In a 3-2 vote Monday, City Commissioners approved a North Trail Overlay District (NTOD).
The approved proposal diluted an original NTOD initiative recommended by city planners.
Voicing concern about “intrusive” developments being built under new guidelines, City Commissioner Terry Turner proposed an amendment that altered the way developments are approved under the proposal. Under Turner’s amendment, the planning board retains final approval on projects — as opposed to a change that would have given city staff the authority to have final say on developments on the North Trail. Commissioners approved the amendment 3-2.
“It is potentially intrusive into the neighborhoods,” Turner said about the original proposal. “This does not solve the problem.”
City planners, property and business owners, and nearby residents spent the past three years working on the North Trail Overlay District (NTOD) during a series of meetings.
The opt-in overlay district is intended to attract long-planned redevelopment while trying to address concerns of the surrounding neighborhoods.
The approved version of the plan includes the following major changes:
• A one-story increase in building height would be allowed in most areas.
• Buildings must be set closer to the street with parking in back or on the side.
• Provide regulations for setbacks and daylight plane.
Mayor Suzanne Atwell and Commissioners Paul Caragiulo and Shannon Snyder voted to approve the NTOD.
In other business, commissioners:
• Approved a status report on a Main Street improvement project, and First Street Improvements.
• Approved a request to install blue LED lights on the John Ringling Causeway.
“I am very excited about it,” said Mayor Suzanne Atwell. “It is going to be gorgeous. I can’t wait to see it at night.”
Representatives at Evolucia, a local LED lighting manufacturer, said the company is willing to donate the lighting.