New regulations that would allow for higher-density developments in the Rosemary District are still several months from implementation, but adjacent property owners are already seeking an expansion.
The Rosemary Residential Overlay District, or R-ROD, would allow for the development of projects with a density of 75 units per acre, an increase from the current limit of 25 units per acre. Within the 71-acre district, the overall average density would be capped at 25 units per acre.
The R-ROD proposal came from Rosalyne Holdings LLC, a firm that plans to develop about 450 apartments on 6.2 acres along Cocoanut Avenue. On Monday, the City Commission unanimously approved a resolution that will expedite the state review process for the R-ROD, which is expected to be in place by September or October if it clears all hurdles.
Joel Freedman, a planning consultant representing Rosalyne Holdings, said the overlay district was a long-awaited tool for activating the neighborhood.
“It will act as a true catalyst for the Rosemary District, which we all know we need,” Freedman said.
Although the commission approved the proposal, property owners outside of the R-ROD’s boundaries have voiced displeasure — because they’re not part of it.
Attorney Brenda Patten spoke at Monday’s meeting on behalf of Drazmar 599 Land LLC, which owns two parcels located at 599 Cocoanut Ave. The group is requesting the city expand the R-ROD westward to include land on the western side of Cocoanut.
David Smith, the city’s general manager of Neighborhood and Development Services, said the city has received similar requests from two other property owners. As a result, he’s asked the City Commission to discuss an expansion next month.
Smith said that the expansion wasn’t incorporated into the original R-ROD because the city wanted the overlay in place as quickly as possible. If the boundaries of the R-ROD changed, the approval process would have needed to begin again.
Because they’re not a part of the original proposal, the properties seeking inclusion in the district may not be incorporated until summer 2015, Smith said.
The commission also approved a purchase-and-sale agreement for Rosemary Square, a mixed-use catalyst project that would be built on city land in the 1400 block of Boulevard of the Arts and Fifth Street.
The $20 million Rosemary Square proposal includes residential, retail and office space, including a boutique theater.
Per the agreement, the city would sell the land for $1.05 million. The contract mandates a redevelopment agreement between the city and Rosemary Square LLC within 120 days and for construction to start 30 days after closing.
Ryan Chapdelain, chief planner for the city, said the redevelopment agreement would get into details and milestones of the project. Those details include the type of permitted uses for the property, the phases of construction and other development constraints.
Digital Content Producer Alex Mahadevan contributed to this article.
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