UU St. Pete InfoNet: September 4, 2017



 As most of you know, during the last year we have regularly updated and published any new information regarding the parking lot and the proposal to sell one of its three subsections. This was the case last week when we learned and immediately published some new information on September 1 in our InfoNet, FAQs and Pros/Cons. 

The straw poll that the Board has been running was scheduled to end on August 31, which was just before the September 1 updates. We’ve received around 50 responses. The Board promised to share the results and all the comments of the straw poll so that as many voices as possible could be heard before the September 10 vote. We want to honor that promise. However the straw poll voters didn’t have the latest information when they voted in good faith, and the new information could influence those on the fence or change some votes either way.

Here’s our proposed solution:  

(1) We encourage everyone to read the new information (provided previously on InfoNet, FAQs and Pros/Cons - and again are noted below). 

(2) Any member who has already submitted their straw vote and comments can change their vote and comments by end of day Thursday, September 7 if they want to. Just call or send an email to any board member.

(3) Those who don’t wish to change their vote will not have to do anything.

(4) We’ll publish the results and comments from the straw poll, as promised, on Friday, September 8, before Sunday’s Special Meeting.

Here’s the new information announced September 1:

The new news is that Reggie and Paul, having received new information from UUSP member Jan Jee Bean about City code requirements for parking lots such as ours, went to the City Compliance Office and met with Elizabeth Abernethy and Corey Malyszka with a number of questions. Also, Laurie Clement investigated alternatives to asphalt paving with Carlos Frey of the City Environmental Department and Jason Jensen of WJA. We learned about additional options for treating our parking lot. 

Here’s a summary of what we learned:
Parking will be allowed on the current grass lots after April 2, 2019 if the lots are brought up to code, meaning: perimeter hedge, shade trees along the sides, wheel stops and handicapped spaces. Paving is not required.  Reggie estimates the cost would be about $10,000 to meet the code and $40,000-50,000 to make the parking area as safe and secure as we would want for UUSP members and anyone else parking in the lot.

City code allows paving with permeable block or pavers rather than asphalt.  WJA agrees to use one of those preferred options. Such permeable paving does not require a vault retention system (underground filtering system) and is understood to drain the surface better than our grass and gravel lot does now. Environmentally friendly ground drainage is required for parcels # 2 & 3, our current parking area, if a building is built on Parcel 1 as WJA proposes. The cost of upgrading the parking area in this way is estimated to be $150,000-180,000 and will be paid for by WJA as part of its proposal.

UUSP’s current parking lot has 3 parcels which measure about 21,000 SF, with parcel # 1 fronting Mirror Lake Drive at about 7,000 SF and parcels # 2 & 3, where most of our current parking is, at about 14,000 SF.  If UUSP does not sell parcel #1 to WJA, city code allows paving up to 3,000 SF and two required handicap parking spaces without environmental drainage. Code requires that paving over 3,000 SF must be designed by a civil engineer to handle storm water, which is standard procedure, with permeable pavers understood to be the best option.

Also as new information has been gathered, the Board has added an additional Pro and Con regarding urban-redevelopment: 

Pro: Infill development (filling in gaps on a street’s frontage with shops, offices, and residences) attracts more people, increases the appeal, safety and vitality of the neighborhood, reduces pressure for urban sprawl, and reduces the need for transportation, water/sewer, and police.


Con: It reduces the opportunity to establish and maintain a natural landscape with its benefits for air and water quality, wildlife habitat, and personal rejuvenation.


Please see our newly updated FAQs and Pros/Cons Documents.  Clickable links are noted below, and they are also on our website under the “Get Involved” tab, then "Documents."

Frequently Asked Questions v8

Parking Lots Pros/Cons v3


Contacts: Paul Burnore, Laurie Clement, Reggie Craig, Morgan Gresham, Lori Price, Sabine von Aulock