BRADENTON BEACH – The city is considering rezoning several residential properties between Second Street North and Cortez Road from multi-family residential to mixed use.
Building Official Steve Gilbert said the proposed rezoning would impact about two-thirds of the properties from Highland Avenue west to Gulf Drive, and from Second Street North to Cortez Road.
The Planning and Zoning Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed rezoning of those properties on June 15 at city hall at 1 p.m. The meeting is open to the public, with public input accepted.
The hearing will be followed by a public hearing before the city commission on Thursday, July 21. The proposed rezoning to be discussed at these hearings would require city commission approval.
Public notices were mailed to all property owners whose properties could potentially be rezoned. Notices were also sent to all property owners located within 300 feet of the properties proposed for rezoning. The notice references lot numbers but not specific addresses and includes a map that indicates where the potentially-impacted properties are located.
“If your lot is inside the dotted line, those are the properties affected. It’s not changing anything other than those 20 to 30 lots listed on the notice,” Gilbert told The Sun.
Gilbert said the properties currently have multi-family residential (R-3) zoning designations that allow up to 18 residential units per acre.
“This is first step in getting our Zoning Map to be consistent with the Future Land Use Map that was adopted in 2008 when the comprehensive plan was revised. It’s taken this long to get to the point where we’re starting down the road of making our zoning map consistent with the Future Land Use Map,” Gilbert said.
“Back in 2008, when the city adopted the 2020 comprehensive plan, the Future Land Use Map set all of those lots aside to be retail/office/residential. You could have a little store, a pizzeria or a lawyer’s office on the ground level with residential above. Back when they were talking about this stuff, they wanted to make the downtown area a walkable community. How do we do that? We put mom and pop shops on the ground and somebody can live upstairs or rent a place upstairs. You don’t need to bring your car to go to Bridge Street. You can go downstairs and get a bite to eat and go back upstairs if you want. Currently those properties are all multi-family residential, and commercial and retail uses are not allowed,” Gilbert said.
The proposed rezoning from R-3 to Mixed Use would give property owners choices.
“It allows for the stand-alone residential use to continue in this district, even a new residential structure built according to FEMA’s flood plain and elevation requirements. Nobody’s losing the right to continue that use, but if you had a ground-level structure you’d have to rebuild with an elevated structure. There’s no way around that with FEMA,” Gilbert said.
“The developer could do a single-family dwelling or do what the Mixed Use zone district contemplates: A small commercial space on the ground, parking in the front, side or back and two stories of residential units upstairs. The alternate scenario is a developer buys four lots with old houses on them, tears all four houses down and can now do a storefront with multi-family residential units upstairs,” Gilbert said.
“There’s no impact to existing uses and existing owners. They can continue to use their property as is. Within the limits of the land development code, they can still renovate, repair or remodel their homes. There’s nothing prohibiting them from the continued use of the property as it currently sits and nothing takes this away as long as they own the property. And it should not affect resale values because the Mixed Use zoning gives the buyer more flexibility in whatever fashion best suits their investment needs or the return on their investment,” Gilbert said.
“If anybody has questions about how their property might be impacted, I encourage you to call the building department at 941-778-1005, ext. 210, and ask for Steve or Luis; or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to help you out,” Gilbert said.