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The Sarasota County Commission unanimously approved 17 changes to its Sarasota 2050 land- use plan Tuesday, March 18, overcoming one commissioner's concern that the board is grad- ually "nibbling away" at its regulations. 2050 was approved roughly a decade ago (although even its date of birth was a matter of hot dispute between Commissioners Joe Barbetta and Nora Patterson on Tuesday) w i t h t h e i n t e n t o f encouraging the con- struction of compact, walkable mixed-use communities, particularly east of Interstate 75. But developers have complained that 2050's rules are too complex and unwieldy and say the plan is blocking new growth. In late 2012, the commission launched a reeval- uation of the plan. The rewrites discussed Tuesday include loos- ening requirements for how much open space must be preserved in a new development by allowing developers to count stormwater ponds and greenways as open space. Cattle graze in a pasture on Fruitville Road, one of the prime areas envisioned for planned development under Sarasota 2050. Photo by Rachel Hackney SEVENTEEN MORE CHANGES TO SARASOTA 2050 APPROVED NIBBLING AWAY Unrestrained growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Wade Matthews Conservation Chairman Sarasota Audubon By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor

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