Write a Letter. Make a Difference.
STOP! needs your help to communicate our shared ideas to Sarasota’s elected officials and news media.
Please write a letter or send an email to our City Commission members and to those who will shape public opinion about Sarasota’s future. Letters or email should be written from the heart, remain respectful to the recipient, and be as brief as possible. For your convenience, we’ve listed the addresses and email links to Sarasota’s elected officials and news media outlets.
Amplify your voice. Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
With just a few changes, you can turn your letter to elected officials into a letter for publication in the following newspapers.
Click here to send a letter to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune Editor
The Observer Group
Matt Walsh: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send a copy of your letters or emails to STOP! for our records.
Below are our positions on several issues that may help you compose your remarks to the Sarasota City Commission:
- Have Sensible Traffic Studies
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.
- Put Compatibility Back into the Planning Process
The zoning code for Downtown Sarasota has no “Compatibility Clause,“ allowing decision makers to consider whether a project is compatible with its neighbors in terms of height, mass, lighting, noise, etc. In an urban environment where most projects are infill, both commercial and residential neighborhoods deserve to have compatibility considered. Our homes and businesses should not be needlessly disrupted.
- 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 the 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 any new projects, no matter how large or intense they may be. The public should have a voice in how the City grows and develops.
- Safeguard our Quality of Life
Our City’s leaders should establish standards for wide sidewalks and tree-lined streets. These elements give downtown Sarasota its desirability. They are recommended by urban planners and advocates of new urbanism nationwide.
We need better traffic flow management, safer sidewalks and crosswalks for pedestrians, more tree-lined streets and citizen input that shapes development in our city. Anything else must STOP!