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On Wednesday, June 11, the Sarasota Planning Board passed three figurative hot potatoes along to the City Commission. Jesse Biter's residential high-rise plan was allowed an addi- tional quarter-acre; Duval's New World Café won a nod to become a "nightclub"; and Mary Lee's not-so-whimsical plans for her Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy were approved. None escaped scru- tiny, and only one passed unanimously. Biter's request caused the most apparent heartburn because neither staff nor the Planning Board members knew what they were approving. At an earlier city Development Review Committee meet- ing, a top staffer pointed out, "You're asking us to sign off on a project we have not seen plans for." But the committee nonetheless did just that, and staff recommended approval to the Planning Board. On June 11, Planning Board member Mort Siegel said, "You need to explain to me why we should treat you d i f f e r e n t l y. " B i t e r Sarasota entrepreneur Jesse Biter won Planning Board approval for a 10-story residential structure that he wants to build on the site of the former United Way office on Second Street and the adjacent parcel. Image from Google Maps GREEN LIGHTS FOR BITER, DUVAL'S THE PLANNING BOARD SENDS THREE PROJECTS ON TO THE CITY COMMISSION, INCLUDING PLANS FOR A RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURE ON SECOND STREET I trust staff will ensure the architecture is good for downtown. Vald Svekis Chairman Sarasota Planning Board By Stan Zimmerman City Editor

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