North Marina Area and Seminole Boat Launch Improvements Announced
The planned improvements and enhancements to the North Marina Area and Seminole Boat Launch include:
- New landscaping
- New lighting
- New permanent restrooms
- New trail extension through the marina to the waterfront park
- New floating docks
- New kayak launch area
- Two new parking areas
- Upgrades to the existing parking lot that include stormwater improvements
- Enhanced public walkways
- Additional public benches
- Additional green space
- Improved park area at the end of Seminole Street
Nelson Construction of Palm Harbor has been selected to perform the construction work. The first phase of the planned improvements should be completed in around nine months.
"It's a major commitment and improvement to the Old Bay and North Clearwater communities," said Michael Delk, the city's Planning and Development Department director. "It's already having a positive impact on the property values in that area."
North Marina Area Master Plan Implementation
The city of Clearwater worked with Stantec, a Tampa consulting firm, to engage the public and to prepare the North Marina Area Master Plan, which includes a preferred design concept for the area as well as implementation strategies.
The study area included the former North Ward School, the Francis Wilson Playhouse, the Seminole Boat Launch and the Clearwater Bay Marina (privately owned).
Since the approval of the North Marina Area Master Plan in 2016, the city has focused on implementation of the Plan’s strategies identified in Chapter 5.
Seminole Boat Ramp Improvements (In Process)
The city is preparing construction documents and anticipates beginning construction on improvements to the Seminole Boat Ramp in 2019. This $6.5 million project includes new green space, improved parking, new stormwater treatment, a bike path to the waterfront, elevated restrooms, new floating docks and a waterfront promenade.
The following conceptual plan and renderings were presented to the public at a community meeting on December 4, 2018.
Downtown Plan and Downtown Code Amendments (Complete)
In 2018, the city updated the Clearwater Downtown Redevelopment Plan and adopted new Downtown District and Development Standards which incorporated areas within the North Marina Area Master Plan boundaries that were previously not part of the Downtown Planning Area. Policies within the Downtown Plan were updated to address several strategies of the North Marina Area Master Plan, and the Downtown District implements those polices. Examples of changes addressed through these amendments include: establishing view corridors, changing building setbacks on Fort Harrison Avenue to allow room for widened sidewalks, and eliminating minimum parking standards for most uses.
Updates to the Downtown Streetscape Master Plan (Future)
The Clearwater Downtown Redevelopment Plan includes an Implementation Plan (Chapter 4) which identifies a future project for the update of the Master Streetscape Plan. Strategies related to many of the Public Realm and Transportation strategies within the North Marina Area Master Plan, such as green streets, the redesign of certain intersections, and other Complete Streets components of the Plan will be addressed as part of this project.
North Marina Area Master Plan Documents
North Marina Area Master Plan (Approved January 21, 2016)
This project was identified by the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Advisory Services Panel, which worked with the City for a week in June 2014 to make recommendations regarding opportunities for downtown Clearwater. Within its final report, the ULI Panel recommended that the City study the “north marina area” and develop a plan to provide the greatest value to the surrounding area and the City. City Council included the North Marina Area Master Plan on its priority projects list. More information about the Urban Land Institute’s study is available here (see page 18 of the Final ULI Report for project specific information).
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