A proposed entertainment district downtown would set aside an area where restaurants and cafes can play music a little louder and later.
Commissioner Paul Caragiulo has been spearheading the effort, and although an ordinance has not been drafted, the framework for the entertainment district calls for increased decibel sound level and an extra hour before nightly noise restrictions go into effect.
The proposed district would stretch more than six downtown blocks from Central Avenue east to U.S. 301, and from Fruitville Road south to State Street.
A handful of residents spoke out against the measure at the Downtown Improvement District meeting Tuesday after Caragiulo make a presentation on the concept.
“I live in 50 Central, and I don’t want to live in an Entertainment Zone,” said David Eckel.
Other downtown condo residents said they are already awakened by loud music coming from Club Ivory downtown and they wouldn’t mind seeing more shops and restaurants, but not a block of late-night clubs.
Peter Fanning, President of the Downtown Sarasota Condominium Association, said the current noise ordinance is confusing and the goal of an Entertainment District is not to create a “club row atmosphere.”
Fanning has been working with Caragiulo on the entertainment district proposal.
“Is this a place with strip joints? No that is not what anyone who is responsible for what happens downtown wants,” Fanning said about the proposed entertainment district.
For more on this story, see Thursday’s edition of the Sarasota Observer.