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Date of Issue: June 15, 2006

Planning commission considers comprehensive plan changes

The Holmes Beach Planning Commission met with Bill Brisson of Brisson Planning Solutions to review proposed amendments to the city’s comprehensive plan.

The discussion focused on five points of interest: a mixed-use provision, drainage, habitat protection, economic development/tourism and preservation of residential areas.

Brisson recommended the following policy to be added to the Future Land Use Element of the comp plan to promote redevelopment and enhance the opportunity for more vibrant community centers, and mixed-use projects involving residential and non-residential uses that will be allowed within the commercial land-use category.

The mixed-use developments would have residential on the second or third floors above ground-level commercial, public, semi-public or recreational uses.

Maximum residential density will not be allowed to exceed 10 dwelling units per acre.

The commission was in favor of the proposed language.

The commission also came to a consensus that in order to protect the Island’s resources and natural habitats, some attention should be paid to the planting and removal of trees. The removal of Australian pines has been a topic of debate for many Islanders and the commission is proposing to add an objective requiring the city to replace any tree it removes with a native tree suitable for that location.

Second, the commission recommendedd that newly planted trees be located to avoid power lines and require minimal trimming.

The commission discussed how to preserve the Island’s residential areas, and is in favor of limiting short-term rentals to a minimum of 30 days in the R-1 zoned area. They would also like to find ways to mitigate differences in building sizes through buffering, landscaping and architectural design to lessen the contrast of larger newly built homes that sometimes overshadow smaller existing homes.

The commission will continue discussion of these points at a future meeting.

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