Beach by Design

  • Project typeAdopted Long-Range Plan
  • Project scheduleOngoing
Closeup of BeachWalk
This special area plan sets forth a series of strategies for the revitalization of Clearwater Beach in six major areas: land use, mobility, off-street parking, catalytic projects, economic feasibility and financing, and design guidelines.

The city of Clearwater is committed to the revitalization of Clearwater Beach as a great place to live and visit. Clearwater Beach is both a world famous tourist destination and home to more than 8,000 families.

The Plan divides Clearwater Beach into eight distinct character districts which govern development.

Design Guidelines

To ensure that the scale and character of development in Old Florida provides the desired transition between the adjacent tourist and residential areas, enhanced site design performance is a priority. Beach by Design contemplates greater setbacks and/or building stepbacks and enhanced landscaping for buildings exceeding 35 feet in height. The following requirements shall apply to development in the Old Florida District and shall supersede any conflicting statements in Section VII. Design Guidelines and the Community Development Code:

1. Maximum Building Heights.

a. Buildings located on the north side of Somerset Street shall be permitted a maximum building height of 35 feet;

b. Buildings located on the south side of Somerset Street and within 60 feet of the southerly right-of-way line of Somerset Street shall be permitted a maximum building height of 50 feet; and

c. Property throughout the remainder of the Old Florida District shall be permitted a maximum building height of 65 feet for attached dwellings and 75 feet for overnight accommodations.

d. Properties legally approved and/or constructed as of the date of adoption of this ordinance which exceed the allowable heights established in the provisions above, shall be considered legally conforming unless voluntarily redeveloped or in the case of a development order only, expiration of the valid development order. A development order may be extended pursuant to Community Development Code Section 4-407.

2. Minimum Required Setbacks.

a. A 15 foot front setback shall be required for all properties throughout the District, except for properties fronting on Mandalay Avenue, which may have a zero (0) foot front setback for 80% of the property line; and b. A ten (10) foot side and rear setback shall be required for all properties throughout the District, except for properties fronting on Mandalay Avenue, which may have a zero (0) foot side setback and a ten (10) foot rear setback.

3. Required Building Stepbacks or Alternative Increased Setbacks for Buildings Exceeding 35 Feet in Height.

a. Building stepback means a horizontal shifting of the building massing towards the center of the building.

b. Any development exceeding 35 feet in height shall be required to incorporate a building stepback on at least one side of the building (at a point of 35 feet) or an increased setback on at least one side of the building in compliance with the ratios provided in Section A.3.f. Additional stepbacks and/or setbacks may be required to provide additional separation between buildings and/or to enhance view corridors.

c. All properties (except those fronting on Mandalay Avenue) which front on a right-of-way that runs east and west, shall provide a building stepback on the front side of the building, or an increased front setback in compliance with the ratios provided in Section A.3.f. Additional stepbacks and/or setbacks may be required to provide additional separation between buildings and/or to enhance view corridors.

d. All properties (except for properties fronting on Mandalay Avenue) which front on a right-of-way that runs north and south, shall provide a building stepback on the side of the building or an increased side setback in compliance with the ratios  provided in Section A.3.f. Additional stepbacks and/or setbacks may be required to provide additional separation between buildings and/or to enhance view corridors.

e. Properties fronting on Mandalay Avenue must provide a building stepback on the front side of the building or an increased front setback in compliance with the ratios provided in Section A.3.f. Additional stepbacks and/or setbacks may be required to provide additional separation between buildings and/or to enhance view corridors.

f. Stepback/Setback Ratios

(1) For properties fronting on streets that have a right-of-way width less than 46 feet, the stepback/setback/height ratio is one (1) foot for every two (2) feet in building height above 35 feet;

(2) For properties fronting on streets that have a right-of-way width between 46 and 66 feet, the stepback or setback/height ratio is one (1) foot for every two and one-half (2.5) feet in building height above 35 feet; and

(3) For properties fronting on streets that have a right-of-way width of greater than 66 feet, the stepback or setback/height ratio is one (1) foot for every three (3) feet in building height above 35 feet.

4. Flexibility of Setbacks/Stepbacks for Building in Excess of 35 Feet in Height.

a. Setbacks

(1) Except for properties fronting on Mandalay Avenue, a maximum reduction of five (5) feet from any required setback may be possible if the decreased setback results in an improved site plan, landscaping areas in excess of the minimum

required and/or improved design and appearance; and

(2) To ensure that unimpaired access to mechanical features of a building is maintained, a minimum five (5) foot

unobstructed access must be provided along the entire side setback of properties, except for those properties fronting

on Mandalay Avenue where a zero (0) foot setback is permissible; and

(3) Setbacks can be decreased at a rate of one (1) foot in required setback per two (2) feet in additional required stepback,

if desired.

b. Stepbacks

(1) A maximum reduction of five (5) feet from any required building stepback may be possible if the decreased building

stepback results in an improved site plan, landscaping areas in excess of the minimum required and/or improved

design and appearance.

(2) Building stepbacks can be decreased at a rate of two (2) feet in stepback per one (1) foot in additional required

setback, if desired.

5. Flexibility of Setbacks for Buildings of 35 Feet and Below in Height.

a. A maximum reduction of ten (10) feet from any required front setback and a maximum reduction of five (5) feet from any

side setback may be possible if the decreased setback results in an improved site plan, landscaping areas in excess of the

minimum required and/or improved design and appearance; and

 

Beach Walk

To the west of Coronado between the Pier 60 Park and the Opal Sands, the primary beachfront destination of Clearwater Beach. The District supports the redevelopment of South Gulfview into a great beachfront promenade, Beach Walk, that involved removal of some parking west of Gulfview Boulevard. This strategy was identified as the means to stimulate this section of the beach.

Clearwater Pass District

Between south and east of the Adams Mark Hotel between Clearwater Pass and the Bay and west and north of the Sand Key Bridge, an area of strategic revitalization and renovation in response to improving conditions in other areas of the Beach.

 

Destination Resort

West of North Mandalay between the Pier 60 district and Rockaway, the prime area for quality beachfront redevelopment to spur revitalization and redevelopment north of Pier 60. The preferred form of redevelopment is mixed with resort residential and hospitality uses fronting on the beach and retail, restaurant and residential uses fronting on North Mandalay Avenue.

Marina District

To the east of Poinsettia and North Mandalay to the north of Baymont between Rockaway and State Road 60, the northern gateway to Clearwater Beach and a desirable place for tourists and residents alike. The plan supports the development of a destination waterfront neighborhood that is pedestrian and boater-friendly and includes a mix of hotels, commercial, restaurant, residential and mixed use development, water related uses and a public boardwalk.

The district offers development incentives of increased building height in exchange for redevelopment proposals with larger lot sizes, preferred District uses and the inclusion of public amenities such as the boardwalk and streetscape improvements. The district also considers the vacation of East Shore Drive in certain circumstances. Site design criteria in addition to those included in the design guidelines are required to be met to foster a pedestrian-oriented waterfront neighborhood.

  

Old Florida

Located between the Bay and the Gulf and Acacia and Rockaway, a transitional district between the tourist area and the residential area of north Clearwater Beach. Beach By Design supports the development of overnight accommodations and attached dwellings throughout the district with limited retail/commercial and mixed use development fronting Mandalay Avenue between Bay Esplanade and Somerset Street and restaurants located on the waterfront. Old Florida includes very specific height, setback and building stepback requirements in addition to the design guidelines that apply to the entire plan area.

Pier 60

Comprised of the beachfront land between the Hilton Hotel and the City Marina, the major public area of Clearwater Beach. The district supports beautification efforts and the development of a Pier 60 Plaza as a place of assembly on the beach.

Retail & Restaurant

Between State Road 60 and Baymont and North Mandalay and Poinsettia, the prime retail and restaurant area of Clearwater Beach. The district stresses the need for a public garage to accommodate anticipated commercial development in the District.

Small Motel District

Between Coronado, Hamden and on Brightwater to the south of the Pier 60 district, an area where renovations to existing improvements are anticipated. The only exception is on Brightwater Drive, which is anticipated to redevelop with new townhomes and timeshares two to four stories above parking. Beach By Design supports consideration of a shared parking facility along the street to provide some of the required parking.  

   

Location

Clearwater Beach, Clearwater Beach 33767  View Map

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