Mobility Plan Proposed Revisions
Public Hearing - Weds. Sept. 17 at 6 pm.
Last year, the City of Sarasota commissioned the Urban Design Studio to make recommendations for enacting a form-based code. If adopted, the form-based code would supplant the RSM-9 zoning currently in place for Laurel Park.
The form-based code initiative will be a multi-year process, but the first portion addresses "mobility", which means traffic load and patterns engendered by new development.
There will be a public hearing at City Hall in the Commission Chambers on Wednesday, September 17 at 6:00 p.m. where the proposed amendments to the City Plan regarding transportation, future land use, and capital improvements will be discussed.
These documents were only shared publicly on Friday, and the LPNA Board has not yet had time to study them in depth (nor has anyone else), but as summarized in the accompanying staff memo, it is our understanding the current requirements that 1) most new development receive a traffic study, and that 2) traffic impacts be mitagated as a requirement of development approval would be supplanted. Instead, under the proposed plan, in many, if not all cases, the traffic study would be waived and significant traffic impacts could be mitaged by paying an impact fee to the city (which may, or may not, result in road improvements down the road).
The plan makes no provision for the potential traffic impact of large projects built right next to a neighborhood. It divides the City into three Mobility Districts: each one has a "trigger point", and projects below that trigger point will not have to do a full traffic study. For example, in the downtown area, the trigger is 250 vehicle trips during the peak hour. Projects expected to generate less than that would be exempt from a full traffic study even if they are across the street from a neighborhood. The limit for the other two districts are 100 and 50. (If a rezoning is involved, the trigger point is lower.)
Given the haste of this process (documents publicly posted for the first time only 3 business days before the hearing) and the potential impact on Laurel Park and other residential neighborhoods, we encourage all Laurel Park residents who are able to attend Wednesday's public hearing to do so.
Laurel Park Overlay Public Workshop
635 South Orange and 1619 Alderman
There are two vacant parcels located at 635 Orange Avenue and at 1619 Alderman Street
Three new buildings are being proposed for those lots.
- The Orange location involves a 4-5 story mixed use building with retail / office space on the ground floor and 15 apartments above.
- The Rawls lot will have two clusters of Town Homes - one with 3 units and another with 6.
We have received a notice regarding an initial public meeting on a request for an adjustment to the zoning code to allow for an entrance on Orange Avenue in lieu of an entrance / exit on Rawls. An entrance / exit is also proposed for Alderman.
The first of two mandated public workshops on this development will be held on Monday, September 29, at 5:30 p.m. in Conference Room 112 at City Hall. Laurel Park Residents are encouraged to attend.