STOP! to host ‘walkshop’ for members of public interested in how the City of Sarasota is developing

Event planned for 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 12

Image from the STOP! website

STOP! will host a “walkshop” on Monday, Feb. 12, for members of the public interested in how the City of Sarasota is developing, the nonprofit organization has announced.

STOP! members will use examples in the city “to illustrate the good, the bad and the ugly, with a special focus on sidewalks,” a news release explains.

Those who would like to participate are asked to meet in front of the Palm Avenue parking garage at 10:30 a.m., STOP! Steering Committee member Kate Lowman points out in the release.

STOP! representatives will lead the walk from Palm Avenue to U.S. 41 and then continue north to Second Street and up to Fruitville Road, the release continues. The final stretch will focus on Central Avenue and Main Street. The walk will end at Clasico Café, located at 1341 Main St., “where the discussion can continue over lunch,” the release adds. (Lowman asks that participants who wish to join the lunch send an RSVP to her email address (lowmankate@gmail.com) and then bring cash or a debit or credit card to purchase a meal.)

“We couldn’t think of a better way to demonstrate how sidewalk widths and setbacks affect our City,” the release points out of the “walkshop.”

Among the leaders of STOP! are past City Commission members. Contributed photo

“Context is everything,” Lowman writes in the release. “Setbacks and sidewalks that work with low-rise buildings on quiet streets are not the same setbacks that work in front of 18 story buildings on Tamiami Trail,” she adds in the release.

STOP! planned the “walkshop” in anticipation of the City Commission’s special meeting on sidewalks and setbacks, which is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 22, at 5 p.m. The group has called on its members and supporters to attend the meeting and to wear red. (See the related article in this issue regarding the city’s form-based code.)

“STOP! has consistently advocated for wider sidewalks and greater building setbacks — particularly in the downtown area,” the release points out.

STOP! “was created 16 months ago to advocate for responsible growth management,” the release explains. More information about the group may be found on its newly revamped website: www.ForQualityProgress.com.

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