                  Development Services

St. Petersburg City Council:                      Derek Kilborn, Manager, Urban Planning &
                                                  Historic Preservation
District 1: Robert Blackmon &
Charlie Gerdes, Past Member                       Dave Goodwin, Special Projects Manager

District 2: Brandi Gabbard
                                                  Consultant Team:
District 3: Ed Montanari, Council Chair
                                                  VHB – Project Management / Land Use /
District 4: Darden Rice                           Sustainability / Mobility
District 5: Deborah Figgs-Sanders &               Garth Solutions – Public Engagement / Outreach
Steve Kornell, Past Member
                                                  Destination Better – Public Engagement /
District 6 : Gina Driscoll, Council Vice Chair    Outreach
District 7: Lisa Wheeler-Bowman                   Sasaki Associates – Urban Design / Open Space
District 8: Amy Foster                            Landwise Advisors – Market Assessment

Mayor’s Cabinet:
Dr. Kanika Tomalin, Deputy Mayor/City
Tom Greene, Assistant City Administrator
Alan DeLisle, City Development Administrator
Robert Gerdes, Neighborhood Affairs
Anthony Holloway, Police Chief
Mike Jefferis, Leisure Services Administrator
Kevin King, Chief of Policy & Public Engagement
Jackie Kovilaritch, City Attorney
James Large, Fire & Rescue Department Chief
Nina Mahmoudi, Marketing Director
Claude Tankersley, Public Works Administrator
Table of Contents
01. Introduction and Overview.............................6                       06. Ongoing Implementation and Community
                                                                                      Feedback ...................................................90
02. Engagement and Outreach............................8
                                                                                  Appendices ......................................................93
03. Planning Legacy..........................................24
                                                                                       A: Public Engagement Report..................................94
04. Context for a New Vision.............................. 47
                                                                                       B: Progress and Opportunities Report.....................94
05. Community Themes....................................68
                                                                                       C: Market Assessment Presentation........................94
     Arts and Culture......................................................70

     Attainable Housing.................................................72

     Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion................................74


     Growth and Community Character...........................78

     Healthy Communities..............................................80

     Parks, Open Space, and Recreation........................82

     Shared Economic Prosperity...................................84

     Sustainability and Resilience..................................86

     Transportation and Mobility....................................88
Introduction and
StPete2050 began as a citywide                   More detailed process and background
conversation about the future of St.             information about the StPete2050 project can
Petersburg. The result of this process           be found in the appendix documents that
is a vision plan organized around ten            can be found on These
priority community themes that were              documents include the Public Engagement
identified during the robust community           Report, the Progress and Opportunities Report,
                                                 and the Market Assessment Presentation.
engagement process. StPete2050
will help inform future decisions and            1.2   How to Use the Plan
guide plans, programs, and services
throughout the city and in support of           This plan is meant to serve as a guide for
its sustainable, resilient, and equitable       residents, local officials, developers, business
growth over the next 30 years.                  owners, and interested organizations. The plan
                                                seeks to set forth a common vision for the
1.1 Process and Plan Structure                  physical, social, and economic advancements
                                                of St. Petersburg and to coordinate and guide
The power of StPete2050 lies in how it reflects development in appropriate areas of the city.
the ideas expressed during the community        It will be implemented over time through City
engagement process, which is summarized in actions and will help to influence the actions
Chapter 2: Engagement and Outreach of this      of public, private, and non-profit partners. This
document.                                       plan will be used to support:
The planning process was executed in three        • Comprehensive Plan updates
phases aimed at exploring:
                                                  • Land Development Regulations updates
1. Where have we been?
                                                  • Community Redevelopment Area plan
A thorough review of existing conditions and
progress made since 2002, when the Vision
2020 Plan was completed. These are explored       • Special area/purpose plans
in Chapter 3: Planning Legacy.                    • Annual work programs and budgets
2. Where do we want to go?                        • Capital improvement programming
Future needs related to demographic and
market trends based on past growth and            • Economic development initiatives
development were identified. A review of          • Transportation and mobility initiatives
emerging challenges and opportunities helps
                                                  • Neighborhood initiatives
guide the prioritization process. These topics
are explored in Chapter 4: Context for a New      • Grant program development
                                                  • Community partner initiatives
3. How do we get there?
Implementation of StPete2050 will require
clear direction. Chapter 5: Community Themes
outlines mission statements and goals related
to the ten established community themes
developed during the public engagement
process. Chapter 6: Ongoing Implementation
and Community Feedback provides further
direction for achieving the StPete2050 vision.

01. Introduction and Overview                                                                       7
02   Engagement and
2.1   Local Leadership                            2.3 Tools and Activities
At the onset of StPete2050, City Council          The public engagement process began
members provided insights from their              in August 2019, with the majority of the
constituents. The Mayor’s Cabinet and other       community engagement activities occurring in
City departments were involved in developing      November through June 2020. Unfortunately,
and executing the outreach program and            many in-person events and the third series
overall project. The outreach team consisted of   of workshops that were planned had to be
City staff and members of the consultant team.    canceled mid-March 2020 in response to
                                                  social distancing guidance from the Centers
2.2 Community Representation                      for Disease Control, governor’s orders
                                                  restricting group gatherings, and policies
The City of St. Petersburg is a diverse
                                                  adopted by the City of St. Petersburg related
community. It is important that StPete2050
                                                  to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
represent all ages, cultures, and interests
                                                  pandemic. It became quickly apparent that the
throughout the city. A broad range of
                                                  pandemic restrictions would continue for many
engagement tools and activities, as
                                                  months, so the decision was made to complete
described below, were implemented to
                                                  the project on schedule since substantial
achieve representative participation. Also,
                                                  community outreach had already occurred.
understanding effective networks were
already established, leaders of many local        The StPete2050 engagement toolkit included:
organizations were asked to invite their
members to participate in StPete2050. In           • “What’s Your Future St. Pete?” awareness
total, there were nearly 7,800 points of             video
engagement during the StPete2050 process           • Project website
via 45 community activities, project website
                                                   • City social media channels
feedback form, two online surveys, and six
structured community workshops. Participant        • Branded white boards, stickers, t-shirts and
emails collected during project outreach will        information cards
allow for continued dialog in the upcoming         • Youth after school programs
implementation phase.
                                                   • College campus outreach
  Branded Materials                                • Bar crawls
                                                   • Small business sessions
                                                   • Neighborhood and other interest group
                                                   • Community workshops
                                                   • Community events
                                                   • Online surveys

02. Engagement and Outreach                                                                         9
The StPete2050 community engagement               A total of 294 participants attended the three
program included two series of in-person          Series 1 workshops held in November 2020.
community workshops, with each series             City staff provided a visual presentation
containing three individual workshops. The        that introduced the StPete2050 purpose
workshop locations were geographically            and process, discussed progress made since
distributed and provided both evening             the adoption of the Vision 2020 Plan, and
or Saturday daytime options, in order to          explained the facilitated tabletop exercise.
accommodate the greatest number of citizens,      The exercise allowed attendees to illustrate
and the same information was presented at         their opinions of the city’s strengths and
each of the three workshops. The workshops        opportunities for improvement on a large map
were promoted through a variety of methods        of St. Petersburg. This collaborative approach
including the project website, social media,      resulted in attendees learning from each other
email lists, utility bill inserts, neighborhood   and making meaningful contributions.
meetings, newspaper articles, and community
                                                  A total of 173 participants attended the three
events. Each workshop meeting included an
                                                  Series 2 workshops held late January to early
introduction from Mayor Kriseman, Deputy
                                                  February 2020. The workshops began with
Mayor Tomalin, or Council Chairman Gerdes.
                                                  an informational presentation conducted
                                                  by City staff including high-level results
                                                  from Workshop Series 1 and the first online
  Workshop at The James Museum                    survey. After the presentation, attendees
                                                  received an information packet of current
                                                  City efforts relating to ten theme areas.
                                                  Participants at each table had an opportunity
                                                  to discuss and rank the efforts and offer
                                                  specific recommendations for improvement
                                                  to each theme area. These ten themes are
                                                  described in Chapter 5 of this Plan (Community
                                                  Themes) and represent the expression of the
                                                  community’s StPete2050 Vision.

  Workshop at Center for Health Equity              Workshop at Center for Health Equity

02. Engagement and Outreach                                                                  10
Events and Activities
The outreach team engaged 2,870 participants    Young residents were engaged in a variety
at 45 community events and activities           of ways. At the Great American Teach-In, St.
geographically dispersed through the            Petersburg High School and Academy Prep
city. These included the St. Pete Run Fest,     students participated in the Workshop Series
Edwards Family Gala, Grow Smarter Summit,       1 mapping exercise. Booths were set up on
Celebrating Champions, Martin Luther King Jr.   St. Petersburg College (SPC) campuses, and
Family Funday, Localtopia, Saturday Morning     University of South Florida St. Petersburg
Market, Wear Red Day, one trivia night, and     (USFSP) Downtown campus. At additional SPC
two community bar crawls. Participants were     events, students participated in a discussion
engaged at the Municipal Services Building,     in the same format as Workshop Series 2.
the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority         The outreach team also partnered with the
Grand Central Terminal and at several           City of St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation
neighborhood meetings including the Council     Department’s After School Program to engage
of Neighborhood Associations. The outreach      approximately 200 students from elementary
team engaged people at branded booths,          to middle school about what they hope St.
handing out stickers and information cards      Petersburg will be in 2050.
with the project website. Attendees were also
asked to fill in white boards responding to
“The future of my city is: _____.”

Additionally, one-on-one outreach in
underrepresented communities engaged over
150 individuals and one youth group in the
predominantly African American demographic.
The team engaged residents in their local
neighborhoods and facilitated completion
of community surveys either digitally
through cellular mobile tablets or in printed
copies. Team members went to restaurants,
barbershops, beauty salons, schools, youth
farms, and other relevant local gatherings.

   St. Pete Run Fest                              Saturday Morning Market

02. Engagement and Outreach                                                                11
Community Events

  45                       Est. 2,870                  Geographically
Events                    Participants                  Distributed

 The StPete2050 outreach team went to the community to hear the
          voices of those unable to attend the workshops.

Edwards Family Holiday Gala

02. Engagement and Outreach      13
The StPete2050 engagement program included
two interactive and visual online community
surveys. These were shared through a variety
of methods including the project website,
social media, email lists, utility bill inserts,
neighborhood meetings, newspaper articles,
a televised news story, community events and
workshops, and a newspaper ad in The Weekly
Challenger. The two online community surveys
yielded over 4,000 responses.

The first survey was open from November 7,
2019 to January 21, 2020. Participants were
asked to rank their top priorities, share their
personal 2050 vision, and map the city’s
strengths and opportunities. Mobile tablets        Surveys at USFSP Event
were provided for participants to take the first
survey at events and workshops. The purpose
of the second online community survey was
to gauge community interest in a variety
of specific strategies and actions, including
community character preferences. The survey
ran from March 19, 2020 to June 22, 2020. Both
surveys asked participants to provide optional
demographic information to help understand
the community representation.

  Surveys at PSTA Bus Terminal                     Surveys at Celebrating Champions

02. Engagement and Outreach                                                           14
Community Surveys

Two online community surveys were distributed as part of the StPete2050
engagement process. These surveys utilized MetroQuest software, which is a
specialized tool designed for interactive and meaningful discourse. The surveys
received over 4,000 responses and were broadly distributed among city residents.

Community Survey 1
The first Community Survey was launched on November 4,
2019 and ran through January 23, 2020. Through this time,
2,464 respondents took the survey. They were asked to
rank their priorities, share their vision, and map strengths
and weaknesses of the St. Petersburg. This survey remains
viewable at In depth
analysis of the results of this survey is contained in the
Public Engagement Report.

Community Survey 2
The second survey was launched on March 19, 2020 and
ran through June 22, 2020, reaching 1,489 respondents.
While in-person advertisement of this survey was limited
due to COVID-19, email lists, utility notices, social media,
and the City website were utilized to reach city residents.
This survey sought feedback on strategies and policies
related to the priorities and themes identified in Phase 1.
The demo version of the survey is available at StPete-demo. The analysis of the results of this survey
can be found in the Public Engagement Report.

 How the Surveys Were Shared

                                             City Social Media     Community
           Community Events
                                             and Website           Partners

           Home Utility                      Neighborhood          New and Existing
           Notices                           Associations          Email Lists

2.4 Results: Priority Themes and Character
Feedback from Workshop Series 1 exercise,          Arts and Culture
comment cards, the first online survey and the     What we heard:
other engagement methods served to identify
                                                    • The arts are a defining feature of the city
priority themes and preferred community
                                                      and are a determining factor to many
character types. This provided a foundation
                                                      when deciding to move to or remain in St.
for the strategies presented at the second
Workshop Series and the second online
survey. Throughout the process, themes were         • There is a worry that as the economy of the
added, and ideas evolved. Mobile white board          city develops, local artists will be priced out
comments helped to facilitate conversations at        of workspaces and housing.
events.                                             • While the visual arts are vibrant, more
While demographic representation did not              support can be given to the performing arts.
meet initial goals due primarily to the in-
                                                   Preferred strategies, in order of most popular:
person limitations that began mid-March 2020,
approximately 7,900 points of engagement            1. Performing and Visual Arts: Support
through 45 local activities, two online surveys,       museums, galleries, events, and performance
the project website comment form, and                  venues with focus on local artists.
six structured community workshops. The
                                                    2. SHINE Mural Festival: Continue to support
following is a synthesis of results from the
                                                       and promote the creation of murals
engagement process relating to each of the             throughout the City.
ten community-identified priority theme areas
and four community character preference             3. Public Art: Incorporate local artists in
types. These results are expanded upon in              placemaking programs and public parks.
Chapter 5: Community Themes in this plan.           4. Diversity in the Arts: Evaluate and improve
                                                       upon the City’s strategy of including a diverse
What we heard, listed below, describes
                                                       group of local artists in public arts projects.
ideas often expressed at the first workshop
series and white board comments. Preferred
strategies are results from the second online
community survey, listed below in order
of most popular as tabulated from the
survey results. Many strategies listed are
already being implemented by the City of St.

02. Engagement and Outreach                                                                         16
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion                   Education
What we heard:                                     What we heard:
 • There are still many issues to resolve when      • The quality of schools should not differ
   it comes to bridging the racial divide in our      amongst different areas of the city.
   community and economy.
                                                    • Educational institutions can better partner
 • The lingering effects of red-lining, urban         with local businesses to prepare students for
   renewal, and other discriminatory programs         successful and fulfilling careers.
   need to be addressed.
                                                    • More can be done to encourage high
 • Equity should be considered in all                 school and college students to remain in St.
   components of StPete2050.                          Petersburg after graduation.

Preferred strategies, in order of most popular:    Preferred strategies, in order of most popular:
 1. Environmental Justice: Analyze city policies    1. Workforce Training: Support vocational
    to determine and prevent disproportionate          training and certification programs that
    health, environmental, economic and                create talent pipelines to local jobs.
    other impacts to minority and low-income
                                                    2. Primary Education (K-12): Increase student
                                                       graduation success and reinvestment in
 2. Vulnerable Communities: Address the                under-performing schools.
    physical, economic and social challenges in
                                                    3. Early Childhood Education (0-5): Increase
    disadvantaged neighborhoods.
                                                       access to quality early learning.
 3. Disability Advocacy: Educate, empower,
                                                    4. Secondary Education: Partner with institutions
    and provide protection for people with
                                                       to increase student attraction, retention and
                                                       success in the local economy.
 4. Public Engagement: Increase utilization
                                                    5. Lifelong Education: Support and create
    of emerging technologies and other non-
                                                       opportunities for resident lifelong skills and
    traditional methods for public engagement.
                                                       technology training.
 5. Redevelopment Agreements: Identify and
    require community benefit agreements
    and minority business opportunities in
    redevelopment projects.

02. Engagement and Outreach                                                                         17
Growth and Community Character                   Healthy Communities
What we heard:                                   What we heard:

 • The charm of the city’s historic buildings     • It is important that healthy and affordable food is
   should be preserved and replicated.              accessible in all neighborhoods
 • The design of new buildings should be          • The cleanliness of our air and water is vital for our
   reminiscent of St. Petersburg’s history and      health.
   not be “blocky” or “cookie-cutter.”
                                                  • As the time we live active and healthy lives
 • Growth should be smart, well-planned, and        extends, many of us will choose to age in place.
   able to be served by existing or concurrent
   infrastructure.                               Preferred strategies, in order of most popular:
 • More housing options are needed besides        1. Complete Neighborhoods: Promote walkable
   single-family homes and large apartment           neighborhood design where everyone has safe
   buildings.                                        and convenient access to goods and services.
                                                  2. Healthy Food: Increase partnerships and
Preferred strategies, in order of most
                                                     programs that increase access to fresh and
                                                     healthy food.
 1. Historic Preservation: Continue to            3. Age Friendliness: Promote opportunities that
    proactively identify and protect historic        create an inclusive community that encourages
    resources within the city.                       active aging in which people of all ages and
 2. Growth Infrastructure: Prioritize                abilities can thrive with dignity and independence.
    infrastructure improvements that support      4. Primary Medical Care: Increase partnerships
    population and economic growth                   and adopt policies that improve access to non-
    strategies.                                      emergency medical care.
 3. Housing Opportunities: Explore                5. Public Health and Wellness: Raise awareness of
    comprehensive strategies to increase             and increase access to Healthy St. Pete wellness
    housing opportunities in mixed-use and           resources and programs.
    walkable developments.
 4. Design Guidance: Continue to implement
    design standards to enhance community
    character in new development.
 5. Complete Neighborhoods: Increase
    neighborhood-scale, commercial
    opportunities within single-family
    neighborhoods when located on the
    corner of an intersection.

02. Engagement and Outreach                                                                        18
Shared Economic Prosperity                         Sustainability and Resilience
What we heard:                                     What we heard:
 • Local businesses should continue to be           • Sea level rise is seen as being a major threat
   supported and incentivized.                        by 2050.
 • Wages have not kept pace with cost of living     • There is a need to reduce our greenhouse
   increases for many residents.                      gas emissions and waste.
 • Effective strategies of housing residents who    • More can be done to be prepared for major
   are homeless in the city should be expanded        storm events.
                                                   Preferred strategies, in order of most popular:
Preferred strategies, in order of most popular:
                                                    1. Sea Level Rise Standards: Consider
 1. Local Business Support: Support needed             development standards to address the daily
    training and provide financial incentives to       impact of forecasted sea level rise.
    keep and expand local businesses.
                                                    2. Resilient Buildings: Redevelopment standards
 2. Workforce Development: Support job                 that result in safer and more storm-resilient
    placement and training, corporate                  buildings.
    partnership programs that give local
                                                    3. Solar Energy: Continued investment in solar
    residents access to skilled professions, and
                                                       energy at city facilities and for residents, non-
    future job opportunities.
                                                       profits, and business.
 3. Green Jobs: Include “green” jobs,
                                                    4. Land Acquisition: Develop ambitious land
    technologies, products and services in
                                                       preservation and acquisition strategies.
    economic development plans and purchasing
    practices.                                      5. Efficient Buildings: Rigorous energy-
                                                       efficient building standards that are coupled
 4. Grow Smarter Initiative: Support the
                                                       with energy efficiency incentives for all
    attraction and retention of high skill/high
                                                       development and redevelopment
    wage target industry companies and jobs for
    all members of our community.

02. Engagement and Outreach                                                                          19
Transportation and Mobility                           Attainable Housing
What we heard:                                        What we heard:

 • There is a strong desire for more travel            • Safe, decent, and attainable housing should
   options than just by a personal automobile            be available to residents of different income
   to support improved health, sustainability,           levels.
   economic development, neighborhoods,                • Attainable housing should be available
   recreation, and equity benefits.                      throughout the city.
 • Too many crashes between motorists and              • Attainable housing should be interwoven
   pedestrians or bicyclists occur on our streets        with market rate housing.
   resulting in injuries and too frequently, death.
 • There is some interest in exploring the            Preferred strategies, in order of most popular:
   feasibility of closing portions of Central
                                                       1. Community Land Trust: City support of
   Avenue to cars and scaling back I-175 and
                                                          partner organizations to develop vacant
                                                          parcels into attainable housing.
 • Support of separated bikeways and
                                                       2. Attainable Housing Funds: Increase dedicated
   comfortable routes, rather than minimal
                                                          funding for attainable housing development.
   striped areas.
                                                       3. Housing Capacity: Allow higher density where
Preferred strategies, in order of most popular:           access to jobs, mobility options, services and
                                                          infrastructure are available.
 1. Modal Equity: Increase modal equity by
    seeking to protect the urban street grid           4. Accessory Dwelling Units: Allow accessory
    that includes wide sidewalks and enhanced             dwelling units in all zoning districts that allow
    pedestrian crosswalks, separated bike lanes           single-family homes.
    and trails, and improved transit service and       5. Flexible Housing Options: Allow for duplexes,
    amenities.                                            triplexes, and fourplexes, within and adjacent
 2. Appropriate Speed Limits: Design and                  to existing neighborhoods.
    operate a transportation system that
    supports contextually appropriate speeds
    with lower speeds through neighborhoods
    and mixed-use areas, moderate speeds
    elsewhere on city streets, and higher speeds
    on highways.
 3. Mobility Options: Seek to increase the
    number of mobility options in St. Petersburg
    including but not limited to such services
    and technologies as passenger ferries, aerial
    gondolas, motorized scooters, and car share.
 4. Smart City Mobility: Support added
    technology to increase transportation
    efficiency which could include more vehicle
 5. Adapt Parking Rules: Continue to reduce
    minimum parking requirements as
    increased transit service and transit-oriented
    development reduce auto-dependency.

02. Engagement and Outreach                                                                            20
Parks, Recreation, and Open Space                    Community Character Preferences
What we heard:
                                                     The second online survey asked respondents
 • The waterfront park system is one of the          about preferred character types for the
   most admired features of our city and should      three components of the City’s development
   be protected and enhanced.                        framework (neighborhoods, centers, and
 • More programming and other                        corridors), and preferred housing types. To
   enhancements should occur at parks                best envision how to retain and enhance our
   throughout the city.                              community’s character moving towards 2050, it
                                                     is important to consider the design of different
Preferred strategies, in order of most popular:      aspects of the built environment. Survey
                                                     respondents were asked to rank images in
 1. Parks will play an increasingly important role
                                                     order of most preferred.
    in wildlife preservation and resiliency.
 2. Waterfront Open Space: Waterfront open           Neighborhoods
    space is a major community asset that should     All three of the neighborhood examples
    be protected and enhanced for continued          received a positive response, although the
    public use.                                      suburban neighborhood received the lowest
 3. Natural Resources: Protect key natural
    habitats and educate residents.                   1. Traditional: St. Petersburg has traditional
                                                         neighborhoods that are marked by their
 4. Parkland Open Space: Parkland is important           architectural character, walkability, and
    for providing meaningful recreation (active          unique sense of place.
    and passive) space to citizens and visitors.
                                                      2. Mixed Use: Mixed-Use neighborhoods
 5. Passive Recreation: Provide well-connected           provide opportunities for residents to live,
    access to open space for self-guided leisure         work, and play without having to leave their
    activities, i.e. walking and nature trails and       community.
    picnic areas.
                                                      3. Suburban: Suburban neighborhoods are
 6. Active Recreation: Provide facilities and            located away from major corridors and
    efficient programming for highly structured          centers and provide an opportunity to live in
    recreational uses, i.e. athletic fields and          a neighborhood that is primarily residential.
    courts, recreational buildings and facilities.

02. Engagement and Outreach                                                                            21
Centers                                            Corridors
Respondents identified Downtown as most            While all corridor types were important to
preferred. Gateway, Tyrone, and Skyway             respondents, a preference was shown for
received mostly average ratings.                   corridors that are more pedestrian friendly
                                                   and that de-prioritize higher vehicle speeds.
 1. Downtown: Downtown serves as a center
    for employment, recreation, the arts, and an    1. Local Street: Neighborhood streets are
    increasing amount of homes.                        narrow, low traffic, low speed streets with
                                                       on-street parking that serve residential areas
 2. Skyway Marina: The Skyway Marina
                                                       beyond major corridors and centers.
    District is home to a number of shopping
    locations, residential buildings, the Maximo    2. Living Street: Living streets are streets
    Marina, Eckerd College and St. Petersburg          designed to prioritize pedestrians and
    Community College.                                 cyclists. They are meant to be a social place
                                                       for safe and legal recreational activity, while
 3. Gateway: The Gateway area lies at the very
                                                       cars can operate with greatly reduced speed.
    north side of St. Petersburg. It is highly
                                                       There are not any current examples of living
    accessible to regional transportation and is
                                                       streets in St. Petersburg.
    a major employment hub, home to some of
    the city’s largest employers.                   3. Complete Street: Complete streets are
                                                       designed and operated to promote safety
 4. Tyrone: The Tyrone area consists of mainly
                                                       and ease of use for all users regardless of
    retail and residential uses. It includes the
                                                       age, ability, or mode of transportation. St.
    Tyrone Square Mall and offers easy access to
                                                       Petersburg currently has several complete
    area beaches.
                                                    4. Arterial Street: Arterial streets are higher
                                                       capacity urban roads that delivers traffic
                                                       between neighborhoods and centers.
                                                    5. Highway: Highways are busy, multi-lane
                                                       roads with restricted access. They provide
                                                       high speed regional automobile access.

02. Engagement and Outreach                                                                           22
Housing Types
While Multi-Family High-Rise, shown as towers       Additional information is available in the
more than 15 stories tall, received an overall      StPete2050: Public Engagement Report
neutral average rating, it received the most        located in the appendix that can be found on
low ratings, more than any other housing  
example. Single-family, shown as a bungalow-
style house, received the highest rating.
Multi-family mid-rise three to five stories in
height, two-story “missing middle” housing,
and accessory units received average ratings
and significantly fewer low ratings, which may
indicate less opposition to these building
types. Overall, responses display a wide
preference for different housing options and
demonstrates the need for a city of diverse
housing choices.
 1. Single-Family: Single-Family houses are
    standalone buildings that are detached from
    any other housing unit.
 2. Missing Middle: Missing Middle Housing
    includes townhomes, rowhouses, duplexes,
    triplexes, quadplexes, and small multi-family
 3. Accessory Units: Accessory Units are smaller
    houses placed on the same lot as a single-
    family house.
 4. Multi-Family Mid-Rises: Multi-Family Mid-
    Rises are condo or apartment buildings that
    are three to five stories in height.
 5. Multi-Family High-Rises: Multi-Family High-
    Rises are tall condo or apartment buildings.
    In St. Petersburg, the locations where this
    type of development can be built are limited
    to certain areas.

02. Engagement and Outreach                                                                    23
03   Planning Legacy
3.1   Prior Plans

Milestone Plans                                     Vision 2020
From the City’s first development boom in           In the more recent past, Vision 2020 was
the 1920s, our City leaders recognized the          a citywide ten-week visioning process
importance of thoughtful city planning. The         completed in 2002 involving a designated
first proposed citywide plan was prepared by        steering committee and citizen delegates
John Nolen, a pre-eminent city planner of his       totaling over 350 people. Fifteen theme areas
time. Although the plan was not adopted by          and aspirational statements were defined to
the City Council, his larger themes and general     proactively direct public and private decision-
concepts significantly influenced the City’s        making towards the community’s desired
commitment to a public park system, followed        outcomes. A set of detailed recommendations
by a zoning code to establish neighborhoods,        related to improving the City’s neighborhoods,
commercial and industrial centers. In the 1940s     centers, and corridors reinforced that
the (Harland) Bartholomew Plan focused              redevelopment must recognize and enhance
on education and the growing influence of           the built environment, not merely replace it
the automobile on land use decisions and            with a new pattern of development.
community character. In the 1970s, an even
more detailed citywide plan was adopted,            The results of the process included action
focusing on growth management and                   items, indicators of success and summary
conservation. The City of St. Petersburg            documents that were accepted by the City
Comprehensive Plan adopted in 1989 was the          Council. Vision 2020 was formally incorporated
City’s first comprehensive growth management        into the Comprehensive Plan as the “Vision
plan as required by Florida Statutes. It included   Element” in 2006. It is recognized in the
the first citywide Future Land Use Plan that        StPete2050 process as a citywide planning
was adopted by ordinance.                           benchmark that launched many proactive
                                                    implementation actions over the last two
                                                    decades by citizens, City Council and the
                                                    City Administration, businesses, service
                                                    organizations, and partner agencies.

03. Planning Legacy                                                                             25
St. Petersburg’s Planning Legacy

           The John Nolen Plans
           John Nolen, the premier town planner of the
           era, created several plans for St. Petersburg in
1920s      the 1920s. These reinforced the park system,
           civic buildings, and wide boulevards. They were
           among the first plans of this type in Florida.

           The Bartholomew Plan                                    1920s Nolen Plan
           The Bartholomew Plan addressed the needs of
           a rapidly growing population. These included
1940s      educational and recreational facilities. This plan
           also strengthened the grid system and placed
           focus on accommodating the automobile.

           The City Wide Conceptual Plan
           This plan addressed many of the poor
           construction practices that were adopted during
1974       and in the years after World War II. It had a
           primary focus of improving the quality of the
           city’s neighborhoods.

           Vision 2020                                             1974 City Wide Plan
           The Vision 2020 Plan was the most citizen-involved
           plan then, led by more than 350 citizen delegates. It
2002       reoriented the city’s development framework around
           centers, corridors, and neighborhoods, and made
           a variety of recommendations leading to an era of
           growth and prosperity in St. Petersburg.

           StPete2050 is the continuation of the City’s great
           planning legacy. It continues the trend of greater
2020       community empowerment, with thousands of
           residents having been involved with its creation.
           It is focused around ten major themes and
           addresses strategies to protect and enhance the
           city’s character while embracing change.
Framework: Neighborhoods, Centers, and
Vision 2020 established a framework for future    Centers
infill and redevelopment within the established   St. Petersburg had three City Centers
urban pattern. This framework is comprised        where people come together for shopping,
of neighborhoods, corridors, and centers.         entertainment, work, and play. Each center’s
This framework remains a central organizing       pattern varies as it represents the period of time
feature of StPete2050.                            when district development occurred.
Neighborhoods                                       Traditional City Center
St. Petersburg has diverse neighborhoods,         The Downtown is the City’s original city center. It
each with its own unique character and            offered all aspects of living. Housing was a large
identity.                                         component, including numerous apartments and
                                                  tourist-oriented hotels for seasonal residents.
  Traditional Neighborhoods
                                                  Streets were organized along a gridded network,
Typically developed prior to World War II,
                                                  with wide sidewalks, on-street parking, and
these neighborhoods include narrow yards,
                                                  substantial commercial buildings making a
with sidewalks and front porches as main
                                                  pleasant pedestrian environment.
features to the homes. Walking and transit
supplemented personal automobile use.               1960s Suburban City Center
While typically single-family residential         The Tyrone area was created during the City’s
dominant, neighborhoods included a range          1960s westward expansion and culminated in
of housing styles and sizes that permitted        the development of the Tyrone Square Mall in
economic diversity and aging in place.            1972. It has numerous suburban land-use features
Traditional neighborhoods also include a          including large disconnected lots, low to mid-rise
diversity of building types, such as accessory    buildings, residential housing type segregation,
dwelling units, fourplexes, garden apartments,    disconnected shopping, restaurants, office space,
courtyard apartments, and cottage courts.         etc. This center is automobile dominated with
                                                  large surface parking lots.
   Suburban Neighborhoods
Typically developed after World War II, these       1990s Suburban City Center
neighborhoods were changing to meet the           The Carillon-Gateway Center became the
increasing demands of personal automobile.        City’s third center. Developed in the late
Spacious yards, larger building setbacks,         1980s and 1990s at the northern limits of the
and segregation of land use types started to      City, its corporate campus, master-planned
disconnect the neighborhoods from each other      development style includes major employment,
and grow the distance between where people        ancillary support uses, and connection to major
live and important personal and support           transportation corridors. Buildings are multi-story,
services.                                         mid-rise, and parking structures have replaced
                                                  many surface parking lots.
                                                    2010s Emerging Center
                                                  The Skyway Marina District, as recommended
                                                  in the Skyway Marina District Plan, was
                                                  designated a center in the Future Land Use Plan
                                                  in 2015. The plan calls for more intensive use
                                                  of the underutilized area to be supported by
                                                  better transit service and walkable mixed-use

03. Planning Legacy                                                                                27
Corridors                                              Industrial Corridors
St. Petersburg’s land development framework          St. Petersburg has limited industrial use areas
is largely shaped by the interconnected street       that are located along two historic railroad lines,
grid made up of primary, secondary, and tertiary     one of which has since been partially removed
streets envisioned within the 1940s Bartholomew      and a second that was completely converted to
plan. The plan’s automobile dominated corridors      the Pinellas Trail. The linear development pattern
provided access to the numerous neighborhoods        includes aged or obsolete warehouse buildings
and centers within the City.                         that do not meet current industrial use standards
                                                     for the recruitment of replacement users.
  Commercial Corridors
These are arterial corridors lined with strip          Environmental Corridors
commercial uses. The development pattern             St. Petersburg benefits from its natural resources.
consists of surface parking lots along the street    In the past, a series of environmental corridors
edge with limited landscaping, non-descript          were established to create drainage relief from
buildings and large-scale signage. Larger            neighborhoods to Tampa Bay. The opportunity
buildings occur at major intersections in shopping   to increase the public benefits of these corridors
centers. The commercial corridors typically have     has been re-discovered. These corridors are being
been widened to increase automobile capacity,        used as part of public open space and multi-
creating awkward frontages and diminishing           modal trails throughout the city.
pedestrian public realm areas.
  Residential Corridors
These are arterial corridors lined with single-
family residences with limited retail and office
uses near intersections. The corridors typically
have been widened in the past to increase
automobile lane capacity, affecting the front
yard’s relationship to the street edge and
diminishing pedestrian public realm areas. While
the City’s 1974 Conceptual Plan envisioned
these residential corridors and structures being
converted to office uses, the lack of sufficient
citywide office demand and negative locational
conditions limits that conversion.

03. Planning Legacy                                                                                  28
How St. Petersburg Has Grown

                                                    St. Petersburg has a wide diversity of
                                                    neighborhoods, each with its own unique
                                                    character and identity. These neighborhoods
                                                    contain most of the city’s residences, in
                                                    addition to neighborhood-scale retail and
                                                    institutional uses.

  The city has four Centers: Downtown, Tyrone,
  Gateway, and Skyway Marina District.
  These areas are used as gathering points
  where people come together for shopping,
  entertainment, and work. Recently, more
  residents have chosen to live in these centers.

                                                    The city’s various corridors connect the
                                                    neighborhoods and centers. Many are well-
                                                    suited for future transit improvements. These
                                                    corridors are vital to personal and commercial
                                                    movement throughout St. Petersburg.

      The Neighborhoods, Centers, and Corridors Framework formalized in Vision
      2020 has allowed St. Petersburg to serve communities based on their urban
      context. The physical diversity among different areas of the city provide for a
      wide variety of choices and lifestyles, resulting in a high quality of life and a
                                 vibrant local economy.

3.2 Vision 2020 Legacy
Since the Vision 2020 Plan was adopted in          The Neighborhood Suburban Multifamily
2002, the community has taken numerous             (NSM) maintains the existing multifamily
actions to implement the plan in a variety of      densities, while building design and
ways. That vision plan guided City policies        landscaping requirements reinforce a suburban
and services and progress has been made            development pattern with safe and adequate
across many City departments and by partner        accommodations for automobiles as well as
organizations. Highlights are provided in          bicycles and pedestrians. Parking areas are
this section. A full report card and additional    divided and landscaped to reduce the impacts
details are in the StPete2050: Progress and        of large areas of pavement. Emphasis is placed
Opportunities Report in the appendix.              on creating a pedestrian network within these
Land Development Regulations
In 2006, the Comprehensive Plan was                The Corridor Commercial Suburban (CCS)
amended to incorporate a Vision Element            district aims to improve the appearance of
reflecting the Vision 2020 Plan. The               restaurants, “big box” retailers, drug stores
subsequent Vision 2020 Special Area Plan,          and apartment buildings; accommodate both
adopted in 2007, allowed the City to utilize       vehicles and pedestrians; improve connections
three new Comprehensive Plan categories            between the individual developments and
needed to fulfill Vision 2020. These are           compatibility with surrounding neighborhoods;
Planned Redevelopment-Residential (PR-             and minimize automobile dependency.
R, which relates to the neighborhoods),
                                                   The Industrial Suburban (IS) district provides
Planned Redevelopment-Mixed Use (PR-MU,
                                                   buffers and standards and incentives for
which relates to the corridors) and Planned
                                                   design including site planning, architectural
Redevelopment Commercial (PR-C, which
                                                   design, signage and lighting; and flexibility
relates to the centers). The Land Development
                                                   to encourage quality economic development.
Regulations were rewritten from 2002 to 2007,
                                                   The Industrial Traditional (IT) district, with
and the entire City rezoned to reflect the
                                                   its smaller lots and zero setbacks, provides
aspirations and recommendations set forth in
                                                   for heavier industrial uses and affordable
the City’s Vision 2020 Plan.
                                                   opportunities for small, start-up and lower
The 2007 Land Development Regulations              revenue businesses and entrepreneurs,
included new zoning districts: Neighborhood        including live-work studio spaces for art
Traditional, Neighborhood Suburban                 production and galleries.
Multifamily, Commercial Corridor Suburban,
Industrial Traditional, Industrial Suburban, and
Downtown Center.

The Neighborhood Traditional (NT) Single-
Family protects the traditional single-
family character of neighborhoods, while
permitting rehabilitation, improvement and
redevelopment in a manner that is consistent
with the scale of the neighborhood. Street
standards are intended to preserve the alley
system as a mechanism to provide limited
access for parking and utility functions in the
rear of the site.

03. Planning Legacy                                                                             30
Downtown is the traditional gathering center       In 2011, brewery, microbrewery and brewpub
of the City. The Downtown Center (DC)              uses were recognized as different than
districts have been areas of purposeful growth     industrial to allow for more flexibility in
and transition for many years and downtown         location. It establishes appropriate standards
continues to evolve as a vibrant urban scale,      allowing for the typical range of activities,
mixed-use, walkable district. The growth and       while mitigating any associated, undesirable
transition has been guided by redevelopment        impacts.
plans and land development regulations, and
                                                   In 2014, the Retail Center (RC-3) district was
incentivized by strategic public investment
                                                   created to enhance development opportunities
in infrastructure, amenities, and economic
                                                   within an activity center and allow a mix
development. DC development regulations
                                                   of uses at greater densities and intensities
allow a variety of uses, building heights, and
                                                   than the RC-1 and RC-2 zoning districts. RC-3
architectural styles that promote an eclectic
                                                   includes bonus development allowance for
and dynamic development pattern.
                                                   meeting additional design standards. This
In 2010, the Artist Enclave Overlay District       zoning district was created to help facilitate
was created to encourage a mix of small-           pre-existing development entitlements in the
scale, home business uses oriented toward          Carillon Gateway Activity Center, but may be
or supporting the visual, performing, and          applied elsewhere.
cultural arts, while maintaining the residential
character of the underlying residential
neighborhood. Two artists enclave districts
have been adopted to date in Kenwood and
Old Southeast. Standards were adopted to
allow dogs in designated outdoor dining areas.
Clarifications were provided for mobile food
trucks, tiny houses, and community gardens.

03. Planning Legacy                                                                             31
In 2015, the Landscape Code was updated with     standards were updated with over eighty-
enhanced preservation requirements for Grand     five changes. Significant changes included
Trees and establishing a new preservation        establishing size and bulk limits on new
classification for Signature Trees, which are    homes in traditional neighborhoods (Floor
non-native trees, which because of the size,     Area Ratio and building coverage maximums),
prevalence and history in our community          with size bonus allowances for incorporation
warrants recognition and protection. Signature   of architectural features which reduced the
trees include the Royal Poinciana, Jacaranda,    mass and scale of the home at the front,
Kapok, and Banyan.                               codifying repetitive design limitations so that
                                                 the same style house cannot be built side-
In 2015, the City of St. Petersburg started      by-side, reducing fenestration and glazing
experiencing an accelerated rate of              requirements, providing for design exemptions
redevelopment and staff recognized there was     for carports on alleys, and easing restrictions
a need to review the neighborhood residential    on Accessory Dwelling Units. In 2019, staff
land development regulations to determine if     analyzed the design changes and reported that
the resulting built environment reflected the    the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) and bonus provision
goals and visions and to improve clarity and     were improving the scale and appearance of
consistency.                                     new homes.
After two years of analysis and community
outreach, in 2017, the residential district

  Home Constructed Under New Standards             Home Constructed Under New Standards

  Home Constructed Under New Standards             Signature Tree - Royal Poinciana

03. Planning Legacy                                                                          32
In 2018, the Albert Whitted Airport Overlay      In 2019, a series of Affordable Housing
was amended in response to State of Florida      Initiatives were passed starting with
statute changes regulating the permit process    streamlining the Workforce Housing Bonus
for airports. This update impacted how           procedures, and reduction of fees for
buildings within the Downtown Center and         smaller homes, followed by elimination of
Innovation District are reviewed for public      minimum unit sizes for multifamily dwellings,
safety.                                          reduction in minimum lot size for accessory
                                                 dwelling units an increase in workforce
In 2019, the Employment Center-2 (EC-            housing bonuses, and a relaxation of design
2) district was created to implement             requirements for certified affordable/
recommendations from the Innovation              workforce housing units. Minimum parking
District Vision Summary and subsequent           requirements were reduced and, in some
Streetscape and Connectivity Plan to allow and   cases, eliminated, with reductions added for
encourage the attraction of a variety of uses    Workforce and Age Restricted housing, and for
including all office types, highly specialized   proximity to transit.
and technological industries, research and
experimental institutions, light industrial
support facilities, business services, and
related residential opportunities.

In 2019, the Storefront Conservation Corridor
Overlay was established to reinforce the
importance of St. Petersburg’s small-scale
business sector by maintaining the existing
pattern of small- and medium-sized storefront
widths along popular pedestrian-oriented
corridors, while also conserving the physical
character of these special places. This has
supported independently-owned businesses
along Beach Drive and Central Avenue from
the waterfront to 31st Street.

  Small-Scale Storefronts

03. Planning Legacy                                                                        33
A new zoning category Neighborhood               Sign and Noise codes were also updated in
Traditional Mixed (NTM) residential district     2019, along with amendments to enhance
was adopted in 2019. The district allows for     public notice policies and procedures. Changes
a variety of single and multifamily “missing     to the noise regulations included increased
middle” housing types that reinforce the         enforcement standards and requirements for
walkability of the neighborhoods, provides       preparation of noise mitigation and monitoring
attainable housing choices, and establishes      plans for outdoor areas with amplified sound.
transition zone from mixed-use corridors
                                                 In October 2020, amendments to the
to single-family housing. Missing middle
                                                 Comprehensive Plan and Land Development
housing is a range of house-scale buildings
                                                 Regulations related to development within
with multiple units, compatible in scale and
                                                 the Coastal High Hazard Area (CHHA) were
form with detached single-family homes. NTM
                                                 approved. These amendments address public
also supports neighborhood serving retail
                                                 safety concerns by requiring a Hurricane
and services, public transportation, and other
                                                 Evacuation and Re-entry Plan for all new
multi-modal alternatives.
                                                 hotels and multi-family projects. All new multi-
An update to the Downtown Center (DC)            family projects are required to follow stricter
district regulations in 2019 addressed           building design and construction standards in
affordable/attainable housing concerns           excess of the minimum requirements to reduce
through a prioritization of the Workforce        risk of flooding and to withstand higher
Housing bonus. The DC district update also       winds. Because the proposed amendments
eliminated drive-through uses; reduced           allow applications for redevelopment that
parking for retail, restaurants, breweries and   increase the number of allowable residential
service uses by 50%; provided for increased      dwelling units to be rebuilt on a property,
pedestrian activation standards; modified        the amendments may encourage removal of
exemptions and FAR bonuses and design            substandard structures, such as mobile homes.
requirements; created a requirement for a        Assisted Living Facilities are prohibited in the
construction action plan for new projects; and   CHHA. The amendments will allow the City
made public art a mandatory requirement.         Council to consider future map amendment
                                                 requests within limited qualifying areas of the
                                                 CHHA that increase the maximum allowable
                                                 residential density.

03. Planning Legacy                                                                           34
Historic Preservation
In 2015, the Historic and Archaeological              Seven new local historic districts and one
Preservation Overlay was amended following            minor expansion, 54 new local and six national
a multi-year, public engagement effort. These         register individual historic landmarks, two local
updates streamlined the historic preservation         and five national register archaeological sites,
procedures for obtaining a Certificates of            and three Florida Main Street Districts were
Appropriateness (COA), reduced the threshold          adopted. The Manhattan Casino and Jordan
for initiating an application to designate a          School buildings were acquired, restored and
local historic district, added factors of integrity   activated. The Royal Theater, Shuffleboard
when reviewing local landmark designation             Club, Coliseum and Sunken GardensTM facilities
applications, established standards for               were revitalized. The Central Trust Bank
archaeological sensitivity zones, and directed        building was preserved and incorporated into
later adoption of the 2017 Design Guidelines          the Icon residential/mixed-use project.
for Historic Properties.
                                                      In 2015, the Land Development Regulations
These guidelines recommend that new                   were updated with a Traditional Streetscape
construction within historic neighborhoods            Preservation Overlay. This overlay
(both designated districts and undesignated,          memorialized an earlier resolution protecting
but historic or traditional communities) follow       the City’s historic hexagon block sidewalks,
the architectural styles, rhythm of the street,       brick streets, and granite curbs. These
scale, orientation, setback, and details and          historic materials are considered important,
materials of its surroundings.                        contributing elements to traditional
                                                      neighborhood character.
The City’s Signs of Historic Significance report
was adopted in 2017 to allow preservation,
reconstruction and relocation of historically
significant, unique local signs. This program
protects character-defining elements that
residents often associate with neighborhood

03. Planning Legacy                                                                                 35
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