Sarasota-Bradenton Airport opposes proposed apartments at old dog track

A developer’s plan to build an apartment complex on the site of the former Sarasota Kennel Club has met with opposition from the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority due to concerns that residents would object to airport noise.

Aventon Companies, a real estate development company, would like to build luxury apartments on a 24.5-acre property in Bradenton Road, just south of University Parkway. The development would house 350 to 380 apartments, according to city documents.

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The site is currently zoned for heavy commercial use. Aventon proposed that the city change the zoning of the area into Multiple Residential Zoning District 4 to allow apartments, according to city documents.

This site is just south of the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. Airport President and CEO Rick Piccolo sent a letter to the city’s chief planning officer on July 14, saying the zoning changes proposed by Aventon are “not compatible with the operations of the airport ”.

Piccolo said the proposed development would be near the end of the airport’s main runway, which he said could lead to noise complaints from residents or the owner.

“Regardless of the levels of acoustic attenuation measures in the building taken, residents will experience significant noise levels inside their residence, as the aircraft will be at an average altitude of 150 to 300 feet upon arrival. and 500 to 800 feet at the start depending on the rate of climb, “he said.

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Renters or the landlord won’t just complain at the airport, they’ll also complain to the city of Sarasota and seek financial assistance, Piccolo predicts.

In his letter, he also said that a rendering of the apartment complex shows several ponds, the largest of which is close to the runway. He said such bodies of water could attract birds.

“If it attracts more birds, it means more risk of bird strikes while (the plane is) on initial climb or final approach,” he told the Herald-Tribune.

Piccolo said building a commercial facility on the land would be a “much more compatible land use” than housing.

Kristine Warner of public relations firm Maier & Warner, which represents Aventon, said Aventon has no comments on the project at this time.

At a July 1 workshop for the community, Aventon’s senior development director Sean Flanagan said a resort-style pool, outdoor seating and fire pits are just some of the resort’s amenities.

The property has been the home of the Sarasota Kennel Club for 90 years. Floridians voted to ban greyhound racing in the November 2018 election, so the club held their last dog race in 2019. One-Eyed Jack’s continued to operate a poker room at the club, but the business has since moved to Bee Ridge Road.

Jason Bartolone, communications specialist for the city of Sarasota, said Aventon has yet to formally apply for development. After the filing of the application, the case must be submitted to the Town Planning Council, then to the Municipal Commission.

“It is up to our committee to decide whether it is our role to regulate a market or simply to adhere to our standards of review,” said Deputy Mayor Erik Arroyo.

Arroyo said other cities, including Orlando, have residences a similar distance from the airport.

During the July 1 workshop, several residents expressed another concern: that the development could result in increased traffic on Bradenton Road.

“We already have a fair amount of traffic, and some of it is moving quite quickly,” Bayou Oaks Neighborhood Club president Richard Harris told the Herald-Tribune. “We know a good percentage of it is over the speed limit.”

Although most of the property is on city land, a small strip of land at the eastern edge of the property is in Sarasota County. Local consultant Joel Freedman, who represents Aventon, told the workshop that they would deal with a concurrent annexation of county property.

Contact Herald-Tribune reporter Anne Snabes at asnabes and follow her on Twitter at @a_snabes.

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