[Note: This website applauds the overall master plan. This post is an attempt to predict and discuss a possible area of concern that may arise.]
Here is another aspect that will call for some give and take, particularly for some downtown residents. It’s obvious to everyone that downtown needs increased activity and attractions in order to become vibrant and successful. But it’s equally obvious that downtown is also a residential neighborhood. There are currently 300 homes within the scope of the waterfront, which will more than double with the proposed development along the bluff. Downtown will be one of the largest residential neighborhoods in the city.
So the positioning of the music venue is an important evaluation, particularly the stage location and the direction it faces. Similarly, the programming goals must be carefully considered. What constitutes a reasonable amount of major concerts and events per year? How much expansion is appropriate in a residential neighborhood? What are acceptable decibel levels?
A disclaimer must be stated here. It would be easy for some readers of this article to assume that downtown residents – particularly in Water’s Edge – have a “not in my back yard” attitude. But this is very far from the truth. Water’s Edge and Pierce 100 folks have been more active and supportive of Imagine Clearwater than any other citizen group by far. Almost one for one, we want a lively and dynamic downtown. The vast majority of us are big fans of Jazz Holiday, Blues Festival and Pierce Street Market, and we would like to see more. But at the same time, it is fair to ask for an approach that supports a reasonable quality of life, both noise-wise and traffic-wise.
There is no doubt that a solution can be found that is a win-win for everyone involved, and the City will need our input in deciding where and how to draw a line. Please communicate your thoughts and suggestions to City leaders here and/or clicking on the big yellow button on the right of this page.