What: Special City Commission
When: Thursday, June 8
Time: 6 PM
Place: City Hall - 1st Street and Orange
At this public hearing, the Commissioners will decide whether and how to proceed with the potential re-design of Five Points Park, downtown Sarasota's premier green space.
The Planning Staff will present six conceptual sketches that were designed based on input received from the public at a January workshop and through responses to a detailed questionnaire that was distributed to solicit additional citizen suggestions. The planners have conducted a model public process.
The questionnaire results and public comments at two workshops indicated strong consensus that the park should be designed for primarily passive uses with occasional large public events and festivals such as presently occur, and that the green area should be expanded with additional grass and flowers.
The Downtown Partnership has submitted a 7th design as another example of how the park could be designed. It replaces all of the grass with brick pavers and two planting areas. This design has not been reviewed by the public as have the other six. In a letter to the city, the Partnership proposed that a hard surface such as pavers be used rather than grass.
SOS's Steering Committee strongly believes that the park should remain an urban park of grass, flowers and trees and should not become a brick-paved urban plaza. Lemon Plaza, located just one block away, already fulfills the function of a plaza.
A recent Chicago Tribune article stated that many major cities are going to great lengths "to squeeze a little more green space into the hustle of urban life." We strongly urge the Commissioners to be part of this nationwide trend and not allow Five Points Park to be paved over. We believe it should be a lushly landscaped oasis in the midst of all the downtown hardscapes.
We are also asking the Commissioners to continue to solicit public input throughout the process.
You are encouraged to attend this hearing and speak in support of green space.
SOS Steering Committee