Updates to Palmetto plans could equal better economy

jtate@bradenton.comAugust 20, 2013 

PALMETTO -- The Palmetto City Commission will vote Tuesday on a comprehensive plan easing regulations for developers.

Less regulation could mean more development, which can have a positive impact on the Palmetto economy, said Lorraine Lyn, city planner.

She said it's mandatory for the city to update its regulations for concurrency management due to recent changes by Gov. Rick Scott.

"With the new governor, a lot of regulations were scaled back," said Lyn.

Before a developer can receive final project permits and begin to build in Palmetto, she said, concurrency management dictates they must show proof their utilities or infrastructure are in place.

"Utilities that must be in place are drainage, solid waste, drinking water and sewer water," said Lyn.

Commissioner Charles Smith said less regulation is good business for Palmetto, which is competing with other cites for development dollars.

"We don't want a lot of red tape that will slow people down," said Smith. "We don't want to discourage people."

He said Palmetto's comprehensive plan lays out clear city goals.

"It lays out a vision for the city. I think it can expand the tax base and revenue," said Smith. "That's something that we desperately need and it's a good comprehensive plan."

A comprehensive plan includes all city plans containing 13 elements, including coastal management, conservation and capital improvements.

Lyn also said the city must add a 10-year water supply plan per state regulations.

She said comp plan changes will not affect taxpayers.

Other comprehensive plan amendments involve updating policies and proposed ordinances and implementing goals to use "complete streets" when constructing new roads.

Complete streets in-clude bike lanes, water drainage and sidewalks designed and constructed by developers.

"This is not set in stone, but we want streets to have these functions," said Lyn.

The city commission will have a public hearing on the plan at 7 p.m. Tuesday during its scheduled meeting.

Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.

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