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  1. St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg decides to leave storefront ordinance alone

ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council has decided not to make any changes to the recently passed Storefront Conservation Corridor Overlay Ordinance for the time being. The ordinance, passed in April, limits the size of storefronts on Beach Drive and Central Avenue from the waterfront to 31st Street with the goal of preserving the area's aesthetic and promoting small businesses.

Previous coverage: St. Petersburg approves plan to preserve small storefronts

At a recent meeting, the council considered an amendment to the ordinance that would exempt buildings that are more than 50 years old and designated as local landmarks.

While property owners at the meeting argued that the amendment should be widened to exempt any 50-year-old building regardless of landmark status, Derek Kilborn, manager of urban planning and historic preservation for the city, said the sheer number of structures built before 1970 in the area would mean that such a broad exemption would defeat the purpose of the ordinance itself.

Council member Amy Foster moved to punt the discussion to a committee meeting, which other council members supported, deferring future discussion to its meeting as a committee of the whole this fall.

"Maybe no changes come out of it then. Maybe it does," council member Brandi Gabbard said. "We're not there tonight, but we owe it to everyone involved to continue to have a conversation."