Sarasota News Leader

09/21/12

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TWEAKING THE EEZ The Sarasota County Commission has been addressing EEZ Pilot Program issues over the past year. Photo by Norman Schimmel REBRANDING TO REFLECT NEW, LESS GEOGRAPHICALLY STRICT PLAN By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor Less than three months after $300,000 in state money became available for Saraso- ta County's Energy Economic Zone, county staff is already working on a rebrand. Economic Development Coordinator Lisa Damschroder says that beginning early next month, county staffers will come to- gether to figure out a new name for the program, to reflect the new, less geograph- ically specific direction it has taken. Accord- ing to Damschroder, the 2009 state legis- lation that created the Energy Economic Zone Pilot Program (which was also taken up in Miami Beach) was originally a "land- use program" focused on fostering green businesses within two strictly defined geo- graphic areas: the State Road 681 corridor in Nokomis and the central county landfill. The Florida Department of Economic Op- portunity, which oversees the Pilot Pro- gram, writes on its website that Sarasota County chose an undeveloped area of approximately 1,000 acres within the adopted Urban Service Area as one of the two designated Energy Economic zones. A compact site served by the Legacy Trail, which is more than 10 miles in length from just south of the City of Sarasota to Venice and proximate to a network of major road- ways, the locale affords opportunities for a mixed-use land use design that integrates

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