St. Petersburg, Florida -- St. Petersburg takes a historic step to preserve and enhance its much-revered downtown waterfront as it begins a months-long process to create the city's first ever Downtown Waterfront Master Plan.
The city is kicking off the process with the first general public input meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 9 at the USF St. Petersburg Student Activity Center, located at 200 Sixth Ave. S.
To make sure the public is involved in the planning process, the city has created a website where all related documents will be posted, along with public meeting schedules and opportunities to submit comments via e-mail. For those interested in the process, please visit www.stpete.org/downtown_waterfront_master_plan/.
The planning area for the Master Plan stretches from Northeast Exchange/Coffee Pot Park on the north end to Poynter Park on the south end. Included in the area are 16 individual parks, and all facilities and venues within that area.
As part of this planning process, the City and the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce have enlisted the help of the Urban Land Institute (ULI). The ULI will send a panel of urban planning and design professionals to help city planners gather public input and offer perspectives gathered from best practices in terms of creating a plan that fosters quality, sustainable, livable and dynamic development.
Locally, the ULI has been involved in ongoing planning efforts in downtown Tampa and the Hillsborough River, Pasco County, Bradenton, Manatee County and Longboat Key.
The City says the group will visit St. Petersburg from Sept. 29 to Oct. 4, and will meet with a variety of stakeholders, including downtown residents, neighborhood associations, downtown institutions such as USF St. Petersburg, the city's arts organizations, sports leaders, downtown businesses and corporations.
Following the ULI visit and more public input sessions, the city hopes to complete the planning process by the end of 2014.
"The legacy of every past generation in St. Petersburg has been the careful stewardship of our best asset, the downtown waterfront," said Mayor Bill Foster. "I'm looking forward to this historic process and its end result of bringing all facets of our community together to create a downtown waterfront master plan that will serve our city well in the century to come."
Courtesy City of St. Petersburg