Sarasota 2050 development plan moves forward

jajones1@bradenton.comNovember 8, 2013 

VENICE -- Proposed text changes in the Sarasota 2050 development plan were closely questioned Thursday night by members of the Sarasota County Planning Commission.

Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, developer of Lakewood Ranch, has sought more flexibility in the implementation of 2050 plan requirements to allow it to adjust to market conditions and ensure the viability of the project.

SMR proposes to develop thousands of acres of its holdings in Sarasota County. The proposed SMR villages would be the first under the 2050 plan, which lays out the blueprint for the development of eastern Sarasota County by year 2050.

Ultimately, the commission recommended approving text changes by 8-1 vote, with chairman Bob Burrus dissenting. He was concerned about the location of the village centers.

The changes, which must be given final approval by the county commission, would allow flexibility in the phrasing of open space requirements, the location and number of village centers and more flexibility in number and type of housing units.

All proposed changes comply with county policy and practice, said Sarasota planner Bill Spaeth.

The changes clarify requirements, but don't conflict with policy, he said.

In January 2012, Sarasota County commissioners asked county staff to sit down with developers to see if they had any issues with the 2050 plan. They held several workshops with the public and development representatives invited.

The Sarasota 2050 development plan will go next before the Sarasota County Commission Nov. 20.

James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee reporter, can be contacted at 941-745-7053 or on Twitter: @jajones1

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