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Longboat residents may vote on new development

Brista Homes of Sarasota is buying 1.8 acres at 5630 Gulf of Mexico Drive from Mote Scientific Foundation Inc. for $1.35 million.

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  • | 9:24 a.m. October 5, 2016
  • Longboat Key
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The Longboat Key Town Commission unanimously agreed Tuesday, to allow island voters to decide whether a 10-home residential project should be allowed on the island.

In a meeting lasting roughly one hour, commissioners breezed through an abbreviated agenda with no dissent on any of the four items discussed.

President Bruce Franklin of Land Resource Strategies of Sarasota made the referendum request on behalf of Brista Homes Inc.

If approved on second reading at the Nov. 7 commission meeting, a referendum would be set to determine whether to allow developers to build a maximum of six new homes per acre in the north end of the island on a vacant parcel bracketed by Jungle Queen Way to the north and Tarawitt Drive to the south. It has water access to the Gulf of Mexico.

Brista Homes is buying 1.8 acres at 5630 Gulf of Mexico Drive from Mote Scientific Foundation Inc. for $1.35 million. The parcel is now zoned limited commercial on the future land-use map of the comprehensive plan.

If the referendum passes, developers would request an application to amend the comprehensive land-use classification to high-density mixed residential and issue a rezoning petition to high density mixed residential district with a site plan including a maximum of 10 residential units.

“Clearly, this proposed use would be compatible with the residential neighborhood to the north and east and would yield substantially less traffic than commercial uses permitted in the existing C-1 zoning district,” Franklin wrote in requesting the referendum.

Brista Homes made its initial proposal the same day the North End Hotel and Beach Club density increase request was rejected 2,428 to 676 by Longboat Key voters. Many voters cited traffic concerns as the reason they rejected the hotel proposal.

In other action, the commission:

• Voted unanimously to forward new town mobility plan covering vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle use to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The update allows better opportunity for funding applications, according to Alaina Ray of the Longboat Key Planning, Zoning and Building Department.

• Heard Town Manager David Bullock report two of the first five phases of surveys required to more accurately determine the cost of placing utilities underground are underway on Longboat Key. Surveys are expected to be completed in April.



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The Mote vote: Yes