Sarasota News Leader

03/08/2013

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Sarasota News Leader March 8, 2013 Page 9 evaluating 2050, specifically tasking them with Having heard the developers' side of things, meeting with developers who have worked the County Commission voted in January to with the plan to solicit recommendations on schedule a series of public meetings to solichow to alter it. Meet they did, and the depart- it comment from the public — meetings that kick off at 5:30 p.m. ment returned with a next Wednesday at list of 38 "issues" deTwin Lakes Park. velopers said they enThere are a handful of people that countered when dealhave heard what this is about and don't Long-Range Planning ing with 2050. Manager Allen Par- really understand the parameters of 2050, and the majority of those are people who own land that's affected, and then maybe five or six people that I've heard from that have taken part in creating the plan that are concerned. sons says the meetings One example: fiscal will be run in an "open neutrality monitoring house" style, complete rules, which require with table displays on periodic reports to the relevant issues. guarantee that a projThere will not be any ect will not cost the formal presentation. Nora Patterson county money. De"Staff there will be Commissioner velopers want those Sarasota County available to answer check-ups, delivered questions and take inat "every phase of a put," he adds. development or on an annual or bi-annual basis," eliminated. So far, Parsons has not heard much from county residents who are opposed to the Another example: stipulations that new neighchanges. "Not a whole lot of input," he says. borhoods have a mix of different housing But he does note a high level of interest in types to serve different communities. Devel- the public meetings. An announcement email opers want those regulations "amended" to sent to interested parties this week went out provide more latitude. to 283 email addresses, including those of real A third example: a requirement that the com- estate investor Bob Waechter, City Commismercial portion of a neighborhood be "located sioner Terry Turner and Pat Neal, president of internally within a project." Developers want Neal Communities. that portion of the plan struck. After Wednesday's meeting, and one like it Critics of 2050 point to the fact that only one the following week, Parsons' department will new development, Neal Communities' Grand organize whatever feedback it receives and Palm, has gotten off the ground through 2050 present it to the County Commission. Parsons is shooting for a spot on the board's May 8 as evidence the regulations are too restrictive. agenda. In addition to Grand Palm, Schroeder-Manatee has received the go-ahead for Villages of Lake- The debate over 2050 has so far proven to wood Ranch South, a 5,500-acre, 5,144-unit be relatively low-key, with only a handful of development that brings the total number of residents speaking out against the proposed units approved under 2050 to more than 7,000. changes — a marked difference from the in-

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