Below are our positions on several issues that may help you compose your remarks to the Sarasota City Commission:
Have Realistic Traffic Planning
Urge the City of Sarasota’s elected officials to make realistic traffic studies a requirement when large-scale developments are proposed for downtown Sarasota. These straightforward studies should reflect on-the-ground traffic conditions, public transportation challenges and safety issues for pedestrians and bicyclists. It is also important that “Concurrency” traffic studies (which are done to estimate the potential payment of road impact fees by new development) be revised and updated to reflect current infrastructure needs.
Ask Developers to Pay Their Fair Share
Large-scale development has significant impacts on roads, utilities, traffic, pedestrians and bicyclists. Residents should not be forced to pay for all these by-products of development with their tax dollars. When realistic traffic studies are required to measure traffic flow in downtown Sarasota, then developers will be required to pay their fair share for road and infrastructure improvements caused by their projects — not taxpayers!
Bring Back the Public’s Voice and Participation
Let the people have a voice! Repeal Administrative Approval for large and intense projects downtown and prevent its expansion to other areas of the City. It is time to return to a Planning Board and City Commission review and approval process. This method stipulates that the public be informed of major development proposals, allows citizens to submit material and to speak out about these developments. The practice of Administrative Approval in Downtown Sarasota prevents all of us from participating in public hearings about most new projects, no matter how large or intense they may be. The public should have a voice in how the City grows and develops.