On Tuesday, Jan. 14, Pensacola Young Professionals Economic Development and Governmental Affairs Teams will host a public meeting to revisit the Urban Redevelopment Advisory Committee Report that was released in November 2012.
The URAC was appointed by Mayor Ashton Hayward to help guide the continued growth and development of Pensacola’s downtown. Over a four-month period beginning in February 2012, the committee was tasked with assisting the mayor in implementing the redevelopment of the Community Redevelopment Agency District, including downtown, the waterfront, and the surrounding neighborhoods, according to the city’s website.
When URAC was formed, several of the city council members were critical of having yet another study done on downtown Pensacola. Councilwoman Megan Pratt felt the Community Redevelopment Agency and city did not have the funds in their budgets to implement any more plans. At his November 2013 “Mornings with Mayor,” Mayor Hayward admitted that the city has had to move slow on many of the URAC recommendations because of the lack of funds.
According to the PYP press release, this Jan. 14 meeting is a follow-up from a public forum that took place a year ago. At that meeting, the PYP members voted on their “top three” recommendations from the URAC Report:
1) Increase Pensacola’s cultural heritage tourism,
2) Support the initiative for an infill housing program that will create more affordable housing in the downtown area, and
3) Help the City simplify the Land Development Code (LDC) and create a “one-stop shop” for investors and developers.
Mayor Hayward will be on hand again to talk about the URAC report. Greater Pensacola Chamber President Jerry Maygarden and UWF Historic Trust member Dr. Brendan Kelly will be there, I assume, to discuss the University of West Florida’s plans for cultural tourism, and original URAC member John Myslak will be there to answer questions about the 2012 report.
WHAT: URAC Report Update Meeting hosted by PYP
WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14
WHERE: Artel Gallery, 223 South Palafox Place