Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Density can save open space but 2050 plan privatizes it

From a 2050 Plan comment thread:

Maynard Hiss The 2050 residential dwelling unit densities are at .2 - .4 units per acre or 64 - 128 units per sq mile. The downtown core areas have densities Downtown Residential Overlay District (DROD) densities can average 50 dwelling units per acre, but can go as high as 200 dwelling units per acre. The average of 50 dwelling units per acre would be the equivalent to 32000 per sq mile, however, a much smaller area is covered by the district than a sq mile. In other words one sq mile of 2050 dwelling units may sit on less than an acre of downtown Sarasota, saving 639 acres of open space.

The ironic thing is, there are lots of open space requirements for the 2050 area low density in the rural area where all land is privatized and monopolized by the development or home owners association, and no one else is allowed to use it. For example, a developer must set aside 600 acres of open space for 400 units, but is not required to give public access to the area. Many of the functions in the 2050 developments including most types of agriculture and water conservation are not protected, and natural areas are fragmented. 

Whereas in the highest density urban areas in the city of Sarasota where people use land most effectively there are no real requirements to assure high quality public open space to support the downtown high and medium density or even low density development. Note the high density developments share not only their open space with the 2050 low density residents they also share it with everyone else in the county and region and millions of tourist and their land guzzling cars.

Furthermore the open space in the downtown is often separated from the developments by a wall of 5 or more lanes of traffic, and the space itself is little more than a huge parking lot, which fragments the open space into tiny pieces of grass. Open space in the downtown is often not open space but instead covered with public cultural buildings such as auditoriums, art centers, garden clubs, orchestra halls, performing arts centers, all of which are not allowed in the 2050 public open spaces.

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