Friends of Woodlawn Elementary | Fall 2019

Friends of Woodlawn Elementary

Friends of Woodlawn Elementary is in its second year of mentoring children and volunteering at Woodlawn Elementary.  We are now gearing up for the upcoming school year.  Whether you’re available to volunteer for one day at the Back to School Bash, commit to 30 minutes a week mentoring, jump in to the School Garden, or more, tell us what you want to contribute!

Contact juliaasharp@gmail.com to join our effort to help improve our local elementary school and support childhood education in Pinellas County.

Holiday Motel UPDATE

Holiday Motel Hearing – Community Planning and Preservation Commission (CPPC)
April 9th | 2 pm | St. Pete City Hall
Please Attend or Submit a Letter of Support!

On Tuesday, April 9th, the Community Planning and Preservation Commission (CPPC) will hold a public hearing at City Hall beginning at 2 pm.  The purpose of this hearing is to determine if the Holiday Motel is worthy of the City’s designation as a historical landmark.  CHNA is asking for your help via written comments or in-person support at the meeting.  The application for historical landmark status was submitted to the City by Preserve the Burg (not CHNA).

What Can I Do?

The site developer has been responsive to CHNA and residents to help ensure the new development will not redirect traffic into the neighborhood and will limit negative impacts to neighbors on 24th and 25th Ave N.  The developer requests resident support for the CPPC hearing (see sample text below) and your efforts could help ensure that the site is redeveloped in a way that is positive for the residents of CHNA.  If this developer pulls out of the deal, the next developer may not be as flexible in addressing neighborhood concerns.

Please consider sending an e-mail of support to the City or attending the CPPC hearing on April 9th at 2:00 pm.

CHNA is not taking an official position on this matter; however, we did want to disseminate information to residents as this matter will have a significant impact on our neighborhood.

Sample Letter of Support

If you would like to support Armstrong Properties effort to redevelop in a way that is responsive to neighborhood concerns or if you feel that the structure is not worthy of designation, please consider sending the following letter of support to Katherine.Connell@stpete.org:

Dear CPPC member:

As a neighbor of the Holiday Motel, I object to its designation as a historic property.  The Holiday Motel perhaps once served tourists, but today offers no historic use or quality that the city should desire from its historic structures. The nondescript architecture, placement of the buildings, size of the buildings and quality of the construction eliminate any potential historic benefit that could exist. Nostalgia should not be the basis for designation of historic properties. Our neighborhood has many traditional qualities – and retaining this transient housing does not contribute to that quality. Please do not designate this as a historic property.  I can/cannot attend the meeting next week but wanted to be sure you were aware of my objection.

 Sincerely,
 NAME
ADDRESS

If you believe that the Holiday Motel is worthy of historical landmark status (regardless if it remains in our neighborhood or elsewhere in St. Pete), Preserve the Burg requests that you send the following letter of support to Katherine.Connell@stpete.org:

Commissioners::  We all need to work hard to keep St. Petersburg special! The Holiday Motel on 4th St. N. at 24th Ave. is a piece of what makes us special! It is an excellent, early example of visually distinctive roadside architecture, built at a time when the family road trip was an intrinsic part of the Florida Dream! The motel, previously known as the Wilmarth Apartments, dates to the mid-1930s. The buildings clearly meet the criteria for landmark designation, having been first evaluated in 1995 as part of the St. Petersburg Historical Resource Survey project – at which point they were considered to be individually eligible for both local and National Register designation. Let’s preserve the ‘Burg! Please say YES to the Holiday Motel landmark application. Let’s respect our city’s past  and its sense of place.

What’s the Issue?

The owner of the Holiday Motel has sold the land and the two residential properties at the back to a Tampa-based developer, Armstrong Development Properties, Inc.  The owner of the property wishes to retire, so the Holiday Motel will be sold and change will come to the site.  The owner objects to the designation application and does not wish for the Holiday Motel to be considered a historical landmark.  Additionally, Armstrong Properties has met with Preserve the Burg to discuss different ways that they could donate the structure or incorporate some of the historical aspects of the structure into the site plans; however, Preserve the Burg has not consented to withdrawing the application in exchange for the concessions offered.

Armstrong Properties submitted site plan drawings to CHNA residents in February, and was receptive to feedback and concerns.  Revised site plans have been drawn up and submitted to the City for review and approval.  However, the approval process on the City’s end is currently unable to proceed while the landmark application is active.

Preserve the Burg is considering relocating the Holiday Motel buildings to another area downtown.  This means that the site in Crescent Heights may be redeveloped either way if the Motel is awarded historical landmark status.  However, CHNA neighbors may have to work with a new developer that won’t be as receptive to suggestions and feedback.

Friends of Woodlawn Elementary

Mentor Workshop for Friends of WoodlawnImage result for woodlawn elementary st pete

Thursday, 09/06/2018, 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m | Mentor Workshop Webinar
Thursday, 09/20/2018, 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m | Mentor Workshop @
Woodlawn Elementary School, 1600 16th Street N., St. Petersburg
BMI Fingerprinting to be available from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for anyone wishing to be Level 2 Screened.

Sign-up link for Webinar or Workshop can be found here. 

Friends of Woodlawn Elementary

UPDATE: The neighborhoods of Crescent Lake, Crescent Heights, Euclid St. Paul’s, Greater Woodlawn, and Historic Uptown are working together to support our zoned elementary, Woodlawn Elementary. Community support for Woodlawn Elementary is great for our neighborhoods and the City of St. Petersburg. It is a great way to give back to our community and make our neighborhood stronger, and will encourage families in our neighborhood to consider their zoned public school as their first choice for their children. Learn more or sign up to volunteer: Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FriendsOfWoodlawn/ or e-mail FriendsOfWoodlawnElementary@gmail.com.

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Crescent Heights, Crescent Lake, Euclid St. Paul, and Woodlawn Neighborhood Associations are all joining together to develop a way for residents and parents to support our local elementary school: Woodlawn Elementary.  A similar effort has helped Northshore Elementary transform into desired school (http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/The-comeback-at-North-Shore-Elementary-is-real-as-families-rediscover-their-neighborhood-school_162522638), and now this “Friends of” group is expanding their efforts to bring the same success to schools throughout Pinellas County.

The Neighborhood Association Presidents have had very productive meetings with the Woodlawn Elementary principal, and we are excited to roll out our own “Friends of” group this fall. The largest need identified by the school is volunteers to be mentors or help with reading skills.  We will be holding a one-hour workshop for interested volunteers in August at the TASCO building.  In particular, the school hopes to attract more male volunteers, so if you would like to sign up and help make a difference in the community and in the life of a child, please e-mail president@mychna.org.  We need 15 people interested in order to hold the August training.

MLK Construction Update

Construction is expected to begin on the MLK Resurfacing and Reconfiguration project on September 4th and scheduled to complete by September 14th. The work will be done at night starting at 7PM and completing at 5:30AM. Please do not park cars on the street or water lawns on the nights of the resurfacing.

The City will have a full time construction inspector available to answer questions or address concerns in the field. Feel free to contact Mr. Keith Pooré with the Engineering Construction Division at (727) 893-7400.

Details regarding the MLK resurfacing project can be found here on the City of St. Petersburg website. 

7/12/18 | Road Construction Postponed on Dr. MLK Jr Street N

Road Construction Postponed on Dr. MLK Jr Street N

The City has postponed its work on repaving Dr. MLK Jr Street N. until further notice. There was objection to the City’s initial final plans to convert the street into three lanes of travel (one lane southbound and two lanes northbound). The City’s initial final plan included a bike lane with room for physical dividers so that bikers would be better protected from traffic. However, this proposal is being reconsidered to allow for two lanes of traffic in both directions and standard bike lanes without any dividers. The City will provide updates on the final approved proposal and traffic lanes shortly. There is no current ETA for when road work will begin.

7/11/18 | Church of the Beatitudes Update

Historic Sanctuary/Church of the Beatitudes Update

Here’s an update from the property developer:

We are proceeding with the two houses facing 29th. The designs are the same designs that I originally reviewed with you and CHNA.

I have not been able to move forward with the designation on the sanctuary at this time as I have not received the final comments on the church conversion from the city. The plans, after 3 months, are still with the City for approval! The City has performed the review however not completed the comments etc to be able to get them back to me. Once I get them back and re-submitted I will then work with the City’s Historic Preservation staff on the application for designation.

The plan is to still wait to perform any work on the church until the homes on 29th are very near completion. That will be at least 6 months from now. It has worked well as the congregation is still working in the building, and they have not moved everything out at this time.

I hope everyone is ok with everything. I am trying to stick to my word on all that I promised the CHNA. We have put up a fence to keep dust and any loose debris from hindering the neighborhood. I am on site daily, if anyone has any questions please let me know and I will answer best I can.

CHNA remains in contact with the developer and the City’s Historic Preservation staff and send updates as they are available.

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