A group of St. Petersburg residents has filed a legal action against the city, challenging a planned affordable housing project in the Pasadena Bear Creek area.
An amendment to the city’s comprehensive plan that allows the project to go forward was not based on relevant and appropriate data and analysis, and is inconsistent with the comprehensive plan, according to a petition for a formal administrative hearing from the opponents, PGSP Neighbors United Inc.
The city of St. Petersburg has not yet filed a response. A hearing is set for Nov. 17-19 in Tallahassee.
The St. Petersburg City Council voted unanimously on Aug. 13 to approve a rezoning and related ordinances so that Blue Sky Communities could build a four-story, 85-unit apartment building for low-income seniors at 635 64th St. S. Blue Sky, a Tampa developer, has a contract to buy the 4.6 acre site from Grace Connection Church. The vote followed a nearly five-hour public hearing, with dozens of neighborhood residents speaking against the development.
PGSP Neighbors United, which describes itself as a nonprofit membership organization with 118 members, filed its petition Sept. 14, asking an administrative judge to determine the amendment approved by the City Council was not in compliance with the comprehensive plan. The project would result in increased density and development in the Coastal High Hazard Area, according to the petition.
Since the petition was filed, the City Council has approved an ordinance that amends the city’s comprehensive plan to allow greater density, or more dwelling units per acre, in part of the Coastal High Hazard Area, as long as the proposed projects meet a set of strict criteria.
The planned project on 64th Street South also adds multifamily housing in an established single-family residential neighborhood, and that will bring more noise and traffic to the area, the petition said.
Forward Pinellas, a regional planning agency, was scheduled to hold a public hearing on the project Wednesday, but instead will defer action on the case pending a decision by the administrative law judge, according to a memo from the agency posted on the PGSP Neighbors United website.