Recent news and editorial articles regarding arcades - published after the commission decision.
Editorial about design standards and arcades:
As for arcades, this city policy -- which incentivized the structures by allowing developers to build them over public sidewalks and top them with three stories of habitable space -- deserved to die. Though arcades can provide beneficial shelter, the city's policy came with too many drawbacks.
News article about linkage of arcades and the pace and intensity of downtown development:
The arcade issue struck a chord with dozens of people who turned out at Monday night's public hearing. But they didn't just talk about arcades -- they also vented their fears about the city's rapidly changing downtown.
News article about the Commission meeting to decide on allowing arcades:
"Please don't take the sunshine away from us," said Sarasota's Richard Suckow. "We don't want to walk through tunnels."
News article about arcades and design standards issues:
That vote on arcades (3-2 with Bilyeu and Shelin opposed, although Shelin said he opposed only because galleries weren’t included with arcades) was cheered by the 50 or more members of Save Our Sarasota – at least half of whom came forward during the public hearing and told the commission they wanted arcades banned over public property such as sidewalks.
Bob Ardren weighs in on "conspiracy":
Turns out Farmers’ Market manager John Matthews has rules forbidding religious or political booths – and he decided the arcade issue was a political one.
Matthews did tell the SOS people to please feel free to walk around and talk about their issue – as other political advocates do from time to time.
Chatting with Matthews later, he clearly was upset with having to exclude the SOS table. “Hey, I just want to run the market, not get involved in politics,” he pleaded.