On Thursday, St. Pete City Council discussed and voted to move forward with several initiatives the Chamber has championed this year.
Coastal High Hazard Area Restrictions
Mayor Kriseman’s Administration has worked for 5 years to bring forward a necessary change to amend the City’s Comprehensive Plan to allow increased density applications in the Coastal High Hazard Area that currently covers 40% of the city.
In February, the Chamber Board of Governors supported the recommendation of the Public Policy Council and Housing, Land Use, and Development Committee to advocate in favor of the Administration’s proposed changes. Chamber staff and volunteers met with Council members and community leaders to gain support for the changes.
On Thursday, the Council voted 7-1 with Councilmember Gina Driscoll as the loan “no” vote to move the changes forward to a final public hearing on October 8th.
To learn more about the Chamber’s position, please read: Balancing Density with Sustainability
Redevelopment of Former Police Headquarters
Mayor Kriseman brought forward a contract for approval of City Council to sell the former Police Headquarters to Edge Development Partners, led by Chamber Board Member Jay Miller, to build a mixed use building that will have office, retail, and residential (market rate condos and affordable apartments) elements.
In June of 2019 the Housing, Land Use, and Development Committee hosted all but one of the RFP respondents and judged their submissions against a grid of elements the committee deemed important. Edge Development Partners rated very high. You can read more about that process: HERE
This project will be a positive addition to the already popular Edge District.
Electric Scooter Share
City Council approved agreements with two scooter share companies: VEO and Razor. The Chamber has been fully supportive of bringing more micromobility options to St. Pete and advocated in favor of the ordinance passed last year to allow the scooters on our streets and trails.
Look for more information about demonstration days and rollout of the scooters in the coming weeks.
In an example of a local business successfully utilizing the Chamber to protect itself, City Council reduced the insurance requirements for Pedal Buses, also known as Pedal Pubs. Originally enacted in 2011, the ordinance regulating the vehicles known as Pedal Pubs required insurance policies covering $5 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate, amounts not required anywhere else where Pedal Pubs operate. Due to the lack of a risk pool, insurance carriers no longer offer that coverage so PedalPub St. Pete was going to be forced to close.
The Chamber worked with the PedalPub St. Pete owner and City Administration to lower the requirements to the $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate industry standard, likely saving PedalPub St. Pete.