Sarasota News Leader


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 26 of 103

Sarasota News Leader August 30, 2013 Page 27 Barbetta believes the Initiative area can be- Barbetta responded that he did not want to come a draw for companies looking to relo- see the conversation start from scratch. cate to the area. "The charrette was a week long," Barbetta Chairwoman Carolyn Mason called the five noted. "We are not reinventing the wheel here. property owners saints for waiting for the I don't want a repeat of all the themes, when all this work has been done." county to put together the plan. "We will get there from here," Mason said to Brain said the upcoming public workshops are the three who were in the audience at the necessary because so much time has lapsed since the comprehensive plan amendment meeting. was passed. Residents need to be updated and provided a forum where they can offer MOVING THE BALL FORWARD comments. The 320 acres of vacant land in the Fruitville Initiative area is bordered by property with a Brain and consultants at the firm Sweet Sparkvariety of different land uses. The site borders man Architects will focus on moving "the ball I-75 to the west, existing rural neighborhoods forward," the planning professor added. to the east and the Celery Fields preserve to The 42-acre county-owned parcel, called the the south. "Quad" tract, could become a key catalyst in The goal of the Fruitville Initiative is to promote smart growth, setting guidelines for development that does not include the typical "big box retail" found at an interchange, said David Brain, a New College professor and consultant for the county whose research has focused on place-making. the development of the Initiative area, said Commissioner Nora Patterson. She has high hopes for what is built there. Over the years, there have been talks with representatives of several universities, who approached the county about locating a facility on the site, Patterson noted. "This is a fairly complicated project with a lot "None of these had worked out," Patterson of stakeholders," Brain noted at Wednesday's said. "The economy probably had something County Commission meeting. to with that." One of the goals of public workshops will be Jackson Laboratory's failed plan to expand to reintroduce residents to the discussion and its facility to Sarasota County included talks concepts, many which were already worked about using the county-owned 42 acres, Patout in 2010 during a public process that in- terson pointed out. cluded a five-day charrette. Patterson told county staff she wants to see the "We want to engage stakeholders, but in way county's Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) on the that is building off some of the public input Initiative advertised widely, so interested inveswe already have," Brain said. tors and developers can send proposals. %

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Sarasota News Leader - 08/30/2013