SARASOTA — Plans for a 533-acre proposed development by Neal Communities east of Interstate 75 have been tweaked to include an affordable housing element and are scheduled for a neighborhood workshop review Tuesday evening.
Now dubbed Grand Lakes, the plan calls for as many as 1,097 homes on land that is now a sod farm just south of Serenoa Golf Club, between Telegraph Road and Ibis Street.
The proposed development would adhere to standards in Sarasota County’s long-range 2050 land-use plan for a “village,” which calls for preservation of 50 percent of the property, a set aside of at least 15 percent of the housing stock as attainable housing and the purchase of transferable development rights from preserved greenways in Sarasota County for the increased density.
That’s a change from Neal’s 2016 development plan, which called for a new designation of “village enclave,” which would have eliminated both the requirements for affordable housing and transferable development rights.
The Sarasota County Commission denied that proposal in November 2016, primarily because of those shortcomings — even after plans were modified to market 10 percent of the homes as affordable for people making the average median income in Sarasota County.
The neighborhood workshop is set for 6 p.m. at St. Margaret of Scotland Episcopal Church, 8700 State Road 72, Sarasota.
Developer Pat Neal said Grand Lakes will be patterned after Grand Palm, a Neal Communities development south of Center Road and west of River Road in unincorporated south Sarasota County.
“It has been so well accepted and successful we want to build a similar property at Grand Lakes,” Neal said.
The development, which would be accessible from Ibis Street, is split into two neighborhoods.
According to the 2050 plan, the development must have a minimum of five housing types, with 15 percent of the homes affordable — or attainable, which has become the latest buzzword. Of that amount, 5 percent must be priced for people earning the average median income of roughly $61,900 and 10 percent must be priced for people earning 80 percent of the average median income, or about $49,000.
Neal said he’s still exploring his options on the types of homes that will be offered at those price points — they may be single-family or paired homes — but he plans to spread them throughout the development.
“We want the whole community to be totally integrated,” he added.
Among other things, Neal, under the corporate name Ibis Road Investors, is seeking rezoning of the property as a Village Area Master Planned Development with a binding Master Land Use Plan.
Ibis Road Investors is also seeking a comprehensive plan amendment for Sarasota County to add Ibis Street, as it extends south from Clark Road to the county’s designated “North-South Roadway A” to the its future thoroughfare plan.
The neighborhood workshop for Grand Lakes is one of the last stages prior to the plans being submitted to the Sarasota County Planning Commission for review and ultimately the Sarasota County Commission for approval.
If approved, the goal is to start construction later this year or in 2019, with an ultimate build-out in 2027.