TREASURE ISLAND – City Commissioners moved forward Jan. 18 on a pair of ordinances that will pave the way for a redesigned downtown area.
A first reading and public hearing on both issues is expected Tuesday, Feb. 1.
The first ordinance approves the Local Planning Agency’s Downtown Special Area Plan, while the second deals with related changes to the future land use element, future land use map and transfer of development rights in relation to the city’s Downtown Redevelopment Plan.
The changes affect the central business district and Gulf Boulevard north from Publix Supermarket to the Bayside Inn. Plans call for the area to be transformed from commercial general to a new designation called planned redevelopment-mixed use.
The area is currently zoned commercial general, which does not support mixed use.
Under the plan, 11.4 acres in the downtown core would be affected and 9.2 acres along Gulf Boulevard.
If the new land use designations are approved, density levels would increase in the downtown core from 15 residential units per acre to 24 permanent and 60 temporary units per acre.
Temporary units are defined as housing allowing for a maximum stay of 90 days, such as hotels and timeshares.
The Gulf Boulevard strip would remain at 15 permanent units per acre. Density for temporary units would increase from 22 to 60 per acre.
“This follows what the Pinellas County plan allows, as far as density,” said City Planner Lynn Rosetti. “We’ve had numerous conversations with the Pinellas Planning Council staff to make sure we’re heading in the right direction.”
In addition to county approval, the plan also would need approval from various state agencies, Rosetti said.
“In my mind, I envision businesses on the ground level and residential townhomes above them,” said Commissioner Phil Collins. “Is that possible?”
Rosetti said yes.
The plan allows for buildings to be a maximum height of 60 feet.