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'A RACE TO THE BOTTOM' Customers enjoy dining al fresco at C'est La Vie, catercorner from Barnacle Bill's in downtown Sarasota. Photo by Norman Schimmel BOARD MEMBERS OF THE CITY'S TWO COMMERCIAL PROPERTY DISTRICTS AGREE TO HIRE A CONSULTANT TO HELP THEM DECIDE ON WHETHER TO LIMIT THE NUMBER OF RESTAURANTS By Stan Zimmerman City Editor A combined session of the boards of the St. Armands Business Improvement District (BID) and the Sarasota Downtown Improvement District (DID) came close to fracturing several state laws until the city's purchasing director reeled them back in If you want this week. two shopping districts. "There is a proliferation of restaurants happening all over the county," said BID Chairman Marty Rappaport. Both organizations represent commercial landowners willing to pay more property to pursue this, I taxes to improve their suggest you do a planning study with a shopping areas. Last The two groups, meet- rational basis for the regulations you month, the BID was ing together for the want to implement. renewed for another first time, explored decade. Michael Connolly the idea of limiting the Deputy City Attorney number of bars and "The two special disCity of Sarasota restaurants in their tricts are established

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