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Rosemary District refines park vision

Neighborhood leaders are seeking resident input on a potential community park.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. August 1, 2019
  • Sarasota
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More than 70 residents of the Rosemary District gathered at the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center on July 17 to discuss, among other things, the possibility of establishing a park in the north-of-downtown neighborhood.

Although a park has been a priority for area residents, stakeholders are still in preliminary stages of working with the city on how to actually achieve that goal.

But at the July Rosemary District Association meeting, the board shared conceptual renderings showing a park at Boulevard of the Arts and Central Avenue, a vision that included landscaping, amenities and public artwork.

David Lough, co-chairman of the neighborhood association’s open space committee, emphasized the conceptual nature of the images. In addition to talking to the city about land acquisition and construction, Lough said the neighborhood is also in the early stages of working with residents on shaping what, precisely, a park could eventually look like.

“We wanted to begin to engage people and get input,” Lough said.

The city is still in researching available property in the neighborhood. City staff intends to present its findings to the City Commission for further consideration later this year.

Although the group has prioritized park planning, Lough said that’s not the only item on the open space committee’s to-do list. He’s interested in improving the neighborhood’s rights of way, including the planting of more trees for shade.

Lough also expressed optimism that the neighborhood association as a whole was tapping into a representative cross-section of the Rosemary District — which he believes will lead to better outcomes as the community continues to grow and evolve.

“What I’m excited about is we’ve got a pretty engaged neighborhood,” Lough said.


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