Advocacy Issues

The Issue: StPete 2050 - A Planning/Visioning Process

Neighborhood: City-wide

City Council Member: Full council mailto: council@stpete.org

Action You Can Take Now: Send a message to Council supporting PTB's position that historic preservation is an important StPete 2050 planning goal (scroll down to find out how to do so)

BACKGROUND:

In 2019, the city embarked upon StPete2050. It's a planning and "visioning" process organized around ten priority community themes. City council is expected to adopt the plan in early 2021. While commenting on the planning process is not the most exciting form of civic engagement, doing so is vitally important to future city historic preservation efforts. Thus, PTB encourages you to speak up about StPete2050 and, in particular, to comment on the importance of historic preservation to the city's sense of place. It's easy to do so, just scroll down the page to learn how! If you want to learn more about the details of the StPete 2050 process, click here.

Through StPete2050, a common vision for the city's physical, social, and economic advancements will be sought that can be used to coordinate and guide development in appropriate areas of the city. To do so, ten community themes, set forth below, have been identified:

Arts and Culture                                     Shared Economic Prosperity
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion            Sustainability and Resilience
Education                                                Transportation and Mobility
Growth and Community Character     Attainable Housing
Healthy Communities                            Parks, Recreation, and Open Space

Although not identified as a theme, historic preservation is one of the goals within the theme, "growth and community character".

StPete2050 builds upon the city's rich planning history, dating to the 1920's when the country's preeminent planner, John Nolen, was retained to develop a city plan. Nolen, was an advocate for designing with nature and his plans reinforced the importance of parks, civic buildings and wide boulevards. Many of St. Pete's character defining features derive from his early planning efforts.  StPete2050 also builds upon and will replace a prior visioning process that led to the Vision 2020 Plan.

TIMELINE

1923: John Nolen completed St. Petersburg Today, St. Petersburg Tomorrow, Florida's first comprehensive city plan. It called for integrating development with natural features and landscapes. The forward looking plan, was opposed by the Evening Independent newspaper and developers and was never adopted.

1943: The Bartholomew Plan is adopted, following an era of municipal dept from the great depression. The plan assumed a future population that would stabilize at 120,000 in 1960 (by 1960 the actual population exceeded 180,000). 

1970's: Rampant growth and water resource issues led to building moratoriums and the adoption of the 1974 conceptual plan. It incorporated a number of planning principles from the Nolen plan. In 1975 a state planning act passed and St. Pete subsequently adopted the 1977 Land Use Plan.

1989 - In accord with the requirements of the state's 1985 Local Government Comprehensive Planning Act the city adopted its Growth Management Plan.

2002 - St. Pete adopted Vision 2020, setting the stage for comprehensive plan and land development regulation updates.

2019 - City commenced the StPete2050 visioning process with the goal to adopt a framework to guide future planning and development until 2050.

THE THREAT

There is always a tenuous balance between unfettered and insensitive development and with maintaining a community's sense of place - its unique community character. Historic preservation, including protection of architectural, cultural and natural resources, is a key element of St. Petersburg's community character. A failure to recognize the importance of historic preservation to maintaining St. Pete's sense of place within StPete2050 will hamper future efforts to keep St. Pete special.

THE OPPORTUNITY

Tell the city historic preservation is important by responding to the city's StPete 2050 survey. It asks you to identify the most important goal(s) to the themes identified in the draft plan. One of those goals is historic preservation. It's goal #14 to the "Growth & Community Character" theme. It just takes a couple clicks to tell the city historic preservation is important! Note, when you answer the survey, you decide whether to only offer the answer about historic preservation or to answer additional survey questions (the survey will be accepted whether you answer one, multiple or every survey question).

Click here to go to the survey (the draft StPete2050 plan is available here).

From the survey welcome page, click "Begin" - it takes you to the "Ratings" 2 page (pictured). Click on the last theme listed on the left side of the page - the "Growth & Character" theme. A question will pop up asking which of these goals is most important to you. Answering the question with "Goal 14" (Protect and preserve  historically and culturally significant buildings, structures, and landscapes) is the best way to highlight the importance of historic preservation. Click here to see the other goal options.

Besides being asked to identify the most important goals, the survey also offers an opportunity to add comments. Again, it's simple to do, just go to "Comments" on the survey (section 4) (page pictured) and add your comment in the blank. Not sure how to comment, Preserve the 'Burg suggests you copy and paste the following comment: A goal should be added to, Create and implement a comprehensive strategy to focus and maintain efforts to preserve our community's character, focused on historic, architectural and cultural resources, the arts, local businesses, parks and neighborhoods.

WHAT PRESERVE THE ‘BURG IS DOING

PTB is reaching out to our members and the public and urging them to speak up about StPete2050. We also are working with city staff and local decision makers to make sure they understand the importance of historic preservation to keeping St. Pete special. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Answer the StPete2050 survey NOW

  • Send a message to city council members, telling them historic preservation should be an important goal in StPete2050. Send your message to council@stpete.org, put StPete2050 in the message title.
  • Keep up to date on the issue by following Preserve the ‘Burg’s social media posts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), and reading our E-news.  Sign up for E-news here

  • Join Preserve the 'Burg.  There is strength in numbers and City Council cares how many members we have! Become a Member!
  • Make a donation to Preserve the 'Burg to help us educate and advocate for keeping St. Peter special! Donate Now!

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Preserve the 'Burg is funded in large part by the support of our members. So join today—be part of the effort to Preserve the 'Burg! 

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Contact:
Preserve the 'Burg
P.O. Box 838
St. Petersburg, FL 33731
(727) 824-7802
info@preservetheburg.org
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