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A palm grove on North Palm Avenue causes flooding and other issues, nearby businesses say. The City Commission will consider removing the trees later this month.
Sarasota Monday, Aug. 4, 2014 3 years ago

DID to discuss Palm Avenue trees

by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

In 2012, the Downtown Improvement District approved a new design for the landscaping on a portion of North Palm Avenue that businesses say is prone to flooding. On Tuesday, the DID will once again discuss the merits of that plan.

The design included the removal of a grove of palm trees, a proposal that has generated some concern from residents, according to a city document. As a result, rather than installing the new landscaping, the city is revisiting the matter with the DID and the City Commission this month.

Businesses in the area have complained about the lack of attention the segment of the street has received from the city in recent years and said flooding was an issue even with small amounts of rainfall.

The proposed new design would attempt to mirror the landscaping on the east side of the street, where the Palm Avenue parking garage is located. A mix of flowering trees and palm trees would replace the existing palm trees. DID Operations Manager John Moran said the group originally approved the design because it wanted to encourage improved walkability.

The City Commission will consider the street design at an Aug. 18 meeting. According to a city document, commissioners will have the following options to consider:

+ Maintain the proposed project to redesign and relandscape the area, moving the palm trees off-site to prolong their life.

+ Address drainage issues while maintaining the current design of the sidewalk, either by temporarily removing and returning the palm trees or by planting new palm trees in lieu of the approved design.

+ Cancel the proposed project.

Contact David Conway at [email protected].

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