On January 23, the City Commissioners will decide whether to remove the option of allowing arcades over the public sidewalk, along with the developer "incentive" of 3 stories of habitable space above the arcade (also over public space).
Save Our Sarasota has opposed allowing arcades over public sidewalks because it takes away light, air, and space that belong to all of us. Arcades preclude the existence of shade trees. Arcades also worsen the canyon effect that will exist downtown as more 10 story buildings are built. This will make the street seem even narrower as well as lessen the length of time each day that sunlight will shine through to the street.
Shade trees are a necessary key for an enjoyable pedestrian environment; they give shade in the summer, filtered sunlight in the winter, they soften the concrete facades of the buildings, they muffle sound, they improve air quality.
Trees are a hallmark of towns and small cities. We need trees in our downtown.
We would ask all that are interested in making sure that arcades are not allowed to cover the public sidewalk attend the Commission hearing at City Hall on Monday Jan 23 and let the Commissioners know your wishes.
You could also call or write Commissioners.
Contact information is at the City website. You can call 954-4115 and leave a message for all Commissioners. E-mail addresses are:
Mary Anne Servian MaryAnne_Servian@sarasotagov.com
Fredd Atkins Fredd_Atkins@sarasotagov.com
Danny Bilyeu Danny_Bilyeu@sarasotagov.com
Lou Ann Palmer LouAnn_Palmer@sarasotagov.com
Ken Shelin Ken_Shelin@sarasotagov.com
Arcades may be OK on private property, but they are not OK when they cover public sidewalks.
Do your part and tell the Commissioners to remove the option of arcades over the public sidewalk from the Downtown Code.