Sarasota News Leader

02/07/2014

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(SKVA President Cheryl Gaddie had noted at the outset of the discussion that outdoor dis- plays are not allowed anywhere in Sarasota County.) "What the key's known for is its friendliness," Lizotte said. "We've all learned we have to keep our doors open to make it a welcoming environment." As far as displays go, he continued, "We don't want it to become [like] a yard sale; we want it to be done tastefully" as a "calling card" to draw attention. He added that busi- ness owners do not want the Village to look "cartoonish." Getting county approval for the revised ordi- nance is critical, he told the approximately 25 people present, because business own- ers recorded losses of "upwards of 30 to 40 percent in revenue" over six weeks after Code Enforcement staff made them stop put- ting displays outside last summer. "And that hurts," Lizotte said. Displays allow potential customers "to at least look without that commitment" of hav- ing to go inside a rental business or a retail shop, he added. For another example, Lizotte noted, he and Toomey also have heard from customers that if they see only one or two bikes outside a rental shop, "their opinion is there is not enough [supply] available" to meet demand. Because Smith just finished the latest revi- sion the previous night, Gaddie explained, the committee members will need to review the new draft to see if they concur with it. Once they give their approval, SKVA will provide the document to the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce and the Siesta Key Association (SKA), she added. She planned to attend the SKA's regular meet- ing on Feb. 6, Gaddie said, so she was hopeful the committee members would have given the document their stamp of approval by then. That would clear the way for the document to be discussed that evening. "When everyone's in agreement with this," she continued, "then the committee itself will go back to the county" and seek County Commission approval for the revision to go into effect. She said she was hopeful the SKA and the Chamber members would be impressed with the draft. "I think it's laid out really, really well." Past SKVA President Russell Matthes added, "I think SKA recognizes how important our retail is." " I t h i n k e v e r y b o d y d o e s , " G a d d i e pointed out. % Ray Lizotte, owner of Comfort Shoes in Siesta Village, discusses the draft of the revised zoning ordinance in regard to outdoor displays. Photo by Rachel Hackney Sarasota News Leader February 7, 2014 Page 67

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