+ Planning board grants adjustments
The Planning Board has granted the city’s request for building adjustments on its Palm Avenue parking garage — the same adjustments critics say the city has fought against when private developers sought them.
City planners were granted a reduction in the façade length, an increase in the maximum setback, the elimination of the requirement for a recess on upper floors, the elimination of the requirement for residential or retail space above the first floor and an increase in the number of lanes entering the garage.
Steve Stancel, the city planner in charge of the project, said public facilities get more leeway than private developments.
The five-level garage will contain about 700 parking spaces.
A developer may be chosen as early as next month. Construction could begin in May 2010 and be complete in October 2010.
+ Two Sarasota boards join forces
The Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board (CRAAB) has changed its project priorities to align them with the Downtown Improvement District’s (DID) priorities to create the largest impact possible.
The two groups will pool their money to make improvements to each of the areas on the list.
CRAAB’s updated priority list:
1. Wayfinding system
2. Downtown historic district
3. Storefront façade program
4. Selby Five Points Park
The CRAAB committed $850,000 toward paying for the wayfinding system. The DID will contribute $40,000.
CRAAB members also pledged $92,844 for historic district improvements.
+ Clapp named league president
Sarasota Mayor Dick Clapp was chosen to serve as president of the Manasota League of Cities, which is an advocacy group for municipalities in Sarasota and Manatee counties.
The municipalities it serves include Sarasota, Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Longboat Key, North Port and Venice.
+ Roundabout is behind schedule
The planned roundabout downtown at Five Points is running about a month behind schedule. The city had hoped to put the project out to bid last month, but now expects to do that later this month.
The new schedule calls for construction on the $400,000 project to begin in September and be completed in December.