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Longboat Key Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 3 years ago

Developer's zoning amendment request to be heard at Longboat Key Club

Staff chose the John Ringling Room for its size and feasibility for live streaming the meeting.
by: Bret Hauff Staff Writer

Unicorp National Developments Inc. is scheduled to testify why Longboat Key should change its zoning codes before the town commission at 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22, in the Resort at Longboat Key Club’s John Ringling Room.

Commissioners suggested town staff move part of their regular workshop meeting to a larger venue to accommodate what they anticipated would be a showing of townspeople larger than could be held in Town Hall.

This is the first time the commission is scheduled to hear the developer since March, 2017 when the town overwhelmingly rejected a referendum for a Unicorp plan to develop the site of the former Colony Beach and Tennis Resort.

The zoning code change is the developer’s first step in its latest proposal for redeveloping the site.

Unicorp is asking the town to change its zoning code to remove density restrictions for developers seeking units from the tourism pool. It also intends to use the planned unit development, or PUD, application process, which allow developers greater flexibility within town codes.

The site of the former Colony, for example, is zoned at six units per acre. If a developer applies for a PUD, that density is reduced to four-and-a-half units per acre.

Town staff have said this reduction in density works as a “trade-off” for flexibility in zoning code. In a report to the town commission, staff recommend denying the developer’s request to change the zoning code.

The Planning and Zoning Board recommended changing the zoning code by a vote of four to three.

Beginning at 9 a.m. in Town Hall, commissioners will address regular business, including an update on burying the town’s overhead wires, a presentation on smart street lighting and a briefing about stabilizing the north end of the island.

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