A blog dealing with Sarasota County and the City of Sarasota.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Sarasota's Plan for Palm Ave. Far Worse Than I Suspected

I first got interested in the City's plan to remove 26 cabbage palms from Palm Avenue because of my deep interest in and understanding of our state tree. But the more I learn about this project, the worse it gets. City staff tried to make me feel as though my suggestions were contrary to adopted policy, so they provided me with several folders containing their policy. What I learned is that the City has routinely ignored their own policies.

The City was supposed to promote retention of existing trees. They didn't. They were supposed to protect existing trees in the right-of-way. They didn't. They were supposed to provide shade trees. They already had them and propose to replace them with less shady trees. They were supposed to have canopy trees. They already have them and are proposing to get rid of them. Three separate manuals said they were supposed to have only one species of tree. They are proposing three. They claimed they were "undergrounding" utilities. There are more utilities aboveground in their proposal than exist now. They were supposed to favor trees with clear trunks and high canopies. They didn't.


And they claimed they wanted to provide a better pedestrian experience and a more walkable community. But their proposal will have 20 times less pedestrian space than exists now. In the graphic on the left, the public can walk on the green sod and the sidewalk adjacent to the storefronts. But the graphic on the right shows the landscape bed that will be packed with mulch, ground covers, shrubs, and a few trees. Bottom line: the City's proposal will result in far less walkable space than the present condition.

The next meeting of the Downtown Improvement District is Tuesday July 8th at 9:00 am. Please consider making the scene. If you can't, contact a city commissioner and let them know this is scandalous.

See also my previous post: Saving the Palms of Palm Avenue

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to comment. Anonymous comments will not be posted. Others will be screened for appropriateness, but not position.