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Help plan city roads at meeting

Residents are invited to discuss commercial and residential corridors as part of a discussion series focusing on development.

By JON WILSON, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 12, 2003

ST. PETERSBURG -- If you know what you like or don't like about city roads, here's a chance to help plan their appearance a generation from now.

Commercial and residential corridors are the subject of a meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the Bayfront Center's Sun Pavilion Room, 400 First St. S.

It's free and the public is encouraged to attend. It's the latest in an 18-month series of discussions that will lead to revising land development rules. The changes could be the most sweeping in years and could affect the city's character well into the 21st century.

Corridor appearance, strip malls, neighborhood connections and buffers between businesses and homes are likely to be among the evening's hot topics. So will parking, landscaping and building styles.

James Moore, a consultant who has helped several communities design their futures, will discuss existing roadways and their potential. Later, audience members will break into small groups to discuss various types of corridors -- commercial, residential or mixed-use, for example. A series of exercises will help participants define their prefences.

The small-group discussion technique has worked well, said planner Bob Jeffrey, who is guiding the meetings. Last month's meeting focused on the character of the city's older neighborhoods, and what was intended to encourage 20-minute discussions sparked extended interest.

"We found 40 or 50 minutes into it, people didn't want to quit," Jeffrey said.

Future meetings will focus on Midtown (Feb. 10) and the city center, the downtown area, (March 10).

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