Friday July 11
Tim Litchet, Director of Neighborhood and Development Services for the City of Sarasota, announced today that the City is putting the plans to remove 26 palm trees from the 1262-1274 block of North Palm Avenue on hold pending direction from the City Commission. The full text of the announcement appears below.
While no explanation was provided for the time out, it was becoming apparent that earlier efforts to solicit input from city residents regarding the tree removal and new landscaping failed to attract the attention of many who would prefer to see the palms remain. In addition, new information regarding the historic status of some of the trees was overlooked earlier in the decision process.
"Mr. Miller, this email comes to verify our conversation this morning where I informed you that I had met with Marlon Brown, and he has directed that staff bring the Palm Avenue palm tree issue to the City Commission on August 18th to review the status of the project and to get any further direction from the City Commission that they may wish for staff to consider. Staff will prepare an agenda item that will suggest options including building the project as approved, not building the project, redesigning the project to save as many of the palm trees as possible while doing our best to improve drainage, and/or delaying the project until we have newly adopted code standards to work with related to the efforts of the Urban Design Studio. I will provide you a copy of that agenda item in advance of the meeting."
As noted in the announcement above, today's decision does not mean that the trees will be saved, only that the impending plans to remove them will be considered by the City Commission and that the trees are not immediately threatened.