The Sarasota County Planning Commission will meet Wednesday, May 4 at 6:30 pm at the County Administration Building at 1660 Ringling Boulevard in Sarasota, to make their final revisions in a recommended “update” of the Sarasota County Comprehensive Plan. It will then go to the County Commission for at least two public hearings. Citizens will have three minutes to comment if desired at the beginning of the Planning Commission hearing.
The Planning Commission, which has been packed by the County Commission with developers, construction company executives and others who make their living in development, have worked hard to make changes which favor developers and disfavor the public interest.
One change would increase allowable densities to up to 100 units per acre, provided that half the units which are granted in excess of 13 units per acre are “affordable” to those making 100 percent of area median income (that is mortgaged for not more than $243,849 or rent not more than $1,518 per month for a family of four) and one-fifth of those are “affordable” to those making 80 percent of that income. This does little for truly affordable housing, in return for a huge increase in density, which will create traffic and other problems. And get this: the changes also remove the requirement that the affordable housing remain affordable after the first sale or rental and that it be “green” construction.
Numerous other changes are made to weaken the Comprehensive Plan with regard to environmental protection, traffic and otherwise, all to enrich developers at the cost of the rest of us.
There is even a proposal by the Planning Commission to require the County to build a major new road far east of the Interstate, to be completed by 2019, to serve urban sprawl, again mainly at the public expense.
More on this very bad Plan to come.
— Dan Lobeck