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Redington Shores votes to develop plan

(ran Beach, Seminole editions)

Following St. Pete Beach and Madeira Beach, the town has hired a consultant to help craft a vision for the town's future.

The Town Commission voted unanimously to spend $86,000 to develop a comprehensive plan. No dates have been set, but the visioning process will involve a series of meetings open to residents and will take up to six months.

James Moore, a design principal with Tampa based HDR who conducted the process for St. Pete Beach and Madeira Beach, will analyze demographic and structural data, oversee workshops involving residents and business owners and create a document outlining regulatory steps the town can take to influence future development.

The 220-acre beach community was incorporated in 1955 and stretches more than a mile along Gulf Boulevard. More than 2,500 people live in the town, while thousands more visit each year as tourists.

Redington Shores is an eclectic mix: single-family homes, apartments ranging from duplexes to multistory condominiums, hotels, motels and guest cottages. The town's strong business community includes tourist-oriented hotels, motels, restaurants, bars and retail shops, as well as a banks, convenience stores, and barber/beauty shops. A 1,021-foot-long pier, originally built in 1962, evokes the town's early fishing village character.

Recent town projects include renovations to parks and recreation facilities, construction of a new town hall and $650,000 in stormwater system upgrades to improve water runoff and control flooding. The town is also planning to repave its more than 6 miles of streets and improve curbing and drainage.

A reclaimed water system has been installed by Pinellas County, and town officials are working closely with other beach communities and the county to plan and identify funding for a proposed Gulf Boulevard beautification project.

Moore said the final plan would primarily address redevelopment issues as older buildings are replaced. "You will have a sense of what you can look like, a sense of your future architectural style," he said.