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Sarasota Thursday, Jun. 18, 2015 4 years ago

Letters to the Editor 6.18.15

Mixed-use would be great option for shopping center; Tree task force will help neighborhoods retain character.

+ Mixed-use would be great option for shopping center

Dear Editor:

The Legacy Trail extension is planned to enter Sarasota and Payne Park at the Ringling Shopping Center location. A Walmart Supercenter has also been proposed at this same location.

Allowing a big-box store parking lot at the primary entrance for the planned Legacy Trail into Payne Park and downtown is not welcoming or safe for bicyclist, joggers, walkers, families and outdoor enthusiasts. The Legacy Trail is one of Sarasota's top attractions and will only increase in popularity when it arrives downtown at Payne Park as planned.

A visionary development of the Ringling Shopping Center site would take advantage of its prime location next to Payne Park and the grand entry point of the Legacy Trail into downtown Sarasota. Maybe a mixed-use urban development would be an exciting opportunity where residents living above shops have convenient access to walk across the street to Payne Park or jump on their bicycle and ride the Legacy Trail just out their front door.

It's a perspective that seems to be getting overlooked. Let's let our city know we want visionary, planned and integrated development in our downtown!

Charles Burks


+ Tree task force will help neighborhoods retain character

Dear Editor:

In 1995, I bought 1731 Seminole and 1928 Hyde Park, combined the two properties, rehabbed the existing house, added master bedroom, built at two-story garage studio, breezeway, game room, courtyard and pool, creating a wonderful compound. This was the start of a major overhaul of our neighborhood. Following projects included, but not limited to: the purchase of a Ralph Twitchell house built in 1948 for Twitchell’s mother. We were able to bring that property back up to its original gorgeous splendor and resold it. Three spec homes on Boyce St., one spec home on Hyde Park and several new residential homes for clients were also built.

We have also been blessed enough to have had the opportunity to remodel almost 50% of the older homes in the McClellan Park and surrounding neighborhoods, all the while maintaining their charm. All of these projects were designed around the trees. No significant tree removal has occurred in the last 20 years. Hudson Bayou is truly one of the few remaining neighborhoods that has a charm, we just cannot lose.

The last four years, larger developers have removed most tress on lots they have purchased with no regards to what a 50- to 100-year-old oak tree does for us.  If we let this continue without some type of regulation, we will become a subdivision not our cozy, comfortable neighborhood.

I completely agree with Mr. Patten in wanting to start a task force, working with the local associations and the city of Sarasota to help troubleshoot the deconstruction of such a lovely community. An architectural review board to approve the proposed would be a great addition to the association.

Thank you,

Knick Barger
Youbar Builders Inc.

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