Sunday, January 29, 2006

Planning Board Watch

The Planning Board voted 5-0 to recommend denial of an application by Morton's, requesting the future land use for residential property they own directly west of their parking lot be changed to commercial. Thirteen speakers, including the presidents of three neighborhood associations, spoke in opposition to the change. The Planning Staff recommended denial of the change.

The Planning Board voted to recommend denial of an application by the county to change the future land use of a parcel in Laurel Park from Community Commercial to Downtown Urban Mixed Use. The reasoning was that this would allow a zero setback for a 3 story building next to residential. The Planning Staff had recommended approval of this application.

Two other items on the agenda were postponed to February:

  1. Request to change the land use classification of the Ringling Plaza from Neighborhood Commercial and Single Family Moderate Density to Downtown Urban Mixed Use. The proposed change would allow 50 units per acre density (a proffered rezone petition would limit the density to 25 u/a or 243 units for the site) along with 154,000 sq ft of retail space. The Planning Staff has recommended approval of a portion of the site (the current strip mall portion) and denial for the current residential portion (a green buffer).
  2. Request to change the land of a 9 acre parcel on the east side of Payne Park from Multiple Family Medium Density (25 u/a) to Downtown urban Mixed Use (50 u/a). The Planning staff has recommended denial of this petition. A total of 460 units is proposed for this property (currently 140 are allowed).

Both of these changes are being considered for inclusion in the proposed change to the Downtown that would allow added density as a bonus if affordable housing was included. The density bonus would double the allowed units per acre.

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