Block 55
June 16, 2009, 9:28 PM
Filed under: Development, Young Circle

June 16, 2009

Forget Zoning and Design Standards

Question: Why is Block 55 on the City Commission agenda now, just a month or so before Zyscovich Architects, the consultants hired by the city last June, can complete the Master Plan and Zoning Code for Young Circle and parts of downtown?

Have we forgotten the words of Commissioner Blattner last summer when our elected officials voted unanimously to spend $200,000 for the plan and code? “If we don’t establish our vision based what Zyscovich presents to us in the next six months to a year, whatever it takes, all we’re going to get [are] projects that don’t meet our vision.”

Now – after numerous meetings with the public and stakeholders – March 10 is the anticipated date on which Zyscovich’s recommended zoning changes and design standards will be issued. “We are that close!” said Terry Cantrell, President of the Hollywood Lakes civic association, one of the stakeholder groups that is actively pushing to have the hearing on Block 55 postponed. Only after the zoning changes and design standards are available, will our elected officials have the tools they need to assure that new Young Circle development truly meets the city’s vision for the ArtsPark and downtown.

Commissioner Asseff has repeatedly expressed her concern that city commission action not interfere with developer entitlements. In this case, postponement would have no bearing on entitlements, because the developer’s proposal for this project does not comply with the city’s development agreement. Hence a new agreement will be required if the project is approved and any entitlements will negotiated at that time. Therefore entitlement interference is not a viable argument against postponement.

Bottom Line: the public hearing on Block 55 should be postponed until after the Zyscovich zoning and design standards are released next month.

Note: The Commission acted on Block 55 without waiting for the new zoning and design standards.

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