A public forum provided a platform for his views and remarks. The SHT story is here.
Some of his comments:
- The pace of change is extraordinary.
- The connection of downtown to the bayfront must be a priority, slowing traffic is a key element.
- One element of dysfunctional planning is that the decision makers have not become "experts", that is understanding the basic principles of planning and design.
- Sarasota is well structured (historical layout) for walkable downtown neighborhoods.
- The Master Plan intended to have free standing parking structures, not to force developers to provide parking - this allows smaller buildings - cannot retrofit the downtown, must get garages now.
- One problem is that Sarasota is getting only mega-projects.
- A well designed bus system will do wonders for downtown.
- When Sarasota Bayside is completed (Quay), Main Street will take a big hit. Must start upgrading these stores now.
- New hurricane codes have made housing very expensive. Must get affordable housing downtown.
- The planning staff in Sarasota is very good.