Saturday, November 18, 2017
News Roundup

St. Pete Beach begins detailed study of downtown, Corey areas

RECOMMENDED READING


ST. PETE BEACH — A $280,000 consultant study is expected to produce a definitive plan for revitalizing the city's downtown and Corey Avenue areas.

"This is more than talk about ideas and ending up with a list of 10 things that are important," City Manager Mike Bonfield told the commission Wednesday. "This is bringing you into a position to move forward. Your next decision would be to find money for whatever portion you decide to proceed with."

The nine-month study will be conducted by Michael Baker Jr. Inc., an international company ranked among the top 10 percent of the 500 largest U.S. design firms.

The downtown St. Pete Beach planning study will be organized into phases that will involve intense surveys and planning meetings, community meetings and workshops, and print and electronic materials allowing the community to visualize a variety of design concepts.

"We will immerse ourselves in the community, meet with people, host workshops and walk the streets so we can truly understand the values of the community," said Baker's project manager, Susan Harden.

One key proposal: Reconfigure traffic flow in the downtown area to create a one-way couplet of streets. That idea has the initial approval of the Florida Department of Transportation and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council but has raised concerns among both residents and business owners.

For the study, truck-based high-speed lasers will record every feature and dimension of the streets, buildings, sidewalks and landscaping to an accuracy of 0.3 centimeter in the study area — one block north of 75th Avenue to 72nd Avenue and from the Intracoastal to the Gulf of Mexico.

That recording can then be manipulated by computer to demonstrate how different design elements for streets and buildings could transform the area.

The electronic survey alone will cost more than $50,000.

"To me this is the most exciting part of the whole presentation. It's worth the money," said Commissioner Marvin Shavlan.

It also will be a way for the community to discover how a traffic couplet would work and explore alternatives to that proposal.

The commission has designated much of the planning area as a Community Redevelopment Area, which would put the area's growth in property tax revenues in a special fund for public infrastructure projects.

Commissioners unanimously approved this latest planning project, but several strongly urged property and business owners to become involved in the process.

"Without community involvement, we don't have a full picture of what the community wants. We need to have guidance," said Commissioner Jim Parent.

Mayor Steve McFarlin said for the project to work, there needs to be "private buy-in."

Bonfield said he intends to develop an outreach plan to encourage community involvement, as well as inform "potential investors" he said are "milling around at the edges looking for opportunity."

The 70-year-old firm that will conduct the study has done major U.S. projects such as the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia and Pittsburgh International Airport.

The firm has tackled urban planning projects in San Francisco's Mission Bay, downtown Fort Bragg in California, Brookings and Lincoln City in Oregon, downtown Scottsdale, Ariz., downtown Dunedin and Indian Rocks Beach, and has done multiple projects in St. Petersburg and Tampa.

Comments
Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

TAMPA — Can the Bucs pull off back-to-back wins with a backup quarterback? Win a game on the road for the first time this season? Politely hand the unnamed trophy for the state’s worst football team back to the Dolphins?Mike Evans is back from his su...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs’ belief Jameis Winston has been shaken

Bucs’ belief Jameis Winston has been shaken

TAMPA — Belief is the biggest attribute a quarterback can bring to his team. Belief in his talent. Belief in his commitment to winning. Belief in his ability to bring everyone together and have his voice lead the path forward.But the belief the Bucs ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Gerald McCoy or Ndamukong Suh: Who would you rather have?

Gerald McCoy or Ndamukong Suh: Who would you rather have?

In the crowd-pleasing sports-talk of game of "Who Would You Rather Have?’’ there might not be a more perfect match-up than this.Gerald McCoy vs. Ndamukong Suh.Both are defensive tackles. Both went to, what were at the time, Big 12 schools. Both were ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

TAMPA — In the spring of 2010, one of the biggest debates the week leading up to the NFL draft was which defensive tackle would be selected first? Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy.Both figured to be highly productive NFL players. S...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa police: Drunk wrong-way driver caused major crashes on Courtney Campbell Causeway

Tampa police: Drunk wrong-way driver caused major crashes on Courtney Campbell Causeway

TAMPA — Police arrested a 26-year-old man they say drove the wrong way while drunk and caused a multi-vehicle crash Friday on the Courtney Campbell Causeway.Collin John Cole faces two counts of driving under the influence causing serious bodily injur...
Updated: 2 hours ago

AC/DC founding member Malcolm Young dead at 64

NEW YORK (AP) — Malcolm Young, the rhythm guitarist and guiding force behind the Australian hard rock band AC/DC, has died. He was 64. AC/DC announced the death on their official Facebook page and website Saturday. The posts did not say when or where...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Dolphins preview

Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Dolphins preview

Greg Auman has a final preview of Sunday’s Bucs-Dolphins game in Miami in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.He talks about key matchups to watch for, from perhaps the NFL’s best slot receiver in Jarvis Landry, to Miami’s vulnerabilities at right tackl...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Romano: Hunting for a deadly needle in the Seminole Heights haystack

Romano: Hunting for a deadly needle in the Seminole Heights haystack

During the day, you hear from the psychics and the kooks. The well-intentioned tipsters, and the unsolicited profilers. This is all part of serial killer spillover, a sort of cottage industry of macabre.It gets tougher at night when you’re hounded by...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Region football: Plant 22, Viera 18

Region football: Plant 22, Viera 18

MELBOURNE — With 1 yard separating Plant from an incredible come-from-behind victory, or a devastating defeat, it all came down to a matter of trust.And for Panthers coach Robert Weiner, there was no one he would put more faith in to get that 1 yard ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Fennelly: If this is true, Jameis Winston is done in this town

Fennelly: If this is true, Jameis Winston is done in this town

TAMPA — Why should we believe this man?Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is being investigated by the NFL concerning an allegation of him groping a female Uber driver in Scottsdale, Ariz., in March 2016.Winston denied the allegations Friday in a statem...
Updated: 3 hours ago