Support Selby's Master Plan

On Planning

SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY APR 13, 2019

As a resident and close neighbor of Selby Gardens, we want to express my support for their Master Plan.

We moved into the city of Sarasota knowing that cities have noise, traffic, homelessness, crowds and other issues associated with city living. That being said, we also moved in to experience the ‘heart beat' of the city. To be within walking distance of theater, parades, opera, open markets, restaurants, shops and, yes, the beautiful Selby Gardens.

One of the jewels of Sarasota is Selby Gardens and its new Master Plan will move it to the top of all botanical gardens, both in the US and internationally. As a scientific botanical illustrator, I am extremely excited about this plan. The plan is impressive, thoughtful, and responsive. What is even more significant is the extent to which Selby Gardens, under the leadership of Jennifer Rominiecki, modified the initial plans in response to suggestions and objections by the public. By listening to the many neighbors and others, Selby has now spent well over a million and a half dollars above their original plan, to change the impact of noise, height, ingress and egress, open spaces etc. These thoughtful responses and actions are indeed very rare and says even more about the thoughtful leadership at Selby. .  

Finally, let’s remember that Selby Gardens is private property and sits on a prime stretch of downtown real estate. Absent the improvements presented in the Master Plan, it is potentially vulnerable to being sold and developed into high rise condos. It would be a tragedy if a few negative voices against making Selby Gardens an even better addition to Sarasota happen to prevail in this process. 

We love this city and all it has to offer. To have Selby Gardens as an integral part of downtown Sarasota is a privilege you won’t find in many cities. Please vote to support the Selby Master Plan as currently presented.

Betsy and Bill Roe, Sarasota.

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