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UNITS / FROM PAGE 1A units left in both Islandside and Harbourside. In her memo, Fernandez wrote that based on years’ worth of past documents and research, she believes Harbourside currently has 892 units assigned to it under the ODP process, but could contain a maximum of 1,588 units without exceeding the density limits of the Comprehensive Plan and without getting approval from the town’s voters via a referendum. The estimate comes from a formula that multiplies a 5.05-units-per-acre ratio by 314.59 acres in Harbourside. Islandside, Fernandez states, has 1,267 units assigned to it under the ODP process, but could contain a maximum of 2,350 units without exceeding the density limits of the Comprehensive Plan and without getting a referendum (see box, page 1A). That calculation is achieved through a 3.26-units-per-acre ratio multiplied by the 720.90 acres in Islandside. The property owner, though, can ask for additional density beyond what’s assigned to Islandside and Harbourside, but additional units are not guaranteed. Ocean Properties Vice President Mark Walsh made it clear in recent Planning and Zoning Board and ODP public workshop hearings that a future project will be compatible with the neighborhood. Walsh said he needs clarification about what he can build before submitting a project. “We would like to add something to the club that the town and neighbors can support,” Walsh said April 15 at a planning hearing. “We can’t build something unless we have clear direction and know what the town and neighbors expect.” At the planning board meeting, Ocean Properties consultants presented proposed ODP language that states: “In order to encourage clustering on larger tracts of land where design flexibility can be more readily achieved, an ODP application shall be entitled, to an
THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 2014
assignment of units for a proposed development parcel, subject to the ODP application not proposing to utilize more than 50% of the available units not previously designed and that the proposed parcel for development complies with all other requirements of the code.” Ocean Properties officials have also made it clear they don’t plan to maximize every unit available in Islandside for a future project and they don’t intend to ask for more units than are allowed. Sarasota attorney John Patterson, who is representing Ocean Properties, also told the planning board April 15 that Ocean Properties has no plans to build units on the Islandside golf course. Islandside residents and town officials have worried about the possibility of applicants wanting to build on that open space. If the planning board and commission agree to ODP and comp plan language in the coming months that doesn’t allow an applicant to exceed the overall density without a request, Fernandez said “the town garners more control over whether and where to approve additional units.” Units currently viewed as unassigned, Fernandez said, can’t be viewed as being taken away from any property owner. Fernandez said former town attorney Dave Persson stated in a 2002 letter to the Town Commission there is no “floating density” among the units, meaning they can’t be transferred from Islandside to Harbourside or vice versa. While the planning board reached a majority consensus April 15, stating it believes unused residential and tourism units in planned development such as Islandside stay with the land and not former owners of the land, Fernandez explained in her memo that the possibility exists that ownership issues might still arise. “Some property owners may contest the assignment of units to other property owners, believing those rights may belong partially to them,” Fernandez wrote.
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Published on Apr 23, 2014