Benderson Development has filed their new mixed use Critical Area Plan (CAP) for Siesta Promenade, located at the intersection of US-41 S and Stickney Point Road (roadways with D & F Level of Service ratings). They are proposing to build 414 residential units, a 130 room hotel, 7000 sq ft of office and 133,000 sq ft of retail. The entire project encompasses 23.8 acres and is comprised of:
13 buildings (see site plan in image gallery)
It is filed under a CAP (Critical Area Plan) in order for them to receive increased density and greater height than what would be allowed within a Commercial General zone, should they receive the requested zone change to Commercial General (CG) from the current predominant zoning of Residential Mobile Home.
There have been several neighborhood workshops over the years, and the concern remains that the requested density and intensity of use far exceeds what would be allowed in a CG zone. They propose 20.1 units per acre (479 residential units including a 130 room hotel) versus 13 units per acre (309 residential units (including a hotel) allowed in CG).
Todd Mathes, Benderson’s Project Manager, was adamant about not decreasing his unit count. His reasoning was, “…you and I are disagreeing over maybe 100 or 200 dwelling units in a situation where more than 5000 new homes were built in Sarasota and Manatee Counties in 2016 and literally tens of thousands of new dwelling units have been entitled over the past few years.” However, this general statement does not address the specific requirement for compatibility with the surrounding area, as is required by the CAP process.
The traffic study required by the CAP process was not performed during beach-going hours. It took place at 4pm-6pm on weekdays and 10am-2pm on a Saturday. The traffic from the project will be dumped onto existing narrow residential streets (see image gallery). The affordable housing component, should the CAP be approved at the requested density, will only provide 25 units for a duration of only 5 years.
They are proposing to add a traffic light at Avenue B/C and Stickney Point Road, and it is an open-ended question as to whether the median cut at Avenue A (the access to retail shops and restaurants, plus residential homes) will be closed.
The need for 133,000 of retail space is questionable, due to current retail trends. In addition, retail uses produces almost 70% of the additional daily trips (12,012) that would be drawn to the site.
This project affects not only the residents and businesses in the immediate area, but all residents and visitors who wish to access Siesta Key residences, business establishments, and beaches.