The city purchased an aging church to renovate into a performing arts center with a large grassy area that could serve as the perfect venue for food trucks and concerts. However, the two-acre property did not have enough space for the proposed 180 parking spots. The space identified as the best location for parking was next to a youth soccer field, but the property’s flood zone status added complication when the project team evaluated this option; if the planners were to use this space, they would need to convert the soccer field into a small detention pond to accommodate stormwater management needs. As a result, the community would lose a valuable amenity for their youth.
For the Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center, permeable pavers proved to be a very effective best management practice for controlling stormwater runoff to the point of eliminating the need for detention and retention ponds and sewer pipes. Permeable pavers create a pervious surface allowing water to infiltrate the ground, naturally filtering pollutants and replenishing ground water reserves. With this design, the permeable parking lot will limit the 25-year/24-hour discharge rate to the predevelopment 25-year/24-hour discharge rate.
Constructed over three months, the parking area at Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center included over-excavation of two feet of unsuitable subgrade soil (muck) and replacement with two feet of clean fill. A layer of non-woven geotextile material was installed and covered with eight inches of #4 stone and a four-inch layer of #57 stone; these layers serve as the open graded aggregate reservoir, where water can be temporarily stored until it percolates in the soil and recharges the aquifer.
Once the stone was compacted, two inches of #89 aggregate were added to serve as a bedding course for the Belgard Eco-Holland stone pavers. The pavers were hand installed and compacted into the bedding course to create a smooth pavement surface; a small aggregate then was swept into the joints to lock everything into place.
The project was the county’s first PICP project and only the second to be permitted by South West Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD), which closely monitored the project using several imbedded single ring infiltrometers – test rings with a tube on top that show at what rate the water is drawn down – that were installed during construction.