IRB to Discuss Tuesday Study on the Triangle Presented by USF
By Leo Coughlin
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - The City Commission will hold a work session next Tuesday (September 22) at 7 p.m. to discuss the Gulf Boulevard Study that was presented August 11 by Theodore Green of the University of South Florida.
Actually, the study focused on what to do with the "Business Triangle," located just south of Walsingham Road and along Gulf Boulevard.
The subject has been studied almost as much as the pyramids in Egypt and the city has yet to come up with a viable plan, let alone action for the area.
Green, who is associate professor in architecture and urban design at USF, reviewed the triangle or business district (it has had varied names over the years) main objective which is to create a vision of transforming the area into a "into a vibrant, mixed-use village center."
In his power point presentation, Green showed pictures of what the area might look like from an aerial view and close up shots of what he visualized could take place there.
This has all been done before. Not by a USF study but by various visionaries over the years. Everybody, it seems, has a plan for the "triangle," but nothing ever seems to get done.
Some changes were made there, taking place over several years, going back 10 years or so. Chic-a-Si Park was established and some old structures torn down.
Another section of the city discussed by Green in his presentation was the area from 11th Avenue through 16th Avenue, usually called the "mid-town commercial area."
He showed pictures of an envisioned area to make it a "cohesive commercial neighborhood area."
Then his planning lapses into jargon which, if it does have any meaning, is hard to understand.
To achieve what he envisions, "selective in-fill development on an ongoing basis, and other building renovations and public realm enhancements over the years" is desired. What do those words mean?
Another of his descriptions was to have "conditions along Gulf Boulevard depicting the scale of buildings that fit within the existing context and promote a small scale compact community forum."
As to the area north of 16th Avenue, called the "uptown commercial area," Green saw the opportunity for the area "to be anchored by a mixed-use commercial development and instill some life in this part of the community."
This area, he said could become more of a destination for local residents."
In each of the three areas, he explained, the goal was to pair to pair the proposed interventions of new buildings, renovations, or public realm enhancements with the established beach access points."
This way, the plan would promote beach access with a tie to the businesses on Gulf Boulevard and then to the residential neighborhoods farther east.
Recommendations were that some zoning and development regulations for each of the three areas should be tweaked, land development regulations the city is comfortable with should be codified, changes in The Narrows have to be undertaken because the small land parcels there have staved off new development and parking problems need to be addressed.
Talk is of what will happen 10 and 20 years down the road, leaving the future as clouded to the same degree as the past has produced any progress.
Action 2000, Inc., a private civic group, helped pay for the $25,000 study.
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