Sarasota News Leader

07/12/2013

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Sarasota News Leader July 12, 2013 Page 63 raised the issue, saying she had seen sales at her Siesta Village shop, Le Grand Bisou Caribbean Boutique, drop from $1,600 a day to $195 a day in one week after a Sarasota County Code Enforcement officer notified her it was a violation of the local zoning code to place clothes on racks outside the shop. However, Patterson said she had told them she would seek the board's approval to allow county staff to work on the proposed zoning changes. As she had promised Smith and two other business owners who had talked with her recently, Commissioner Nora Patterson brought up the matter during the County Commission meeting on July 9 in Venice. "In my heart of hearts … if I had the unilateral vote on it," Patterson said, "I probably wouldn't go for this [zoning change]. But I don't have that unilateral ability, obviously." Among the items they want to display, she said, are golf carts and recreational vehicles, "and I think that starts making the area look pretty honky tonk." "I'm supportive of it," Commissioner Christine Robinson said. "I just don't want to turn this into a giant issue that sucks time away from some … other important countywide issues." "The only concern I have," Commissioner Joe Barbetta replied, "is when restaurants put up sandwich boards [in the past], they got beat She told The Sarasota News Leader on July up pretty bad [by Code Enforcement officers]. 9 that she would contact Siesta Key Associ- And I don't see how that differs from outdoor ation (SKA) President Catherine Luckner to displays." request an appearance before the SKA board Unless the SKOD changes had "pretty much and members during the next meeting, Aug. 1. unanimous support" from both the merchants' "It's on the table," she said after the News and residents' associations, Barbetta added, Leader conveyed to her the gist of the com- "and a healthy discussion here by the board," missioners' discussion about the proposed he would not support county staff work on SKOD change. "That makes me happy." the project. She continued, "I think it gets pretty messy Patterson told her colleagues the three propri- looking and pretty abused and very, very hard etors all said they had seen their sales drop af- to enforce once you start putting parameters ter a Code Enforcement officer advised them in place [for outdoor displays]." that the zoning code prevented their outdoor Nonetheless, she told her colleagues, "I have displays. They had come up with a proposal, a hard time saying, 'No, I won't support the she continued, that would designate "quite a discussion.'" bit of footage" on their property for such displays while their shops are open, though the Barbetta responded that he would defer to the merchandise would not be on the right of way. board majority on the matter.

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