A Shared Future
More Countywide Planning and Redevelopment EffortsPinellas by Design is a major countywide effort that has brought together planning for land use, economic development, housing, transportation, and intergovernmental relations. But there are several other countywide projects working toward similar goals, by focusing on specialized topics:
Tourism has been a mainstay of the Pinellas County economy since the mid-20th century. Because of the inherent attractiveness of the beaches, the barrier island communities are experiencing heavy demand for residential redevelopment. Many older hotels are being torn down and replaced with condominiums, decreasing the supply of tourist accommodations. In 2005, the Board of County Commissioners, working through its Economic Development Department, partnered with the beach communities to study the long-term effect of this trend, and to devise approaches to help preserve the tourist industry.
A final report was issued in February 2005. Its findings will be used to guide changes to land development policies on the barrier islands.
In July 2005, the Board of County Commissioners convened a community housing workgroup as
part of a larger effort to examine and address issues of housing affordability within
the county. Initial membership included staff from Pinellas County
Development and several other departments. Due to
countywide interest in housing issues, the group was later expanded to include staff from
the Pinellas Planning Council and the cities of St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo, and
Dunedin. The group has recommended specific strategies that can be used to encourage the
creation of housing that meets the needs of a broad range of residents. One such
recommendation, for the creation of a housing trust fund where certain local government
revenues are dedicated to resolving community housing issues, was adopted by the Board in
The Planning to Stay ElementIn December 2003, the Board of County Commissioners adopted the Planning to Stay Element into the Pinellas County Comprehensive Plan. Although it is part of the comprehensive plan for the unincorporated county, the element takes a countywide perspective, and is intended to guide planning decisions for the county as a whole. Taking an approach similar to the Updated Countywide Plan for Pinellas County, the document focuses on topics such as urban design, economic development, housing, and transportation. The central goal is to improve overall quality of life by creating an environment where families and businesses will want to stay.
The Pinellas AssemblyThe Pinellas Assembly, held in May 2002, was a two-and-a-half-day event that brought together more than 130 people, representing virtually all segments of the private and public sectors in Pinellas County, to talk about issues of concern to local communities. Seven task forces created during the Assembly have continued to meet and discuss new concepts and approaches to topics such as annexation, countywide and municipal taxation, fire and emergency services, health care, law enforcement, recreation, and transportation.
The Pinellas Mobility InitiativeThe Pinellas Mobility Initiative is a transit task force, created by the Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization to study ways of enhancing the transportation system in a built-out environment. After several years of research and public outreach, the task force has concluded that an elevated monorail system is the preferred long-term solution. The effort is currently examining the costs, projected ridership, and other requirements for pursuing this solution, while also evaluating other alternatives.
The Gulf Boulevard Improvements ProjectTo address concerns about the long-term health of the local tourism industry, Pinellas County joined with eleven beach communities to create a master plan to beautify and improve the main beach roadway. The Gulf Boulevard Project calls for a multi-million dollar investment in buried utility lines, landscaping, benches, streetlights, signs, improved transit, and other amenities. A new trolley route linking all of the beach communities was launched in December 2000, and has been highly successful. The project is currently examining financing options for the remainder of the plan.