Sarasota County commissioners will discuss the most controversial changes proposed to Sarasota 2050 during a meeting Wednesday, including the fiscal neutrality provision in the longterm planning document.
For a new development project to receive initial approval, the developer must prove the project is fiscally neutral or beneficial — that taxes, fees, assessments and charges for services balance out new public facilities and services to support the development. The Sarasota 2050 plan, which guides building east of I-75 on specific tracts of land, requires developers to do that at the outset of a project, and in subsequent phases.
Developers have criticized the current fiscal neutrality provisions as major hurdles in financing 2050 projects. A report by Laffer and Associates, the firm the county hired to evaluate the regulations, blasted the concept of forcing developers to prove a project was fiscally neutral in all stages of development.
"Sarasota should focus the majority of its attention on setting accurate impact fees, then eliminate the fiscal neutrality provision," the report states.
“Staff recommends changes to the implementation of the overarching concept of fiscal neutrality for Sarasota 2050 developments and not the concept itself,” states a preliminary staff report. Those changes give more flexibility to staff and the administration in determining how, and how often, an analysis would be required to prove fiscal neutrality, and County Commission oversight of how to adjust such an agreement after seeing the results of the development.
Commissioners will consider the policy changes as a discussion item, not a public hearing.
Click here to view the preliminary staff report of the latest changes proposed to Sarasota 2050.
During the meeting, commissioners will also consider:
+ The development of regional impact and zoning ordinance for the Villages of Lakewood Ranch South, a 2050 development
+ A public hearing affecting tourist tax disbursement for the town of Longboat Key
IF YOU GO
What: Sarasota County Commission meeting
When: 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 21
Where: Commission Chambers, Administration Building, 1660 Ringling Blvd.