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Lido Beach pool and pavilion
Sarasota Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 1 year ago

City to revisit Lido pavilion lease

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During a special meeting about the proposed form-based code, the city will discuss rescinding a lease agreement for the Lido Beach pool and pavilion.
by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

The City Commission is scheduled to once again discuss a lease agreement for the Lido Beach pool and pavilion Thursday, revisiting a decision preceded by a five-hour discussion with extensive public comment.

At the request of Commissioner Willie Shaw, the City Commission will consider rescinding its Nov. 20 approval of an agreement with a private operator for the pool and pavilion. The city’s deal with Lido Beach Redevelopment Partners was met with opposition from many Lido Key residents.

Ahead of Thursday’s meeting, Shaw — who voted to approve the agreement Nov. 20 — declined to offer a reason why he put the topic back on the agenda.

“I think if we could have this discussion in the chambers, it’d be better,” Shaw said.

Although the lease hasn’t been signed, City Attorney Robert Fournier said it’s arguable the city has already entered into the terms of a contract with the private operator. Responding to procedural questions from Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie, Fournier said there are reasonable arguments for and against the city’s ability to reverse its approval.

“Only a court can decide the issue with finality, but I believe that I have to make the commission aware of this issue,” Fournier wrote today.

Fournier said both sides of the argument would likely be explored in greater detail Thursday

Absent any legal hurdles, it would still be questionable whether there are enough votes for the commission to reverse its decision. The lease was approved in a 4-1 vote. Even if Shaw is now opposed to the lease deal, another commissioner would have to flip for the city to rescind its approval.

Lido Beach Redevelopment Partners said it plans to invest $3.8 million into renovating the property. Planned changes include the addition of a 200-seat restaurant, a splash pad, a playground and a Tiki bar.

Form-based code

Thursday’s meeting is primarily being held to discuss the schedule for reviewing the form-based zoning code the city’s Urban Design Studio has drafted.

In 2013, the city hired planner Karin Murphy to lead the Urban Design Studio and the process of writing new zoning regulations. Form-based codes are designed to primarily regulate the form, rather than the use, of a given property. The city hoped a new zoning code would provide greater predictability for both residents and developers.

Ahead of the meeting, staff prepared a preliminary schedule for consideration and potential adoption of the form-based code. That schedule includes a series of community workshops regarding the code as well as several workshops with the Planning Board and City Commission.

The schedule calls for approval of comprehensive plan changes in June and July and formal adoption in September. Staff is currently reviewing a draft version of the code. A final version will go to the commission no later than Feb. 5, staff said.

The resident activist group STOP is pushing for dedicated hearings about how the code addresses the group's core issues, including wider sidewalks and the administrative review process for new developments.

In an email, STOP asked supporters to wear red to Thursday’s meeting.

“We do not need people to speak,” the email said. “We simply want the commission to see what we know — that many, many people want to see these issues addressed.”

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