News - Developer's plan pinned to anticipated 2050 changes
Published: December 17, 2013
Toronto-based developer Lindvest is looking to build a 900-home village on 450 acres north of Fruitville Road and west of Dog Kennel Road one of many village proposals popping up in Sarasota County.
The community would neighbor the Villages of Lakewood Ranch South planned by Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc.
Lindvest is just beginning the request process to rezone the rural land, called the Lindvest-Fruitville property. The company is meeting with neighbors this evening to explain their plan and solicit feedback, and presenting a pre-application to the county's Development Review Committee on Thursday.
Lindvest is hoping to take advantage of changes in the works on Sarasota 2050, the plan created to shape development and preserve open space in rural Sarasota County, said Bill Waddill from Kimley-Horn and Associates, who is working with Lindvest.
Last month, the county approved the first group of modifications to the 2050 plan, in hopes of making it more workable for developers. One of the biggest changes was the location of commercial centers they can now be placed along major roads on the edge of the village, instead of requiring they be near the geographic center of a village.
Lindvest's plan places the village center near Fruitville Road, south of its two neighborhoods.
The company is requesting more leeway. Its plan would not to meet the 2050 requirement of 50 percent open space. Instead, Lindvest is asking to preserve 33 percent of the land as open space and then meet certain conditions like creating a net ecological benefit similar to having 50 percent open space.
"The timing is right"
The company is also asking to increase the density of the property to two units per acre without transferring development rights. The transfer process preserves open space when housing units are built.
These are not unfamiliar requests for the county. In November, the developer looking to build south of Clark Road requested similar modifications and the county signed off. The developer's request was sent on for state and regional review.
The Lindvest project is not new the county received an application for the village in 2010, Long Range Planning Division Manager Allen Parsons said.
"It wound up just sort of stalling at the point which it was getting to its public hearings," Parsons said, but he said they are lining up the paperwork to get moving again.
The company's new pre-application documents say there will be multiple stages of development with construction starting next year and build-out by 2024.
"The timing is right. Our client is excited about advancing things," Waddill said.
The village would be similar to Neal Communities' Grand Palm development the first village built under the 2050 requirements, Waddill said. It would provide workforce housing for employees of a nearby major employment center that Sarasota County is working on, he said.
That center, called the Fruitville Initiative, is located near the intersection of Interstate 75 and Fruitville Road. The county intends to draw a variety of employers to the area and guide future development so there are public spaces, the streets are well laid-out and the environment is preserved. Benderson Development is currently drafting a proposal for a business park in the center that would include assembly warehousing, light manufacturing, research and development.