Late Thursday evening, after nearly 5 hours of Public Comment and discussion, the City Council adopted the Chamber supported changes to the Coastal High Hazard Area (CHHA) by a 6-2 vote.
For background on the CHHA click HERE
The Chamber, along with the Innovation District, Downtown Partnership, Pinellas Realtor Organization, and many others has worked over the past 4 years with Mayor Kriseman, City Council, and City Staff to develop a way to ensure when we grow and redevelop, we do so ensuring we build for the safety and impacts for impacts for our future generations.
This vote will now allow applications for density increases in the CHHA while ensuring mitigation for projected storm surge and sea level rise.
This plan too will allow mobile home parks and under utilized retail centers to be redeveloped into multi-family and mixed-use projects supporting our projected housing needs.
The Chamber proudly advocated for the additional building and storm shelter funding requirements as being necessary to ensure these new developments are safe and do not pose a greater risk should a storm hit our community.
We also recognized that this plan was not developed with a single project in mind, but is intended to help our city grow and prosper.
Individual projects that come to the city will need to be judged on their own merits and the Chamber stands ready to work with the city to ensure equity and sustainability are at the forefront of our planning.
We especially want to thank Council Chair Ed Montanari and Councilmembers Brandi Gabbard, Deborah Figgs-Sanders, Lisa Wheeler-Bowman, Robert Blackmon, and Darden Rice for their support on this important issue. We also appreciate Councilmembers Gina Driscoll and Amy Foster for their leadership and look forward to working with them to ensure their concerns are addressed going forward.
Lastly, appreciation must be given to Public Policy Chair Anne Pollack and Vice Chair Jason Jensen, as well as Housing, Land Use, and Development Chair Jay Miller and Vice Chair Jillian Bandes for their leadership and expertise in helping the Chamber and our city successfully adopt these vital reforms.