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LDC ponders redevelopment schedule, discusses density

By Staff | May 12, 2010

During a swift-moving Land Development Code subcommittee session on Tuesday morning, the panel talked about a proposed 14-month schedule of topics to be discusses regarding redevelopment within the resort housing district before completing work on the issue of density.

At the opening of the meeting, subcommittee chairman Michael Valiquette circulated to his fellow panel members a proposed lineup of upcoming LDC and Planning Commission meetings. At each session, Valiquette suggested that their discussions be focused on a single subject, and limit panel and public comments to  only the matter at hand.

Under the proposed schedule of meetings, which was approved by the City Council at their May 4 gathering, the commission and subcommittee would discuss:

• Density (May 11 and 25)

• Impervious Coverage, Developed Area and Vegetation Removal (June 8 and 22)

• Height Limits (July 13 and 27)

• Setbacks (Aug. 10 and 24)

• Green Technologies (Sept. 14 and 28)

• Occupancy Rates (Oct. 12 and 26)

• Recreational Open Space (Nov. 9 and 23)

• Resort Housing Accessory Uses (Dec. 14 and 28)

• Vested Rights (Jan. 11 and 25)

• Summary for City Staff (Feb. 8 and 22)

• Staff report to Subcommittee (March 8 and 22)

• Final Subcommittee review (April 12 and 26)

• Planning Commission review (May 10 and 24)

• FINAL report to City Council (June 7, 2011)

Valiquette said that although he hoped the schedule of discussions would move along quicker than what he had proposed, the timeline he submitted represented a "worse case scenario."

"If we don’t need more than one meeting for density, then we can move on to the next issue at the next meeting," he said.

Subcommittee member Chris Heidrick told his fellow panelists that he did not agree that public comment be limited to only the subject presented being discussed. Tom Krekel agreed, saying that residents and business owners might not be available to attend every meeting. He suggested allowing public comment on all matters related to redevelopment.

Jimmy Jordan, director of the city’s Planning Department, said that they should offer some "flexibility" during public comment periods, and that they could "see how that works out."

Another subcommittee member, Holly Smith, offered that comment could be limited to the topic currently under discussion as well as the next scheduled issue. Valiquette recalled instances of Planning Commission meetings during the LDC Section 86-43 talks, with 80 or more people in attendance, and the public comment portion getting "out of hand."

"It’s crazy for us to set off on a subject that has a 13-month timeline," said Check Ketteman, who suggested that the panel — if they remained focused — could complete work on resort housing redevelopment within six or seven months. "I think that we can adjust this schedule so that we can complete this before the end of the year."

After a brief discussion, the subcommittee agreed that barring any major setbacks, they could probably trim the proposed scheduled by one-third.

"We’ll see how it goes," added Valiquette. "And like I said, this isn’t written in stone."

"Public comment is our top resource for gaining information," noted Paul Reynolds, who was also in favor of open commentary from the audience.

During his report, Jordan presented a preliminary draft of a new section of the city’s Land Development Code which relates to development intensity. The proposed change addresses the average occupancy rate and density requirements.

"If existing hotels, motels or resort condominiums maintain short-term occupancy when they redevelop, they can maintain up to their existing number of units," the draft reads, in part. "If existing hotels, motels or resort condominiums  change the use to limit short-term occupancy when the redevelop, then they must conform to the limits established by the Development Intensity Map."

Following several comments from the public, all of the subcommittee members appeared to agree with the Planning Department’s proposed draft and requested Jordan return at their next meeting for final approval.

"I don’t see a need to readdress density," said Valiquette, who stated that discussions of impervious coverage, developed area and vegetation removal will take place at the Planning Commission meeting on May 25, moved up from June 8.