The Sarasota City Commission will decide tonight whether or not they will bow to downtown merchants’ requests to bag the controversial parking meter program tonight at its regular meeting at City Hall.
Merchants have organized a 5 p.m. rally at Mattison’s City Grille, in which they plan to wear paper bags over their heads in protest, and will leave the restaurant and head toward City Hall to make their voices heard for the 6 p.m. City Commission session.
Several downtown organizations are supporting more than 400 merchants and residents who have signed a petition to bag the program while construction on two Ringling Boulevard roundabouts is underway. Merchants also don’t want the program to start back up again until meetings can be held with city officials to see how the program can work without hurting business.
Also at its regular meeting, which begins a 2:30 p.m. and reconvenes at 6 p.m. at City Hall, Commission Chambers, 1565 First St., Sarasota, the commission will consider:
• Agreements for the operation of a Sarasota Bayfront Mooring Field and design associate firms for city landscape and engineering projects.
• A resolution that would work to acquire property along the 31st Way right-of-way in order to condemn a property on the site.
• An ordinance that would rezone property at the northwest corner of Mound Street and Osprey Avenue and some property along Novus Street. To make way for a P.F. Chang’s Asian Bistro restaurant that’s already been approved.
• Options to slow traffic down and keep it moving efficiently on North Tamiami Trail with Florida Department of Transportation District Secretary Billy Hattaway.
• A proposal to remove Meleleuca trees located within the right-of-way opposite of 2538 Colorado St.
• Zoning enclaves within city limits.
• Graffiti issues within city limits.
• A proposed summer youth program.
• The Downtown Improvement District geographic boundary to include a property at 1301 Main Street, which has already been paying an extra two mills as part of the DID stakeholder requirements.
For more information on today’s meeting, check www.yourobserver.com and pick up a copy of Thursday’s Feb. 9 Sarasota Observer.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].