Clearwater Reduces Parking Requirements for Downtown Businesses
CLEARWATER - The city council in Clearwater amended its Community Development Code to allow reduced parking requirements in the Downtown area where there are no existing parking spaces or available land for their construction.
The purpose of the amendment is to facilitate the reoccupation of existing buildings and tenant spaces within the Cleveland Street District.
In passing Ordinance 7999-08 on first reading, the council reduced the area for the revised parking requirements from what was originally proposed. Only those buildings and properties with frontage on Cleveland Street that are located between Osceola Avenue and Myrtle Avenue (Cleveland Street District) are affected.
The reduction in area keeps the focus on the core of the downtown where historic properties are located and where the greatest amount of attention is presently needed to ensure that the city's revitalization measures are successful.
Prior to the ordinance change, a prospective restaurateur in the area that has no off-street parking would be required to apply for a Comprehensive Infill Redevelopment approval to request a reduction from the off-street parking requirement and receive such approval from the Community Development Board.
This process, which takes approximately three months to complete, would result in no gains for the city, as the buildings already exist without off-street parking or the opportunity to provide off-street parking.
All that would be accomplished by continuing to require that prospective business owners complete this process is the unnecessary and costly delay or prevention of them actually being able to operate in the area.
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