February 2018 – Approval of a recent rezoning illustrates how new development can further the goals of the City of Tampa Comprehensive Plan. On December 14, 2017, Tampa City Council approved an air-conditioned self-storage facility in Seminole Heights through the Planned Development (PD) rezoning process. The PD process requires a site plan to be reviewed by City of Tampa staff and Planning Commission staff. The Planning Commission staff reviews for consistency with the Comprehensive Plan. In this case, the project did a number of things to further the policies related to urban design along a Mixed Use Corridor.
The subject site was unique, since it was located within the Seminole Heights Urban Village within a “Neighborhood Node” and along a Mixed Use Corridor. The Tampa Comprehensive Plan encourages infill development within the Urban Village, especially within designated Neighborhood Node’s and along major corridors. Because of the project’s location within 0.25-miles from a Neighborhood Node and had the ability to increase the square footage of the project an additional 25%, otherwise referred to as a “Node Bonus.” The applicant oriented the self-storage facility close to the sidewalk to create a consistent “street wall,” with parking and stormwater retention in the rear, also encouraged in the Tampa Comprehensive Plan. The site plan also included façade articulation to engage the public realm. Staff was supportive of the site plan with the associated Node Bonus and the manner in which the applicant furthered the policy direction within the Comprehensive Plan.