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R-ROD could stand for "Rolls-Royce on Over- Drive" for the speed with which it is making progress. The Rosemary Residential Overlay District is soaring at a figurative warp veloc- ity through the city's comprehensive plan approval maze. The Sarasota City Commission ordered it expedited, and it certainly has been. On Wednesday evening, May 14, the city Planning Board approved it by 4-0 vote, with one member missing. It now goes to the City Commission for another public hearing and, if approved, on to Tallahassee for a brief review. It is not only the speed of approval that has been remarkable, but also the breadth of the amendment to the city's fundamental plan- ning document. It will triple the allowable density in a portion of the Rosemary district north of downtown across Fruitville Road. The area covers 71 acres; R-ROD would allow early adopters of it the right to build 75 dwelling units per acre, up from the 25 nor- mally allowed for the zoning district called "Downtown Edge." Density is king in the development business. It allows fixed costs such as the price of the land to be spread over more units, and then there are … well … more units to sell or lease. This is a privately sponsored amendment to the city comprehensive plan. The developer The R-ROD is bound by Orange Avenue, Cocoanut Avenue, 10th Street and Fruitville Road. Inside it, a developer can use triple-density for a project. Image courtesy City of Sarasota PLANNING BOARD APPROVES NEW OVERLAY DISTRICT FOR THE ROSEMARY DISTRICT, SENDING IT ON TO THE CITY COMMISSION By Stan Zimmerman City Editor Sarasota News Leader May 16, 2014 Page 31

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