CLEARWATER - The Community Development Board will review the Code changes being proposed for the Old Florida District of Clearwater Beach next week. The proposed revisions to Beach by Design have been a long time coming; Clearwater's Planning Department began examining existing land uses in the area in the Spring of 2004.
The study was undertaken to determine if the current zoning and land use designation were appropriate given the existing and historical land uses in the area of Clearwater Beach bounded by Rockaway on the south and Somerset on the north.
The City's Planning Department involved the public in determining the area's future. Four public meetings were conducted from April through June of this year with a total attendance of nearly 300; much of that participation came from residents of North Clearwater Beach and the Old Florida District itself.
The proposed changes recognize the Old Florida District as a transition area between the more intensive Tourist uses to the south, and the North Beach residential neighborhood, allowing new development of both attached dwellings and overnight accommodations. Somerset Street will define the transition zone, with height limited to 35 feet on its north side, and 50 feet on its south side. The remainder of the Old Florida District extending from sixty feet south of Somerset to Rockaway will have a maximum height of 65 feet.
Minimum building setbacks are also defined, requiring a front setback of 15 feet except for properties fronting on Mandalay Avenue, which are allowed a zero front setback. The minimum side and rear setbacks are 10 feet.
While building height of 65 feet is permitted throughout most of the District, any development exceeding 35 feet must earn the additional height via a performance-based formula that considers building step-backs and/or greater building setbacks. The details of the increased step back and setback requirements are being finalized as this story is written.
The Community Development Board will conduct a public hearing on the Old Florida District code revisions during their regular meeting at 2PM on Tuesday, December 20, in Council Chambers at City Hall. An opportunity for public comment will be provided. The CDB will act in an advisory capacity on this matter, making a recommendation to the City Council of approval or denial.
Editor's note: After the deadline for today's print edition, the Gazette was informed that the hearing on amendments to Beach by Design will be continued to the CDB's January meeting. The land use plan amendment for the residentially zoned area and the text amendment remain on the CDB's December 20 agenda.
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition