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The City of Sarasota, like most cities, places restrictions on merchants. Unlike the bazaars of the Middle East, in the City of Sarasota, you cannot shove racks of your products on the sidewalk in front of your shop. And you cannot offer free samples to entice shoppers inside your doors. But some or all of that could change on St. Armands Circle, after the property owners' group decided to ask the City Commission to consider changes to the rules. The St. Armands Business Improvement District — the BID — is a self-taxing body of commer- cial property owners who pay for marketing, capital improvements and aesthetic enhance- ments to their tony shopping zone. At their monthly meeting on July 8, the BID board members voted to "investigate new l a n g u a g e t o m a k e allowances for offer- ing samples." City Attorney Robert Fournier, attending the session for a different St. Armands Circle has an abundance of upscale shops in complement to its restaurants. Photo by Norman Schimmel FREE SAMPLES ON ST. ARMANDS? THE BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT VOTES TO ASK THE CITY COMMISSION TO CONSIDER A ZONING CHANGE FOR THE CIRCLE This could be a zoning text amendment especially for the St. Armands [Commercial Intensive Tourist] zoning district. Robert Fournier City Attorney City of Sarasota By Stan Zimmerman City Editor

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