In a unanimous vote Monday, city commissioners approved a strategic plan for a new zoning and development code.
A comprehensive reworking of the city’s development code will be a two-and-a-half year undertaking while two full-time planning consultants work with residents and local architects to draw up a new form-based code that guides all future development in the city.
It will cost more than $700,000 for the planning process. The city will now hire full-time consultants Karin Murphy, a former redevelopment specialist with the city of Sarasota, and Andrew Georgiadis, a town planner and guest design critic at the University of Miami School of Architecture.
Plans call for an Urban Design Studio at City Hall where the consultants will get input from residents about the new development code.
In other business, commissioners:
• Voted unanimously against an ordinance that would have amended the zoning code to allow cluster housing developments as a permitted use in certain residential zones. City planning staff had recommended commissioners not approve the change.
• Appointed Robert Lindsay to the Planning Board. Commissioner Susan Chapman, elected to the City Commission in May, vacated that seat last month. Board members serve three-year terms, and cannot serve more than two consecutive terms.
• Discussed a $225,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the possibility of using the grant to build a homeless facility in collaboration with Sarasota County.
• Approved an agreement between the city of Sarasota and School Board of Sarasota County to assign three regularly employed police officers to be responsible for three schools: one officer assigned to Booker High School, one officer assigned to Sarasota High School, and one officer assigned to Brookside Middle School.