Compatible development coming to Whitaker Bayou after years of wrangling to be focus of March 14 CONA meeting

Session will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Sarasota Garden Club

Whitaker Bayou is in the northern part of the city of Sarasota. Photo from Google Maps
Whitaker Bayou is in the northern part of the city of Sarasota. Photo from Google Maps

On Monday, March 14, the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) will host participants in a protracted effort that has led to a compatible development project on the site of a historic boat works, CONA has announced.

The “veritable saga,” which began in 2001, has affected two bayfront neighborhoods separated by Whitaker Bayou, a news release points out. Representatives of Indian Beach Sapphire Shores have defended the concerns of their residents regarding property values and quality of life, as well as the ecology and habitat of the bayou, the release adds. The process “provoked the formation of the Tahiti Park neighborhood association; influenced the careers of elected officials; and is ending with charming development that is sensitive to its neighbors and the special nature of the site,” the release says.

Jim Bridges, the developer of the Jebco Ventures project, and planning consultant Joel Freedman will join Jennifer Ahearn-Koch, Kafi Benz, Don Farr, Pola Sommers and Yvonne Lacey “to discuss this notable example for neighborhoods and developers that has rewarded the best efforts of both,” the release continues.

The meeting will begin with a social at 6:30 a.m. at the Sarasota Garden Club, located at 1131 Boulevard of the Arts in Sarasota. The meeting will start at 7 p.m.

The club building is at the intersection of Tamiami Trail and Boulevard of the Arts, south of the Municipal Auditorium.

Parking for the Sarasota Garden Club and the entrance to the facility are reached from Van Wezel Way.