INDIAN ROCKS BEACH — Through the use of technology, IRB residents identified issues Oct. 1 that were most important to them, such as density, commercial rentals, mixed-use development and parking.
Forward Pinellas, a county land use and transportation planning agency, conducted an interactive web presentation and workshop for residents as part of a visioning study at City Hall. This was the second visioning workshop in an effort to assess future growth and redevelopment in the city.
So far, Forward Pinellas Executive Director Whit Blanton’s team has completed an IRB market study, an in-depth study of the previous visioning plan from 10 years ago, a base map and the start of 3-D mapping to see what certain types of buildings might look like.
“We’re not at a point of presenting a (completed visioning) plan,” said Blanton.
The 50 or more residents who came for the workshop were asked to take out their smartphones, go to a website that planner Jared Austin directed them to, enter an access code, and then select what each of them considered the three most important issues. During the process, items such as density, commercial rentals, mixed use, parking, retail, traffic, height, and bicycling were among the largest.
Residents then were divided into seven groups of about eight or so people at each table. One person from each table shared that table’s overall reaction to the questions.
Forms were collected at the end of the process along with the rest of the data for officials to get an idea for what is important to IRB citizens. They put forth ideas such as ride sharing, increasing fees for short-term rentals, building height as an environmental concern, ferry travel, a grocery store that fits the demographic, preserving cottages, transit loop, and eliminating overnight street parking for non-residents.
The consensus was that IRB residents want to retain the small beach town community feel. At the end of the meeting Blanton said that his team would be sorting through the responses to the questionnaire over the next few weeks.
“We (Forward Pinellas) need your (residents’) help to flesh these things out,” Blanton said.
The next workshop will be in November with a date yet to be announced.