What is a Master Plan and why is it important?

A Master Plan is a comprehensive, action-oriented plan for an area that addresses land use, mobility, urban design, environment, infrastructure, housing, economy, tourism, community health, and resiliency. When adopted, the Master Plan becomes the community’s framework for development and other improvements in the area (e.g., preservation of open space or changes to existing regulations).

What are the Goals of the Master Plan?

The Gateway Master Plan will create a vision and an action-oriented redevelopment strategy to guide the area’s growth towards a more socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable future where multi-modal transit is well integrated with land uses to support resident’s quality of life, retain jobs and attract future investment. The master plan for the Gateway area will focus on building partnerships to guide future development and multimodal connectivity, both regionally and throughout the district.

What are the roles of the agencies participating in the master planning process?

The Gateway Master Plan is a collaborative effort led by Forward Pinellas, the countywide land use and transportation planning agency, along with funding partners Pinellas County, the City of St. Petersburg, the City of Largo, the City of Pinellas Park, and FDOT. The agencies are participating through the Study Management Team, meeting regularly to provide direction and coordination for the project activities.

What is the role of the public in the development of the Gateway Master Plan?

The public is an integral part of developing the Master Plan. The plan is guided by public engagement activities that include open house sessions, stakeholder interviews, charrettes, community briefings, roundtable discussions, and online surveys. All presentations and summary of community events are posted on the project website.

How is this Master Plan process funded?

The Master Plan is a priority for the region and is being jointly funded by Forward Pinellas, Pinellas County, St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park, and Largo.

How do the already planned and funded FDOT projects (Gateway Intermodal study) fit into the Master Plan Process?

The Gateway Area is included in the FDOT study as one of five areas to be studied. This planning process is being closely coordinated with the Gateway Intermodal Center Study through joint public engagement activities, review of interim findings, and draft recommendations.

How does the plan take into account previous plans and other agency projects currently under way or under development?

One of the early steps in the planning process is to review and create a concise summary of all existing plans and policies within the Gateway area. The review includes the relevant plans and policies in place from St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park, Largo, Pinellas County, Forward Pinellas, FDOT, and the Regional Planning Council. The recommendations from these plans are being used to inform public meetings and stakeholder discussions. In addition, Largo and Pinellas Park are currently updating their comprehensive plans / land development ordinances. Planning for the Gateway Area is being coordinated and informed with these parallel efforts.

What specific elements will be included in the master plan?

The plan will include frameworks for development that ultimately organize the study area and sub-areas into a cohesive development strategy including:
  • Land Use
  • Multi modal access and connections (transit, streets, bike and pedestrian, parking)
  • Resiliency
  • Utilities and Public Facilities
  • Environment
  • Capital Projects and Financing

What does intermodal mean?

Intermodal refers to multiple modes of transportation working together (e.g., air, cargo, water, rail, bus, bicycle). FDOT is studying the location of regional intermodal centers in the Tampa Bay area, including one in the Gateway area. That study is looking at the Gateway area to identify a hub location where all types of transportation modes and technology can converge.

How will the Master Plan be approved, and by whom?

A critical part of the Gateway/Mid-County Area Master Plan is the extent to which the plan is endorsed or adopted as a policy by the Study Partners and key stakeholders. A Memorandum of Agreement will be drafted for signature by a representative of the Study Partners (local governments and Forward Pinellas) following action taken the governing board to endorse or adopt the plan. The Memorandum will commit the organizations to working in partnership to fulfill the goals and guiding principles of the Master Plan rather than any single specific action.

What is a regulatory tool?

Local governments in Florida are required to adopt land development regulations that are consistent with the comprehensive plan. Regulatory tools include a community’s zoning and development ordinances, subdivision regulations, design standards, public facility requirements, community redevelopment areas (CRAs), and other special districts.

What is the timeline for development and adoption of the Master Plan?

The Master Plan will be developed over an 18-month timeline. The process kicked off in March 2018 and is anticipated to be complete in September 2019.

When completed, how will this plan be implemented?

The Master Plan will include a detailed plan for phasing and implementation of the plan, addressing changes to policy, regulatory, and educational activities. The implementation section will clearly define roles and responsibilities for each of the study partners, as well as key stakeholders in the public or private sector, in implementing the plan. In addition, the final plan will outline a multi-year implementation process by which Forward Pinellas and Study Partners agree to report on their actions taken to advance the Master Plan, and document how the targets identified as measures of effectiveness are being achieved on a year to year basis.

How will projects included in the master plan be funded?

Projects will be funded through a variety of means, including local, regional, state, and federal funds. In addition, the implementation plan will address ways to tap into potential funding sources and opportunities for public-private partnerships that can leverage the use of federal, state or local funds.