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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Daylight plane law suggested for Bradenton Beach

Bradenton Beach officials appear willing to tip-toe into an area where many politicians fear to tread: The realm of legislating aesthetics.

City commissioners agreed last week to have all advisory board members review a proposal to develop a "daylight plane" ordinance for the city as a measure to decrease the bulk and mass of new construction in all zoning categories.

Daylight plane ordinances generally call for a stepped-back setback provision on upper stories of buildings to increase the amount of air, light and space. The concept is similar to a wedding cake's design.

"It compels builders to preserve our sense of place, our cottage feel," said City Attorney Ralf Brookes. "It's found in special areas, and looks at a building three dimensionally."

The daylight plane concept is one facet of the so-called "new urbanism" touted by some planners as the wave of the future for cities and counties. Similar ordinances have been adopted by Longboat Key, Sarasota city and Sarasota County, mostly based on a concept developed on Sanibel Island more than 20 years ago.

City commissioners agreed to have members of the planning and zoning board the board of adjustment and the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Review and Updating of the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code look into the daylight plane concept Jan 13. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.