This map shows the area that makes up the Corey Avenue redevelopment area in St. Pete Beach.
ST. PETE BEACH – The characteristics and face of a redesigned Corey Avenue business district are quickly taking shape.
After endorsing a new roadway couplet concept to control traffic flow, city commissioners passed an ordinance Nov. 26 that defines the types of businesses that are allowable once the area is redeveloped.
The permitted uses within the Town Center core downtown district include:
• Financial institutions without drive-through lanes.
• Government and public/civic buildings, parks and recreation facilities and transportation transit stations.
• Offices, printing and copying.
• Personal service business, such as barbershops, day spas, pet grooming, dry cleaning, shoe repair and tailoring.
• Residential housing in a mixed-use development, above retail.
• Restaurants and bars/lounges, with or without outdoor seating. No drive-through service will be allowed.
• Retail, theaters, cinemas and other indoor entertainment businesses.
• Art galleries and artist studios.
• Grocery stores and pharmacies without drive-through service.
Among the types of businesses that will not be permitted are body art, bail bond, check cashing, automotive sales lots, pawnshops, liquor stores and tobacco shops.
Included in the conditional uses within the Town Center core would be automotive retail stores and service stations, only on 75th Avenue; car washes, conven
ience stores without the sale of fuel, cigar shops and cigar bars, financial institutions with drive-through lanes, public or private parking structures, and bed and
breakfast inns with up to 50 total temporary lodging units within the Town Center core.
The Town Core consists of an area extending from Bay Street west to Coquina Way, from 73rd Avenue north to 77th Avenue.
The Town Center Corey Circle is an area on the east end of Corey Avenue. The Coquina West district extends from 73rd Avenue north to 76th Avenue between Coquina Way and Sunset Way. Permitted uses in this district include:
• Retail uses except for automotive sales lots, pawnshops, liquor stores and tobacco shops.
• Grocery stores, markets and pharmacies without drive-through lanes.
• The same personal service businesses as the Town Center core.
• Restaurants and bars/lounges, artist studios and art galleries.
• Parks and recreation facilities, government buildings and other public facilities.
• Multi-family residential housing as a component of mixed use above retail.
• Vehicle for hire rental businesses – limited to non-motorized things like bicycles and individual motorized vehicles, such as Segways, mopeds and scooters.
Not allowed are body art, bail bonds and check cashing businesses.
Among the conditional uses, which would need City Commission approval, are temporary lodging facilities, such as hotels, motels and resort condominiums. These would be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and would be within the limits of the density definitions in the city’s comprehensive plan.
Other conditional uses include commercial docks and vessels for hire, such as a water taxi; cigar shops and cigar bars.
The passage of the permitted and conditional uses came just five days after city commissioners endorsed the couplet concept, which will dramatically change the flow of traffic in the downtown core.
The purpose is to get motorists to stop and shop at businesses along the Corey district.
The couplet will feature two lanes of one-way traffic through a three-block area. For people entering St. Pete Beach over the bridge from South Pasadena, it begins on westbound 75th Avenue at Blind Pass Road and goes left two blocks on Gulf Boulevard to 73rd Avenue. From there, the roadway returns to its current four-lane configuration.
Motorists heading north on Gulf Boulevard will be routed into two lanes of one-way traffic at 73rd Avenue. The route continues east one block to Blind Pass Road and then north two blocks to 75th Avenue. From that point north, it returns to the current four-lane configuration.
Consultants from the Tampa-based engineering firm Michael Baker Jr., are designing a new look to the district that will be further explored by commissioners in February or March.
Meeting date changed
In other action, City Manager Mike Bonfield said the Dec. 24 commission meeting has been rescheduled for Thursday, Dec. 19 to award a contract for sewer system lift station repairs.
Bonfield explained the city uses a linear sewer system, which stretches the length of the city from north to south. The master pump station on the north end, which pushes about 2.5 millions of effluent a day for treatment in St. Petersburg, lost two pumps that shut down one of the station’s two wells.
“We were trying to operate off just one well, and then we lost those two pumps,” said Bonfield. “So we have been forced to install a bypass system.”
Bonfield said there were a few “hiccups” initially with the temporary system. First an electrical panel failed and there was some vandalism when somebody shut down the system.
“There were two or three issues that caused some minor backup in the system,” he said.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has been monitoring the situation and will meet this week with city officials to discuss solutions.
“Hopefully, the bypass will be in place running fine,” Bonfield said.
He said it would be about six months before the new pumps would be in place.
The city’s annual holiday boat parade is set Friday, Dec. 6, at 6 p.m. The event begins at the Blind Pass Road marina and continues south in Boca Ciega Bay to the Bayway Bridge.
The city’s annual land parade is set Saturday, Dec. 14. The event begins at 4 p.m. on Gulf Boulevard at Blind Pass Road and goes north to Corey Avenue, then east on Corey to Mangrove Avenue.
The city’s Hometown Christmas event will follow on Corey Avenue until 8 p.m. The family-friendly event includes the parade, a visit by Santa, train rides, carolers, crafts and festive hometown Christmas activities. Food and beverages will be available for sale. Some Corey merchants will be open for holiday shopping.