How Will Candidates Approach New Selby Plan?

Todays News

The Sarasota City Commission decision to reject a proposed master plan for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens became one of the most divisive and heated of the past year. With City Commission elections ahead, the matter has come up again. Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce debates included questions about a revised plan submitted by the nonprofit and how candidates in District 2 and 3 view the new proposal.

District 2

Terry Turner: The commission was right to reject the original proposal. It is inconsistent with the comprehensive plan. It was disruptive to adjoining neighborhoods and traffic patterns were not adequately addressed. The revised plan is better. I’m not satisfied that it adequately deals with the disruption in the adjoining neighborhoods.

Jerry Wells: You can’t put a garage that’s trice the height of the lift station. It would just overwhelm that neighborhood. I like the modified plan. I just don’t want to see Selby build that type of a garage facility. I understand they need more parking. But you can’t overwhelm the neighborhood and then putting restaurant on top.

Liz Alpert: I’m certainly on record having supported the original plan. I don’t think it was too tall, and I thought it was much better to use less footprint in the gardens and add more greenspace, by adding a little bit of height to the parking garage. The revised plan has a parking garage, it’s just that we’re now going to take up more space in the gardens.

Joe Barbetta: I commend Selby for coming back with a modified plan. It’s extremely important. The City Commission and administration do not fully comprehend the importance of arts and cultural institutions in our community. They provide tremendous economic income, economic impact to the city. The modified plan deserves fair consideration.

Martin Hyde: This is classic small town politics, bought and paid for. The idea that you would put a massive structure in a neighborhood. It’s a slippery slip under Bert Harris. At the end of the day, if we do it there we have to do it everywhere. Bottom line here is that, yeah, we should give it full consideration.

Don Patterson: - It’s important for Selby Gardens to remain relevant in this day in age as the demographics change, so it’s important they continue to stay profitable. They took an easy path but it wasn’t conducive to the neighborhood. I think there’s a compromise for the neighborhoods.

District 3

Dan Clermont: There was certainly a lot of voices from the neighborhoods that were frustrated and I understand. This is a negotiating point. We have to sit down with (Selby CEO) Jennifer Rominiecki and discuss it. But as far as the capital improvements. I was in favor of them. Moving forward to a modified plan, I do like the idea of bringing the parking ramp down a bit.

Erik Arroyo: We have a lot of projects in town where the city does a great job of just shutting them down. All the people are asking for is a seat at the table to be able to come together and discuss some ideas. Selby was great with making concessions. If you look at the modified plan after they listened to the people, the restaurant is now on the first floor.

Rob Grant: I did support the city’s decision to vote down the project. I know there is a new proposal out there with a lot of change. I have spent some time looking at it. There are still some neighborhood concerns. I learned during a budget workshop, there’s a new roundabout planned there at that intersection and I don’t know if that has been considered.

« View The Monday Aug 10, 2020 SRQ Daily Edition
« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

Read More

Gruters Falls Short in RNC Treasurer Bid

Gruters Falls Short in RNC Treasurer Bid

Jacob Ogles | Jan 30, 2023

Gruters Undeterred as McDaniel Critics Fail to Show in Sarasota

Gruters Undeterred as McDaniel Critics Fail to Show in Sarasota

Jacob Ogles | Jan 23, 2023

Gruters Proposes Two At-Large County Commissioners

Gruters Proposes Two At-Large County Commissioners

Jacob Ogles | Jan 16, 2023

Mast, Pilon File for Sarasota County Seat in 2024

Mast, Pilon File for Sarasota County Seat in 2024

Jacob Ogles | Jan 9, 2023