ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Thousands of St. Petersburg residents say they are worried about a vote that could bring big changes to neighborhoods in the city.
City Council members could approve a measure allowing multi-unit homes on some single-family lots on Thursday. Signs posted in city neighborhoods outline resident’s concerns.
“It changes what our neighborhoods are all about,” St. Pete resident Stephanie Pitts said. “Where are these people going to park? They’ll start intruding in the neighborhood and then if they have friends or family over they’re going to be parking into the neighborhoods, blocking the alleys.”
Under the plan councilmembers are considering, up to four residential units could be built on a typical-sized, single-family lot. The multi-unit homes would be allowed within 175 feet of the centerline of major streets. Occupants would access parking through alleys behind the homes.
“It could be in the form of two-family apartments with garage apartments in the back,” Elizabeth Abernethy, Director of Planning & Development Services for the city said. “It could be one building with four units.”
According to Abernethy, the price per square foot would be more affordable than detached single family homes.
“What’s key is that there are design standards,” Abernethy said. “The scale, the height of these buildings is consistent with single family homes.”
Pitts is among more than 3,000 signatures on a virtual petition against the proposal.
“Come up with some kind of compromise and not put a quadraplex. Put duplexes or something so we can deal with parking,” Pitts said.
If city council votes to approve the plan on Thursday, it will immediately take effect.