Perseverance Rewarded



CONA, the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations, on Monday, March 14, will present Compatible development outcome after fifteen years of wrangling on the bayou and host a panel of participants in a protracted effort that has led to a compatible development project on a historic boat works property affecting two bay front neighborhoods separated by Whitaker Bayou. 

The veritable saga began in 2001 with representatives of Indian Beach-Sapphire Shores defending the concerns of neighbors about their property values and quality of life as well as the ecology and habitat of the bayou. The effort provoked the formation of the Tahiti Park neighborhood association and influenced the careers of elected officials, and is ending with a charming development that is sensitive to its neighbors and the special nature of the site. The range of contentious issues that arose include almost every type of issue a neighborhood may encounter during a major development nearby on within its boundaries. There are lessons for all to learn from the telling of this fascinating history of perseverance. 

James Bridges, the developer of the Jebco Ventures project now being planned for the parcel, 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.

Please join CONA as we document the successful efforts by neighbors to resist incompatible development and celebrate the reward of those efforts with a compatible development that respects the character of abutting neighborhoods, the privacy of the neighbors, and the special ecological and habitat conditions of Whitaker Bayou. Meet the developer that luck has bestowed upon these patient negotiators and examine his plans. 

See for more details. CONA was founded in 1961 and its meetings are free and open to the public as well as members of the more than seventy associations the organization represents and its individual members. 

The meeting will be held at the Sarasota Garden Club, 1131 Boulevard of the Arts in Sarasota, which is at the intersection of Tamiami Trail, south of the Municipal Auditorium. Parking and the entrance are reached from Van Wezel Way.  

A social will precede the meeting at 6:30pm, and the meeting will begin at 7pm.  

Kafi Benz is president of the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations, vice chair of the citizen advisory committee of the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization and the founder and president of Friends of Seagate. 

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