City Commissioners Monday unanimously approved an ordinance prohibiting people from soliciting donations along a public road.
The new law, which was approved on first reading Monday night, would replace a repealed ordinance, called ordinance 23-1, that prohibited panhandlers from using signs to ask for money.
The new ordinance No. 13-5060 specifies “that no person shall go upon or alongside a public road to solicit or attempt to solicit donations, contributions, employment, business, sales or exchanges from occupants of motor vehicles; providing that no person shall go upon or alongside a public road to distribute or attempt to distribute products or materials to occupants of motor vehicles; and further providing that no person shall go upon a public road to display advertising of any kind.”
The city’s former sign-holding law was repealed in January. Circuit Court Judge Rick DeFuria said the ordinance violated federal free-speech protections by prohibiting panhandlers from holding signs that solicit money from passing motorists. City Attorney Bob Fournier drafted a new ordinance to replace the repealed law.
In other items, commissioners:
• Moved forward with plans to sell a parcel of Palm Avenue land to Floridays Development Co., which plans to build a boutique arts hotel.
Floridays President Angus Rogers said his team is finalizing an architectural plan designed to be “timeless” and has added an extra 20 rooms to the now 200-room, 9-story arts-theme hotel.
The project, however, is at least two months from being a done deal. The city still needs to work out a redevelopment agreement and parking agreement with Floridays. In addition, the project is on hold because of a pending lawsuit against the city from a previous developer.
• Directed City Manager Tom Barwin in a 5-0 vote to establish an ad hoc committee charged with studying possible ordinances regulating downtown sound. The committee will consider possible “long-term” solutions.
The committee will be made up of five to seven community members.
• Removed tandem parking from a zoning text amendment proposed on Golden Gate Point.
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4 Meet the Sky
5 Volunteer Connect Meeting
11:30 am - 12:00 pm
9 Back to School Bash 2014
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
9 Cat Depot Leash Walking Class
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Heron East Assisted Living Facility held its second annual “Senior Prom” last month.
Sarasota nonprofits the Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota County and Big Brothers Big Sisters are hosting donation drives. The Boys and Girls Club’s drive runs from July 21 through Aug. 2 and is accepting clothing, shoes, books and small household items for Goodwill Manasota.
Vive La France
The Alliance Francaise held a fundraiser in honor of Bastille Day, or La Fête Nationale, Monday, July 14, at Marina Jack.