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Date of Issue: July 24, 2010

DCA upholds Anna Maria density rules

The Florida Department of Community Affairs issued a ruling July 20 that determined Anna Maria’s method of computing density “is consistent with its comprehensive plan.”

City residents Robert and Nicky Hunt, through attorney Jeremy Anderson of Lobeck and Hanson P.A. of Sarasota, filed a complaint to the DCA Feb. 11, alleging that the city’s use of the gross-density method to determine density in the retail-office-residential district  “conflicts” with its comprehensive plan policy.

The Hunts claimed the city’s gross-density method resulted in a density of 8.7 in the ROR, well above the comp plan’s maximum stated density of 6 units per acre.

In its seven-page decision, the DCA noted that the majority of the 5,000-square-foot lots in the ROR were platted and accepted for use by the city before World War II. The city amended a land-development code to grandfather the under-size lots for use, but requires other lots to be a minimum of 7,500 square feet.

Therefore, the DCA ruling states, the Hunts method of calculating density is “irrelevant in that the density limit does not apply” because the lots, although nonconforming, have been accepted by the city for use and the size of the lot does not matter.

“The petitioners have not submitted any information that shows that any of the 5,000-square-foot lots in the ROR were recently platted,” the DCA ruling stated.