St. Pete Beach Plans for Resort Redevelopment and Boat Ramp Regulation

In a recent St. Pete Beach Planning Board meeting, the board tackled significant items that have the potential to shape the future of the city. The meeting focused primarily on a conditional use permit for a large temporary lodging redevelopment project and the introduction of a permit for the commercial use of the city’s boat ramp.

The redevelopment project, which promises to be a substantial addition to the city’s resort district, has drawn considerable attention due to its scale and the implications for beach access and city finances. The board approved a continuance of the hearing for the conditional use permit to March 18th, as requested by the applicant’s attorney. This decision was made to allow the permit and the development agreement to progress in tandem, following ongoing negotiations with the city. The public expressed concerns about the project’s financial impact, the city’s comprehensive plan regulations for large resort districts, and the need for beach access proportional to the property size. The board addressed these issues and clarified that substantive comments on the project would be reserved for the rescheduled meeting.

Another point of discussion was the challenge of visualizing the redevelopment project due to its phased nature. The board requested larger, clearer renderings from the applicant’s council, particularly street-level images for each of the five addresses involved. While the applicant pledged to provide additional renderings, it was acknowledged that the evolving engineering and landscaping elements for later phases could affect the accuracy of the visual representations.

The boat ramp became a topic of debate as the board deliberated on a new permit requirement for commercial entities using the facility. The proposed right-of-way authorization permit aims to regulate commercial activities and ensure insurance coverage while collecting annual fees. The board discussed establishing a tiered fee structure that would consider the scale of commercial operations, differentiating between businesses that use the ramp occasionally and those with daily commercial activities.

Further, the board proposed streamlining the conditional use permit process by requiring a more comprehensive submission list from applicants. This list would include a zoning matrix, color elevations of structures, landscaping plans, and traffic studies, among other items. The goal is to reduce the iterative process between staff and applicants and to improve the board’s understanding of the impact of proposed projects, including traffic implications.

A public comment from a retired project management professional brought up the issue of the city’s financial analysis of development projects and their impact on resident taxes. Additionally, the board debated the need for transparency in communications with lobbyists and the disclosure of ex parte communications.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Adrian Petrila
Planning Board Officials:
David Hubbard, Greg Premer, Tom DeYampert, Tiffany Secka, Susan Konczal, Brandon Berry (Senior Planner)

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