New community organization proposes to STOP! current approval process for projects like The Vue

First public meeting planned on Sept. 22 at Selby Library

Members of STOP! will host their first public meeting on Sept. 22. Contributed photo
Members of STOP! will host their first public meeting on Sept. 22. Contributed photo

Upset about how The Vue Sarasota Bay won City of Sarasota approval and concerned about future development? Then join members of a new community group from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

on Thursday, Sept. 22, at Selby Public Library as they begin focusing on ways to change the city’s Zoning Code.

STOP! is encouraging residents to use the forum this week as a means of expressing their frustrations and organizing to prevent future development that they believe will have a negative impact on the area, a news release says. The members of STOP! are proposing four city Zoning Code changes:

  • End administrative approval for large projects in downtown Sarasota and return the approval process to the Planning Board and City Commission.
  • Prevent the expansion of administrative approval to other areas of the city, expected as part of the new form-based code that is to be presented soon to the City Commission.
  • Require wide sidewalks and tree-lined streets, as per standards in Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context-Sensitive Approach, published in 2010 by The Congress for the New Urbanism and The Institute of Traffic Engineers.
  • Revise concurrency traffic studies to better reflect the impacts of development and require realistic traffic studies that reflect actual roadway conditions, public transportation challenges and safety issues.

The members of STOP! are concerned about recent developments, such as The Vue, “which threaten to degrade the character of Sarasota,” the release explains. “Unfortunately, these narrow sidewalks and concrete canyon effects are encouraged or even required by a City Code adopted in 2003,” the release adds. Furthermore, the 2003 code change mandated that these developments be approved without any public comment, review by the City’s Planning Board or the city commissioners, the release continues. Instead, these developments have been approved by city staff, in consultation with the developers, through the process known as administrative approval, the release explains.

“STOP! is committed to stopping these practices and preventing poor developments from being built elsewhere in the City,” the release adds. “STOP! is not anti-growth. It is committed to improving the process by which large developments are approved,” the release points out.

The STOP! Steering Committee comprises Jennifer Ahearn-Koch, Mollie Cardamone, Lee Duffey, Lewis Hanan, Mike Lasché, Jude Levy, Kate Lowman, Bill Noonan, Eileen Normile and Gretchen Serrie, the release says.

The STOP! Advisory Board members are Dennis Adams, Valerie Buchand, Barbara Campo, Dick Clapp, David Cohen, Bob Easterle, Mary Kay and Joe Henson, Virginia Hoffman, Kelly Kirschner, Pat Kolodgy, Barbara Sasson May, Bonnie McIntyre, Jono Miller, Patrick O’Brien, Sarah Pappas, Rob Patten, Carol Reynolds, Ronald Riffel, Curtis Schantz, Mort Siegel, Rick Spinner, Gerry Swormstedt, Dave Sylvester, Cerise Terry and Terry Turner.

For more information on STOP!, please email or visit