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Where commercial meets residential in downtown St Petersburg Florida

There are several areas in St Petersburg where a street divides commercial from residential or divides downtown from residential. Often these are rather busy streets, such as Fifth Avenue N between Beach Drive NE and 4th Street, and 1st Ave N as it crosses the city. Single family homes on these busy streets lose value because of the traffic. I’d propose that the properties currently in the residential area be changed to zoning that allows offices or live-work properties, as long as the residential buildings are preserved or, if not worth preserving, that the new buildings be of consistent design. Then the alley (or rear property lines where there are no alleys) would become the dividing line for residential property. From the rear of their homes the residential properties would be looking at other "homes" and generally would not have business activity at night.

Downtown zoning allows for high-rise buildings. Neighbors across Fifth Ave N have been objecting to these because of mass and size – yet the proposed buildings meet the zoning requirements for "downtown". In the area between 5th Ave N and 9th Ave N, from Beach Drive to 4th St, I’d propose that this also would be zoned for office or live-work properties – again preserving the beautiful older homes, and requiring that any new construction be consistent with the historical properties in the area. This may sound heretical, but if you look at many of the older homes that have been beautifully restored as offices by attorneys and other professionals, and that these would generally not have much activity at night, I think they could co-exist well with single family homes and the condos that are in this area. This would also give a much wider buffer between the residential areas and the highrises downtown (and yes, based on the above, I’d include the north side of 9th Ave N in this new zoning as well).
This could prove an excellent transition between downtown and Old Northeast residences, and not create shadows or massive buildings so close to the residential areas, while allowing the entire downtown area to be developed as intented.

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