Sarasota News Leader

03/07/2014

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"I do have a strong opposition to how they are handling it," past SKVA President Russell Matthes concurred with Smith. Referring to the business owners supporting the changes, he continued, "They're not even here to rep- resent themselves. … They put all the work back on us, specifically you," he said, refer- ring to Smith. "They're going to be doing this thing all the way through season because they're getting the advantage of displays as much as they can without enforcement." SKVA Vice President Kouvatsos told the approximately 20 members present that she had suggested to Gaddie that Gaddie give the committee members one week to get all the businesses in adherence to the proposed new guidelines or the SKVA and other island organizations would withdraw their support of the initiative. "Make it happen, or we're done, and [the SKOD as written is] going to be enforced." Gaddie supported Kouvatsos' suggestion. She would make that clear to Toomey and Rick Lizotte, owner of Comfort Shoes in Siesta Village, another member of the committee, she added. (Other members of the committee are John Davidson, owner of Davidson Drugs and numerous parcels in Siesta Village; Lori Eible, owner of Foxy Lady; and Aledia Tush, co-owner of CB's Saltwater Outfitters.) "It's really up to them … to drive it through [the county Zoning Administration Office], through the county attorneys and get it on the [County Commission] agenda," Matthes pointed out of the business owners. "It's already in process," Smith said. "It'll be put on the [County Commission] agenda at some point in time," he added. "They're going to have to show up and plead their case. … This could just die in process." Shay pointed out, "They have no incentive to follow through. I'm not trying to be difficult," he said, "[but] there is no enforcement. … It's just in your face and they're doing what they want to do." BACK ON THE BUSINESS SIDE During the interview with the News Leader about 30 minutes later, Toomey explained he was unable to make it to the SKVA meeting because of the number of visitors in the Village. As he spoke, he was watching new customers walk into his shop on Ocean Boulevard. Toomey added that a committee survey of retail business owners on the island showed 85 percent of them support the proposed changes in the SKOD. Having the ability to utilize outdoor displays, he continued, is "key to surviving down here. But we don't want to take away from the atmosphere of the Village." He was quick to note he is keeping all of his outside display of rental equipment in an area that meets the specifications of the pro- posed revision. He also lauded Smith for all the work on the draft document. "Mark Smith has been fan- tastic," Toomey added. "The guy has been absolutely brilliant." Asked whether he felt he and the other com- mittee members could muster a strong show of support for Smith's work in an appearance before the County Commission, Toomey said, "I hope so." % Sarasota News Leader March 7, 2014 Page 85

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