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Highlights of March 18, 2024 Sarasota City Commission Meeting

Highlights of March 18, 2024 Sarasota City Commission Meeting


The city recognized the Parks & Recreation landscape department for their outstanding work on the new splash pad. In a splash of a different sort, the Herald Tribune revealed ties between Commissioner Arroyo and the duo behind the proposed aerobar and golf-in-a-hole (what happens when it rains?) at Ken Thompson Park. It was Commissioner Arroyo who brought the proposal to the commission table, and he voted on it without disclosing his business relationship with the corporation or its owners.

Residents also spoke during public comment with concerns about developer encroachment on green and open space in Payne Park, Bobby Jones, and the bayfront.


What legacy will this city commission leave along the trail? The zoning text amendments designed to promote housing in commercial areas will set the roadmap for future development alongside 41, 301, and Fruitville At the first hearing on March 4, the planning department proposed a uniform 70-foot building height limit.

Advocating for the “right height in the right place” principles espoused by new urbanist Andrés Duany, a city commission candidate showed a photograph illustrating what it is like to drive or walk by the 80-foot tall parking garage by Sarasota Memorial, and urged the city to set more appropriate building height, mass, and scale guidelines for the parcels adjacent to high-speed roads and abutting single story neighborhoods.

The zoning text amendments are scheduled to come back before the city commission in April. Please email and ask them to plan well for the future and set a 50’ maximum building height along those busy roads.


Neighbors of the proposed skyscraper at 1260 Palm Avenue showed up in red shirts to express their frustration with the administrative review process which provides no room for resident input. The revised submission for the excessively tall (327 foot) building will be considered by city staff on April 3.


The Sarasota Alliance for Historical Preservation presented a plan to help preserve the strollability, scale, and charm of downtown Sarasota’s Main Street by allowing unused development rights to be purchased and transferred from one site to another.

For example, the owner of a 1-story structure on a downtown parcel entitled to build up 10 stories could sell the unused buildable area to another property owner downtown. Transfers would be capped at 2 additional stories to avoid adding too much height in the receiving location. The commission voted 5:0 to approve the moving forward with developing a transfer of development rights program.


CityPAC is hosting a “job interview” with the candidates who have filed to run for a seat on the Sarasota City Commission. The forum will be held at the Selby Public library (1331 1st Street) Thursday, March 28 from 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public.

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