Neighborhood Meeting to Address Front Entrance, Development, SCAT
The upcoming Lake Sarasota neighborhood meeting this Thursday, Dec. 13, is set to discuss these items:
- The style of entrance we'd like after Bee Ridge Road is widened.
- A possible expansion of SCAT routes through the neighorhood
- A recent proposal to make the real estate development directly opposite our entrance on Bee Ridge Road larger and more intense.
On this last item, I attended the development review meeting this past Thursday about enlarging the commercial development. Here's a very brief recap:
TERRACAP’s Proposed Rezoning
A private group of Canadian investors (Terracap, a Canadian group that bought the land from Horton in 2011) is now asking the county to expand their original agreement, which was made in 1997, and which allowed for four (4) acres of commercial space on the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce (zoned PCD), opposite the front entrance to Lake Sarasota at Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge.They wish to rezone it to Commercial Neighborhood (CN) and develop a full ten (10) acres.
They don't seem to have lined up commitments other than from RaceTrac, but are talking about a drug store, 100,000 square feet of retail/residential, the quite large RaceTrac gas station (more on that here), and two restaurants, and wish to alter access to enable cars to enter the restaurant area from Bee Ridge Road.
Here's an image of the site they propose to rezone to "Commercial Neighborhood":
|Terracap Site Mauna Loa & Bee Ridge|
Note that their plan does not include all the developable sites on the full Park of Commerce -- other adjacent parcels are already approved for a bank and for other uses, including a hotel.
County planners said the CN designation comes with a ceiling of 90,000 square feet. Terracap is seeking substantially more.
One consideration for Lake S residents is that all this traffic will have no Northern outlet - it will all have to flow in from Bee Ridge and back out onto Bee Ridge through North Mauna Loa, which will considerably impact traffic at that intersection. There could be pressure to extend North Mauna Loa to connect to Palmer Rd on the north end - which could also pose serious issues for our neighborhood - something to discuss.
The developer is required to hold a "Neighborhood Workshop" at which the developers will show their plans to the community. Some will recall we’ve been to previous meetings for other proposals for this property which never came to fruition. This workshop could come at any time, and word is they want to do it relatively soon.
The Terracap development and the traffic it generates are likely to impact the entrance intersection and quality of life for all 1,600 homes in Lake Sarasota, but only those homes within 750 feet of the site will be notified by mail. The County has promised to notify us by email as soon as they have word about the workshop, and I will let you know as soon as I know.
At the Lake Sarasota meeting, we'll need to look at the proposal and find some shared community sense of how we feel about it, and consider options. So if you can, please come to our Dec. 13th meeting. If you can't, please share your thoughts with the Board or reply to this email.
The Lake Sarasota Community Group Board:
Sandy Allen firstname.lastname@example.org
Ellie Himes email@example.com
Tisha Farrington firstname.lastname@example.org
Lewin Edwards email@example.com
Lake Sarasota Media firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lake Sarasota meeting is Thursday Dec. 13 at 7 pm at Sarasota Alliance Church - 7221 Bee Ridge Rd., in the office space behind the church, which is directly opposite Chaucer.
Note that Lake Sarasota Community Group (LSCG) is a volunteer organization - no dues, assessments, or deed restrictions. Some history here. Please share your thoughts. That's what the meeting is for.