Sarasota News Leader

01/10/2014

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THE WORK BEGINS It was standing-room-only in City Hall as residents and property owners listened to a proposal calling for tripled density in part of the Rosemary District. Photo by Stan Zimmerman A NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING THIS WEEK MARKS THE FIRST STEP ON THE ROAD TO GAINING CITY APPROVAL FOR INCREASED DENSITY IN PART OF THE ROSEMARY DISTRICT By Stan Zimmerman City Editor The circumstances seemed eerily familiar. A developer comes to town, buys a hunk of acreage near downtown and asks for a comprehensive plan change to make his plan economically feasible. The last time it happened, the proposed site was along School Avenue across the street from an undeveloped Payne Park. Old-timers recall well what a battle royale that became. This time it is 6.2 acres in the Rosemary District, with Cocoanut and 10th Street as the northwest corner. Property owner Bruce Weiner wants to build 450 market-rate apartments on the site, but he needs to triple the current 25-units-per-acre zoning density to make it economically viable. The idea to double or triple the density in the area, using an "overlay district," was proposed to the City Commission last year. We're doing what the market needs. The overlay district is a planning tool used in Bruce Weiner Property Owner Laurel Park and along Rosemary District the North Tamiami

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