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City Commission Work Session Minutes - July 23, 2020 at 1 p.m.


Vice Mayor Carolyn Cooper Commissioner Marty Sullivan Commissioner Sheila DeCiccio Commissioner Todd Weaver City Manager Randy Knight City Attorney Kurt Ardaman City Clerk Rene Cranis Absent: Mayor Steve Leary Also present: Larry Adams Steve Goldman Jim Huckeba, city’s lobbyist Ray Waugh Bob Bendick Meeting called to order Vice Mayor Cooper called the work session to order at 1:03 p.m. OAO Discussion Mr. Stephenson stated that the two property/business owners Lamont Garber and Bill Sullivan were unable to attend. Steve Goldman advised that this plan, created by a group of architects and park and landscape designers, will draw more people to the area if park and adjacent buildings are designed correctly and used Park Avenue as an example.

Mr. Goldman stated that the goal was to create a space that connects to MLK park and Mead Garden and an area for people to congregate which would help businesses along Orange Avenue. He added that the City should explore possibilities of creating a non-profit similar to the Dr. Phillips Center model to manage the buildings and parking structure. He discussed the return on investment benefits and stated the next step is to begin preliminary engineering and design. Mr. Adams showed an aerial view of the existing property and stated the specific location was an important place that needed something that could be driven as a public component. He presented concepts which will draw people to the area including cafes, markets, rooftop dining, bike trail and outdoor events. He stated there is interest from the public to be involved to create, sponsor and develop events and work with the City on the next steps. He reviewed the process and deliverables to create a vision, schematic designs and engineering plans, receive public, create guidelines and an action plan and then issue a request for proposals. He addressed the realignment of Palmetto Avenue which will allow for a parking garage, a promenade connecting the park to adjacent properties, additional greenspace and a trail with city a buffer to the Sunrail tracks. The scope of work is estimated at $150,000, including civil engineering drawings for Palmetto and site prep work, and will be completed in 3-5 months. Commissioner Sullivan recalled that at the May 4th meeting regarding Progress Point, there was a general consensus that the City retain ownership and control. He urged the Commission to develop parameters and then move forward. He supported the idea of a non- profit managing the development of the site and the proposal for an integrated structure of city parks that ties greenspaces together. He asked Mr. Adams to clarify how input is planned. Mr. Adams suggested holding public forums with a presentation of the conceptual plan and allow public comment and also an online survey. Mr. Goldman added that input should be solicited from businesses that may be interested in leasing the spaces.

Commissioner DeCiccio asked if the study was adequate to prepare the city to apply for grants. Mr. Bendick said he is unsure but it would be a good segue to the grant but it unlikely that legislation would pass before the next congressional recess in August. He provided information on other potential grants. Commissioner DeCiccio stated that it was critical to move forward. Commissioner Weaver stated that he is supportive of the park as focal point for redevelopment along Orange Avenue and would like staff to provide the anticipated maintenance costs for the park. He felt that consideration should be given to the use of the area south of the relocated Palmetto Avenue for stormwater management which should exceed existing state or local requirements. Commissioner Cooper said that her understanding was the deliverable would help to apply for significant grant dollars for the entire greenway and she now understands that the focus is solely on Progress Point. Director of Planning and Transportation Bronce Stephenson explained that the initial parking analysis was based on code and staff will provide the parking survey data received thus far to the Commission. He responded to questions providing additional details on the parking survey/responses. Discussion was held on parking needs and inclusion in the scope of work assessing parking requirements, leasable spaces, and parking availability and needs of larger properties. Mr. Adams expanded on the SOW with respect to leasing the buildings and parking requirements. He said he will be compiling data on the interest and the concept of uses and discussed the application and testing of data. Director of Public Works Troy Attaway provided information on stormwater drainage issues and opportunities. Discussion was held regarding the ACi scope of work and whether the design and engineering included was adequate to move forward with the realignment of Palmetto Avenue. Mr. Waugh stated that the SOW contains construction and permitting documents for the process of moving Palmetto Avenue as well as options for design of additional stormwater potential devices, connections and associated cost. Commissioner Sullivan asked if it was possible to place a SunRail Station on this property. Commissioner Weaver spoke with Metroplan officials and there is a very slim possibility of a station since it is less than one mile than the downtown station.

Commissioner Cooper questioned whether the deliverable for the SOW will give drawings adequate to pursue grants solely for the Progress Point property as opposed for the entire greenway. Mr. Stephenson stated that staff has some of the criteria prepared and can create the conceptual designs and could partner with the team to create a greenway design.

In response to questions regarding the cost of including the entire greenway versus just Progress Point in the SOW. Mr. Bendick stated that the legislation had not been passed yet for stimulus funding, but felt a conceptual plan of greenway that would connect and expand to central park would stage the city for opportunities. Mr. Huckeba stated that a conceptual plan was a start. He explained that there could be a number of grant opportunities coming up in the next few months and stated the guidance is issued with the Notice of Funding Opportunity will dictate the criteria for each grant. Mr. Adams answered Mr. Sullivan’s question regarding the cost to include the entire greenway in the SOW. He stated the cost would increase by $10,000 to include the greenway. The following development parameters were discussed: • Approximately 1.5 acres of contiguous park space. • No residential on property • City must retain in perpetuity and control. • Stormwater requirements to exceed regulations • Contribute to parking needs of small businesses in the area • Maximize private investment while implementing city program • Maximum 20,000 square foot footprint for buildings, two-story buildings • Bike path • Realignment of Palmetto Commissioner Cooper asked if it was necessary that lots be brought down to street level. Mr. Goldman stated that the end result would have a much better feel if the lot is not flat. After discussion, Mr. Adams asked for flexibility to use topography as part of the study. Staff responded to questions regarding lot elevation, ADA requirements, bike path and sidewalks. Commissioner Cooper asked Mr. Knight what is needed to allow the City to move forward. He stated funding for the scope needs to be addressed. He explained the rules for using the Parks Acquisition Fund and impact fees. He believes the scope falls under park acquisition because the property is not a park at this time, the City owns the land and it is being converted into a new park for the City. Commissioner DeCiccio clarified that the total cost of the scope was $160,000 with addition of greenway plan, which she feels is money well spent. Mr. Stephenson suggested that once design is approved that all the land not used for parking be rezoned to Parks and Recreation. Consensus was to place the scope on the next meeting agenda. The work session adjourned at 4:00 p.m.

Posted to on August 17, 2020.

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