San Marco By Design

January 7, 2011 24 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

San Marco Preservation Society (SMPS) and City of Jacksonville Planning & Development Department (COJ PDD) are in the midst of creating a smart growth plan for San Marco. Metro Jacksonville shares preliminary graphics in an effort to solicit feedback from the community at large.

Project Description

Based on past visioning initiatives and building on current trends, San Marco Preservation Society (SMPS) in partnership with the City of Jacksonville Planning and Development Department (COJPDD) proposes to develop a comprehensive neighborhood plan for North San Marco.  This will involve a multi-step process beginning with inventory and analysis of existing conditions, gathering community input and development of the neighborhood vision.  The resulting neighborhood vision will provide recommendations for an implementing plan that may include modifications to the zoning code, comprehensive plan and other regulatory tools.

Project Goal

Promote appropriate future infill development that will be economically viable and enhance the vitality and quality of the neighborhood and health of its residents while preserving the historic character, walkability and quality of life of San Marco.  Expected components of the proposed North San Marco neighborhood vision plan may include a summary report of the findings; a detailed outline of proposed changes with supporting graphics; an illustrative map generally depicting the direction of the physical plan; and recommendations for developing an implementing code.

**Click on images to enlarge

Economic Development

Economic Development opportunities discussed primarily focus around allowing sustainable infill mixed use development along San Marco Blvd., Hendricks Ave and JTA's underutilized Kings Avenue parking garage.  A future rail station along Atlantic Blvd. at the FEC crossing is also indicated.

Tampa's South Howard Avenue (SOHO) is a good example of how to encourage urban infill in established walkable neighborhoods.

Land Use & Transitions

Opportunities highlighted include allowing for higher infill density along I-95, San Marco Blvd., Hendricks and Kings Avenues.  Other potential opportunities indicated include improving Landon Ave. and Lasalle St. to provide better east/west connectivity and allowing mixed uses in existing structures along San Marco Blvd., just north of San Marco Square.

Denser infill on San Marco blocks adjacent to I-95 could turn underutilized surface parking lots into a scene like Orlando's Church Street, just west of I-4.

Parks & Recreation

Already blessed with a number of public spaces, preliminary charrette sketches indicate a desire to strengthen the public realm connection between these spaces.

Located on the Hoboken, NY riverfront, Sinatra Drive is a great example of how a street can be designed to be multimodal as well as a linear public amenity that connects neighborhood parks.

Transportation & Infrastructure

Information shown so far indicates a desire to see stronger pedestrian, bicycle and mass transit connections throughout the community.  Opportunities for transit oriented development are indicated along Kings Avenue.  One cause for concern could be the initial over-reliance and focus on the rubber wheeled PCT trolley.

Integrating Land Use with Mobility: A small extension of the Skyway could provide redevelopment opportunities along Kings Avenue, Hendricks Avenue and San Marco Boulevard in the same manner that the Metromover has done in Miami.

Urban Design & Community Character

Opportunities to strengthen community character include improving the public realm with better sidewalks, landscaping and connectivity with the Southbank and encouraging adaptive reuse.

Buffalo, NY's Elmwood Village is a good example of strengthing community character through historic preservation and adaptive reuse.

Article by Ennis Davis