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Sarasota News Leader June 7, 2013 Page 9 cost — a major problem as the commission looks to sell TDRs associated with properties acquired through the county's Environmentally Sensitive Lands Program. discussion of the issue has dragged out for years and that the only way to determine a fair price is to sell the TDRs at a low figure and start debating offers. Two months ago, county staffers came before the commission to propose setting the price at 10 percent of the median sale price of homes, but the discussion was kicked back to the county's Environmentally Sensitive Lands Oversight Committee amid complaints the committee had not had a chance to review the proposal in full. But in real estate, "you don't set your price low and get higher offers," Commissioner Nora Patterson countered. You set your price high and get lower offers. Looking for compromise, she pushed to set the price for the first 100 TDRs at half the value recommended by staff. No one backed up her proposal. "There's no perfect number here," said Commissioner Charles Hines. If Barbetta's 25 percent price is too low, the commission can easily adjust it going forward, Hines argued. "The public needs to know there is no right answer here," he added. "This is the teaser." The Oversight Committee later recommended altering the staff proposal by suggesting the TDRs should be priced at 10 percent of the median sale price of new homes. Since the TDRs would be used to build new units, the thinking went, the price shouldn't be weighed "I'm trying to figure out the market demand, down by sales figures for foreclosures and and the only way to do that is to test it," said other distressed properties. Barbetta. His motion passed unanimously. But the County Commission went in the op- "I'm going to vote for it because it's time we posite direction Wednesday, June 5, moving got off the dime on this subject," said Patterto offer the county's first 100 TDRs at a signif- son. icant discount. She doesn't "mind it as a teaser," she said. "We need to get it going," argued Commis- However, if developers want to purchase the sioner Joe Barbetta, who eventually suggest- other 500-plus TDRs in the county's pilot proed selling the first 100 TDRs at a quarter of gram for that same price, she added, "I'm not staff's recommended price of $17,850. He said going to be there." % A chart shows TDR price examples from Palm Beach County. Image courtesy Sarasota County

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