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West St. Pete townhome proposal moves forward

Mark Parker

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Recently approved land use and zoning changes will allow 10 townhomes on a .41-acre parcel in west St. Petersburg. Photo: Google.

A .41-acre parcel in west St. Petersburg could soon feature 10 townhomes in a predominantly single-family area with recently approved zoning changes.

The city council voted 7-1 Dec. 7 to amend land use and zoning maps for the site, which borders the Lake Pasadena neighborhood. Councilmember Copley Gerdes, who represents the area, spoke adamantly against the redevelopment at the second and final public hearing.

The less than half-acre site at 200 66th St. N. sits within a triangular-shaped property rezoned in 2021 to accommodate an office building that never came to fruition. Gerdes disagreed with city planner Britton Wilson’s assertion that the area is appropriate for “concentrated development.”

“I have been a proponent of adding density where density makes sense,” Gerdes said. “I’m struggling with this, just like I struggled with the lot just south of here.”

The city council previously approved zoning changes for the adjacent property at 118 66th St. N., with the Parc Vendome Condominiums in the background. Photo: Google.

The applicant, 3W LLC, previously requested similar zoning changes to build 19 townhomes on an adjacent .79-acre parcel. City council members approved those land use changes 7-1 in June, with Gerdes providing the lone “no” vote.

In 2012, city officials rezoned the property and three adjoining residential lots to Corridor Residential Suburban. Developers subsequently shelved plans for office space and multifamily housing at the site.

Griffin Goudreau, a real estate developer with 3W LLC, applied for the land use and zoning amendments. City documents state that a Corridor Residential Traditional designation addresses “major streets lined with single-family residential by encouraging redevelopment of townhomes, condominiums, apartment buildings and mixed-use buildings … and to facilitate conversion of the remaining single-family homes to offices or limited retail uses.”

Wilson said the subject site features a single-family home built in 1950. Additional residences – and one converted to office space – abut the location to its north and south.

Buffered by an alley to the west sits the Parc Vendome Condominiums. The 2.5-acre property features 68 units within two three-story buildings.

Wilson said the zoning change would increase the number of allowable townhomes at the exponentially smaller site from six to 10. Gerdes noted a neighboring development with four townhomes “fills up” a .30-acre parcel.

“We want to put 10 on a parcel that is .1 more acre,” he added. “Also … there are like seven massive oak trees on this property. What’s happening with those?”

Councilmember Copley Gerdes noted that four townhomes fill a similar-sized lot to the project’s west. Screengrab.

Goudreau explained that the land owners asked his company to help with the rezoning process after its success with the parcel to its south. Forward Pinellas and the Countywide Planning Authority approved those changes in October.

Goudreau could not say what would become of the trees.

“We don’t point out … this is one of the only portions of 66th Street that are all single-family homes and not commercial,” Gerdes said. “I won’t be supporting this. To put 10 townhomes when you can put six already seems like a far overreach.”

However, the site is 325 feet from a SunRunner station on 66th Street. Wilson said the zoning changes align with the SunRunner Development Study’s recommendation to allow transit-oriented development along the region’s first bus rapid transit route.

She said the new land use designation from Residential/Office General to Planned Redevelopment-Mixed Use would double non-residential density allowances but not affect height and impervious surface requirements. City documents state the site’s “close proximity to supportive office and retail in the Central West Shopping Center will ensure that future residents will have safe and convenient access” to goods and services.

In June, Gerdes told the Catalyst that voting against the site’s zoning changes was an “opportunity to let the district know that I’m listening to them.” Goudreau’s previous application stated, “Arguably, the subject property is no longer desirable for single-family use.”

Two residents emailed letters opposing the latest proposal. Concerns included the small parcel size and traffic impacts on 66th Street and the adjacent alley.

“I understand that progress and development are necessary, but the size of these two proposed projects can only be viewed as greed,” wrote Paul Sajdak.

 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Sylvia Dinardo

    December 12, 2023at9:18 pm

    The city council members have their own agenda. They are no t listening to the citizens who reside in the area and will be impacted by over crowding the west side of St. Petersberg. Kudos to Gerdes for finally standing his ground on this. However his 1 vote didn’t get far. Need to vote them out.

  2. Avatar

    JD Trotter

    December 12, 2023at9:36 am

    We’re home/property owners in the subject neighborhood; was approached a couple of times by the builder… something seems evasive and hidden in the words of this project… beware.

  3. Avatar

    Lauren Lopez

    December 11, 2023at5:13 pm

    I can’t wait for the next round of elections for City Council. We need to start over with people who do what the voters are asking for, not what their benefactors ask for.

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