City Commission Roundup: Feb. 7 Meeting

Drive-throughs, senior housing, and a new apartment complex are three economic development projects the city commission considered recently.

1. Drive-through restaurants on West Bay Drive are an option. The commission approved drive-throughs at restaurants in the city's community redevelopment area. A business must first get permission from the Planning Board at a Public Hearing.

An banned restaurant drive-throughs in the community redevelopment area but pharmacies and banks could still have them. The McDonald's on West Bay, which already had a drive-through before the 2002 law, was the only exception.

2. Senior Housing negotiations approved. A 153-unit affordable senior housing complex on Ridge Road and Ulmerton Road could be developed. The city commission okayed the city negotiating a development agreement with Norstar Development, the real estate company that would like to build the complex.

The number of units allowed on the parcel will be considered. The  8.27 acre parcel can currently have 15-units per acre and the developer would like 24-units per acre. The developer would also like to have less required parking and lower development impact fees.

Any agreement would still need Planning Board and City Commission approvals.

Federal tax credit supplements, $12.5 million in Pinellas County bonds, federal home loan bank funds and housing authority funds would help finance the senior housing project.

3. Developers of a proposed 342-apartment complex want changes to the proposed development agreement. The property at the former Largo Crossroads Mall has less land available for development than originally anticipated due to site plan changes.

The developer, Pollack Partners, wants a density of 24-units per acre instead of the 22-units per acre discussed with the city in September. The amount of available land was reduced because part of the land will now be used for stormwater retention and will be owned by a property owner's association.

The commission agreed to have the city discuss possible changes to the proposed agreement with the development company. Any agreement would still need Planning Board and City Commission approval.

The proposed apartment site would have: a public bike trail, a jogging trail, a dog park for residents, a club quality fitness center and more.


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