Thursday, February 21, 2013

Summary of TerraCap Workshop of 2.20.13

The TerraCap Rezoning Neighborhood Workshop of 2.20.13 was attended by roughly 65 residents of the East Bee Ridge Communities.

The point of most pressing interest to many at the meeting -- the size of Racetrac, and the potential nuisance and safety factors of its 24-hour operation -- was not addressed, because Racetrac Petroleum Inc. recently chose to remove itself from the rezoning petition.

TerraCap’s first act, upon purchasing 40 acres of the BRPOC for $3.2 million in 2011, was to sell two acres at the intersection of North Mauna Loa Blvd. and Bee Ridge Rd. to Racetrac for $1.35 million.
The rezoning petition is limited to 7.7 acres which TerraCap, the Canada-based developer, is asking to change from PCD to CN. See more about those two kinds of zoning here.

The Workshop disclosed little in the way of new information. Peter Dailey of Dailey Design, who represented TerraCap and is the consultant working for them on permitting issues, said the rezoning to CN would replace an earlier plan for an 80,000-square-foot medical office building with two smaller buildings, each 18,000 square feet, but each containing two, or possibly three floors. The two buildings with two floors add up to 72,000 square feet.

The ground floor would be commercial -- retail, possibly a tire store, he said. The second floor of the two buildings would be offices. A third floor -- still under consideration, but not yet part of the plan -- would be residences. Two other parcels would be restaurants, totaling 12,000 square feet together, for a grand total of 90,000 square feet on the 7.7 acres of the rezoned parcel.

The parcel on the western side of North Mauna Loa Blvd. is also not part of the CN. The PCD allows for a drugstore or a dry cleaners, Dailey said. If a drugstore, the owner will want two drive-thru lanes, and CN only allows one. Other parcels outside of the CN zone are available for a bank or hotel.



The developer is also seeking access from Bee Ridge Rd. at a point 440 feet east of the traffic light at Mauna Loa Blvd.

The major reason for seeking the rezoning was to enable TerraCap to have more flexibility in terms of the commercial clients it could attract, Dailey said. CN zoning does not bind a developer to put in what he says he wants to put in. A tire store could become a bar; a hair salon could turn out to be a Jiffy Lube.

Asked about traffic studies to show the impacts of the added density to Bee Ridge Rd. and to the entrance to Lake Sarasota at Mauna Loa, Dailey said the project was already approved for 655 trips per day - that is, 655 instances of a car going into or out of the cul-de-sac of the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce between 4:30 and 6 pm on any given day of the year. Only if the project triggers a higher level of trips would a new traffic study be required, he said.

Dailey seemed unable to answer questions relating to a variety of residents' concerns, even apart from the Racetrac issue.

For example, asked why no architectural renderings that might offer a sense of what the completed project would look like were being presented, Dailey said this work has not yet been done.

Asked about the developer's timetable to complete the build-out of the project, Dailey said he knew of no timetable. Nor did he know whether TerraCap would build the projected space all at once, in a unified design, or piecemeal.

Asked about a landscaping plan, Dailey said there as of yet is not one, but that CN does require more buffering than PCD zoning.

Asked about why the very property involved in the rezoning is currently for sale on the Internet, Dailey said even if TerraCap were no longer the owner, the plan that the County approved would remain in place.

Asked how the entire TerraCap project might benefit the neighborhood, Dailey said spoke of "a need to supply services especially east of the Interstate." Even though gas stations, drugstores, restaurants, etc. are readily available west of I-75, putting in more gas stations, drugstores, restaurants, etc. east of the highway would relieve the Cattlemen Rd. intersection and the traffic build-up under the interstate.

“People will love this once it’s in,” Dailey said.

Asked if TerraCap might agree to stipulate to exclude certain kinds of businesses from coming in, Dailey said that was a question he could take to the TerraCap Board of Directors.

Most curiously, when asked by one resident about his client, TerraCap, Dailey replied, "I don't know who they are," adding a moment later, "they pay my check."

Digital video of the Workshop was made and can be made available to interested residents. A few images from the Workshop are here.

Meanwhile, those frustrated that the Racetrac issues were not addressed are hoping to arrange a sit-down meeting with Racetrac representatives in the near future. Stay tuned.

Those wishing to comment on the meeting can reach the developer and the County Planning Dept. at these addresses:

Dailey Design Group - 941-302-1500

TerraCap BP            

Sarasota Planning

Copy us here please:

Lake Sarasota            


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