The community is invited to learn about the Lemon Avenue Streetscape project during an open house with City of Sarasota staff Monday, Dec.17 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the SRQ Media Studio in the City Hall Annex, 1565 First Street.
DSCA Board authorized a letter which was sent to City Commissioners and City Staff Management on Nov. 27, 2018.
Honorable Mayor Liz Alpert & Commissioners
1565 1st Street, Room 101
Sarasota, FL 34236
Ref: Lemon Avenue Streetscape Project
Dear Mayor Alpert, & Commissioners,
The Downtown Sarasota Condominium Association (DSCA) at its November 7, 2018 Board Meeting unanimously adopted the following motion concerning the proposed improvements on Lemon Avenue.
“RESOLVED: Before the City Commission’s final approval of the Lemon Avenue Streetscape Project, the DSCA Board urges additional research by City staff to find alternative solution to removing canopy trees on Lemon Avenue; in accordance with City’s Downtown Greenspace Policy, Tree Protection Ordinance and Comprehensive Plan.”
The Board of DSCA has reviewed preliminary information (only verbal reports and a conceptual drawing appear to be publicly available) about the proposed Lemon Avenue Streetscape Project. We are very concerned about reports that City staff are planning to remove all of the existing canopy trees (Live Oaks) along Lemon Avenue from 1st Street to State Street, and replace them with Royal Palms.
This apparent radical change in the Lemon Avenue streetscape does not appear to be in concert with several City Commission adopted ordinances, Downtown Master Plan, Downtown Green Space Policy, and Comprehensive Plan. The Downtown Green Space Policy(attached – adopted Feb. 7, 2011) specifically identified the priority of canopy trees over palm trees.
The following are some of the facts and concerns which are not widely known and should receive further public review and discussion:
- City staff plan to remove 27 existing Live Oak trees along Lemon Avenue because “the trees are doing poorly”.
- Contrary to the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Code and Downtown Green Space Policy, City staff plan to replace Live Oak canopy trees with Royal Palms.
- Royal Palms reach heights up to 80 ft, which will not provide shade for sidewalk pedestrians.
- Royal Palm large fronds (up to 15 ft, 80 lbs) falling 80 feet are a hazard to pedestrians & cars.
- Downtown Sarasota Condo Association has requested City staff to find alternative solution to replacing canopy trees with palms on Lemon Avenue.
- The soil around existing trees needs to be loosened & amended to enable healthier tree roots.
Please attend the Lemon Ave Streetscape Open House and/or send your comments requesting the city to Save Our Shade to:
We Are Downtown Sarasota – Residential Neighborhood