Monday night the city showcased the updated West Bay Drive Community Redevelopment District Plan, aimed at recharging the downtown area and nearby neighborhoods along the Bay Drive corridor. About 100 people showed up for the presentation at the Hampton Inn & Suites on East Bay Drive. Most who attended said they just wanted to know that there would be enough parking downtown and that their quiet neighborhood wouldn't be crowded out by multistory development. Here's what people had to say:
"Parking is the biggest issue."
Adam Gentile, 45, owner of the Largo Feed Store.
"I'd like to never see four- or five-story buildings coming into Largo."
Joe Yakush, 81, resident of Shangri-La Mobile Home Park, north of the district.
"It could get noisy. It could get busy. But it also could be very convenient, too."
Ginny Nelson, 66, who bought home in area two months ago.
"I just don't want to be an island inside of all of these mixed-use plans that they have."
Gary Smith, 52, a 10-year district resident.
Size and boundaries: About 330 acres. It spans Bay Drive from west of the Pinellas Trail to Highland Avenue and encompasses several blocks north and south of Bay Drive.
Key regions: Mixed use, medical arts, city home and neighborhood residential.
Standards: The plan sets certain requirements for the height of buildings and number of units in each area. But developers would be able to build taller structures or more units in the mixed-use and medical arts regions if they incorporate certain design standards, structured parking and other plan criteria in their projects.
• The mixed-use region would allow a mix of homes, shops and offices. It would allow buildings as tall as eight stories and the highest densities in the district, up to 50 units per acre.
• The medical arts regions would focus chiefly on office and commercial development around Largo Medical Center. Buildings as tall as eight stories would also be allowed.
• The city home region would encourage multifamily residential development. It would allow structures as tall as five stories. This region also would serve as a buffer between mixed-use developments and single-family homes.
• The neighborhood residential region would be aimed at protecting existing single-family homes. The region would allow accessory dwelling units, such as garage apartments, attached or detached from homes.