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Sarasota News Leader January 11, 2013 Page 17 prehensive plan. One of the features Duany delivery trucks and moving vans were the face pushed was called "administrative approval." of the building for the neighbors. Instead of "red tape and politics," developers Laurel Park residents started lobbying hard to would have "certainty." If their downtown get a voice in adjacent construction. At first projects met the requirements of the city's they wanted a comprehensive plan change to require public hearings zoning and building for new projects in an codes, they would get a building permit withA community meeting is much "overlay zone" next to out the necessity of better than a public hearing. It's intended the neighborhood. messy public hearings to foster communication back and forth. The building and deand City Commission Maybe it should be considered in lieu of velopment community votes, Duany pointed a review of site plans — for use citywide. fought back, and city out. staffers constructed a Mike Taylor compromise. If LauOne part of downtown Retired Planner City of Sarasota rel Park would agree ran scared from all this to scrap its proposed activity. Laurel Park is a time-warp neighborhood from the 1920s, full change to the comprehensive plan, the resof bungalows on small lots, cheek-by-cheek idents could have two "community workduplexes and now-rustic apartment buildings. shops" with a developer seeking to put up a The residents fought and received their own project next door. zoning category during the Duany frenzy, one The first workshop would come when the that had nothing to do with "administrative project was initially proposed: Nearby resapproval" or "form-based codes." idents could offer suggestions to make the When the smoke cleared, the legal challenge was satisfied and the paperwork was all straight for the new downtown plan, Laurel Park was a true enclave — surrounded on all sides by downtown zoning and "administrative approval" cases. Thus, when a towering condominium was proposed just across the street from the bungalows, there was no need to notify the neighbors because everything was handled "administratively." building more sympatico. The second would come just before the builder filed plans for the administrative review process. On Monday afternoon, the proposed compromise went before the City Commission for an up-or-down vote after the commission took public testimony. "We tried to obtain a voice in big projects next to our neighborhood," said Laurel Park Association President Kate Lowman. "We requested an overlay with a public approval process and the Planning Board [involvement]. The And because there was no neighborhood city has proposed a compromise, which preinput, the condo representatives turned its serves the administrative approval process backside to the old community. Trash pickup, with two community meetings."

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