Friday, October 21, 2016

Pat Neal seeks exception to rules

Dan Lobeck:

Neal Revises Exemptions From Sarasota 2050 Plan

Hearing before Commission Wednesday, Oct. 26, 9 a.m.
Citizens may comment at the hearing, and/or email the County Commission.

Developer Pat Neal, in the wake of a 7 to 0 rejection by the Planning Commission, has revised his requests for exemptions from the Sarasota 2050 Plan for his Grand Lake development east of I-75 and south of Clark Road.

He continues to want big breaks, just not as much as before.

Neal still wants to be totally relieved from the requirement to build 10% of the units as Affordable Housing, that is sold to people earning not more than 80% of the Area Median Income (A M I).

In place of that he would build 10% of the units as Community Housing, which is defined as sold to people earning not more than 100% A M I. That is twice the 5% Community Housing which the Sarasota 2050 Plan now requires on top of the 10% Affordable Housing (for 15% total under the current 2050 standards). A Community Housing home under current data would sell for not over $244,000.

So while other Sarasota 2050 developers must sell 15% of their houses at reduced prices, Neal would have to do that with only 10% of his houses. And he would be allowed to fulfill that requirement at higher prices than other developers.

Neal has withdrawn his request to be exempt from purchasing development rights from off-site Greenways (or from the County for use in buying new environmental lands).

However, in addition to the Affordable Housing exemption, he still wants to reduce the Greenbelt around the development from the current Sarasota 2050 requirement of 500 feet all the way down to 50 feet. Also, he still wants to be able to reduce his open space from 50% to 30% and to be exempt from mixed use requirements.

These special breaks for Pat Neal would be provided by creating a new "Village Enclave" category with the new rules, with geographic criteria limited to his site.

The public hearing on this revised exemption request will be before the Sarasota County Commission on Wednesday, October 26, at 9 am, at 1660 Ringling Boulevard, Sarasota.

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