N. Venice Development between Border and Laurel Roads: These are peoples’ dream retirement homes. Please do all you can to make that dream become the best it can be
Sent: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 6:48:02 AM
To: John Holic; City Council
Subject: N. Venice Development between Border and Laurel Roads
I attended the Planning Commission hearing yesterday on the latest PUD being considered for N. Venice between Laurel and Border Roads. I have attended many such meetings and for the first time heard the majority of Planning Commission members question many things that have become the norm in PUD living: narrow roads, smaller lot sizes, questionable building heights, sidewalks on only one side of the street, I75 road noise buffer and failure to provide wildlife corridors for wildlife. For the first time at a COV Planning Commission meeting I actually thought the Commission members had reformulated their opinions on PUDS on all of these issues instead of just accepting Jeff Boone’s spiel about how all of these items they incorporate into their designs are so wonderful for residents and the COV.
I live in a PUD and our PUD developer did a better job than most on trying to leave preserve areas for displaced wildlife. However, if you talked to PUD residents, you would find that not everything is “happyville” in COV PUDS. This new development proposes even smaller lot sizes than exist in my community. Having houses 10-12 feet apart leaves little room to provide adequate swales that move the water away from houses. Add pools to the equation and the swales become a nightmare for the residents. Part of the problem is that most of these house sites are built up out of flood zones and the fill dirt comes from excavating lakes and marshes and is dirt that does not and will never drain well.
Each of you has tremendous power to correct these problems. No project gets approved in the COV without your vote. I believe the desire to leave as much open space as possible in these PUDS is driving many of the issues that the Planning Commission brought up yesterday that are real thorns in the side of new COV residents. When you allow narrow roads and sidewalks on only one side of the street, you force residents to walk in the street when the irrigation system is on. If cars are parked on that street, people are walking out in the traffic to encounter drivers that are increasingly distracted while driving. With flat curbs and narrow streets, drivers increasingly end up parking on the grass leaving ruts and dead grass throughout the community. Allowing one and two story houses adjacent to each other on small lots further reduces privacy and leads to neighbor conflicts on a multitude of issues. Not requiring builders to include aquatic vegetation in their retention ponds ensures the ponds will never look natural and can potentially lead to shore bank erosion, reduced water quality and less waterfowl which has no shelter around the lakes both to rest and to hunt.
So please solicit input from residents who are thrilled to move to the COV but then find PUD living is not at all like the sales pitch said it would be. Don’t miss a golden opportunity to make this new development request the template for the future and not a repeat of the same approved shortfalls that currently exist in many PUDS. These are peoples’ dream retirement homes. Please do all you can to make that dream become the best it can be.
Follow the link below to view the article.
Planning Commission critiques proposed N. Venice project