Parking in Sarasota……

 Is it possible someone with authority in Sarasota government will get a grasp on to the value of paid parking and apply it?



“The two most common parking-related mistakes communities make in promoting New Urbanism are not providing sufficient on-street parking in downtown areas and not charging enough for the parking they do provide. It can be tempting to limit the bulk of parking to satellite facilities in an effort to encourage drivers to park and walk to their ultimate destinations. The problem with this approach is that drivers will often circle areas with limited on-street parking, searching for open spaces or spaces that are about to open. This can actually increase roadway congestion and create hazards for pedestrians who are forced to avoid circling vehicles.”


“A better approach is to provide sufficient parking to meet on-street demand, and to charge a premium for that parking, while charging less at nearby satellite facilities. Read more…….

Better Cities & Towns published this article by John Dorsett, a certified planner and principal with Walker Parking Consultants  in the May 2014 issue.

Older, Smaller, Better…………..


Measuring how the character of buildings and blocks influences urban vitality

From the National Trust’s Preservation Green Lab…………

“Corridors with smaller, older buildings generally perform better for the local economy than areas with newer buildings that might stretch an entire block.  Older buildings become magnets for young people and retirees alike……..”


“People want to be where there is an interesting and exciting mix of the old and new……Now we have all of this data to back up what i think preservationists and planners have sort of known for decades.”  Michael Powe, Urban planner.

Read the report here………


10 Reasons the American Dream has Changed……….

“A new America Dream has emerged in recent years. It is based on social and cultural diversity and the idea of community. This dream is more about great streets than highways. You can drive if you want, but you can also walk, ride a bike, take transit, or join carshare. In this dream, the things you are connected to are more important than who you are separated from.”

Robert Steuteville

Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 10.57.49 AMView the 10 reasons and read more………

“Hurray for Sarasota County”

bildePhoto courtesy of the Sarasota County Dept. of Historical Resources

Laurel Park in 1920 was mostly undeveloped land.  John Hamilton Gillespie’s home, Roseburn stood alone on Morrill Street.  A few vernacular frame homes were scattered among the streets.  The newly formed Sarasota County housed their administrative offices and court house on Oak Street in the 20’s but it was not until the mid 1920’s that construction truly escalated in the neighborhood.

In 1920 Sarasota’s leaders saw their tax dollars going to Manatee County with little return to Sarasota.  A movement was afoot to break from Manatee and form Sarasota County.  To the dismay of  Venice, the City of Sarasota was chosen as the county seat.

Read Jeff LaHurd’s latest article .

National Realtors’ Survey – Walkable mixed-use neighborhoods desired…..

When asked to choose between a neighborhood that “has a mix of houses and stores and other businesses that are easy to walk to” versus a neighborhood that “has houses only and you have to drive to stores and other businesses,” the walkable neighborhood was preferred 60 percent to 35 percent…… News Release


Laurel Park’s Washington Park Subdivison……

The plat of the subdivision named Washington Park.  The plat was recorded in February 1925.

Washington ParkThis subdivision was owned and developed by Owen Burns.  Mr. Burns arrived in Sarasota in 1910.  His businesses, real estate developments and his extraordinary service to the community forever changed Sarasota from a small fishing village into a city.

Sarasota 1913………

1913Plat-LPinsertSarasota 1913 – The year Sarasota became a City.

RoseburnIn 1913 John Hamilton Gillespie, the town of Sarasota’s first mayor, resided in what is today’s Laurel Park historic district.  His home, built in 1880 was named Roseburn.

 Early Sarasota Yacht ClubThe Sarasota Yacht and Automobile Club while not in Laurel Park, was located at the bayfront on Gulfstream Avenue.  It was one of many multi-story buildings beginning to crop up in Sarasota in the teens.

Sarasota Yacht ClubThe club was a center of activity.  In 1913 a banquet was held for Colonel Gillespie to celebrate his vision and his part in developing Sarasota.  He was made an honorary member of the yacht club and the date of March 10th was set as  “Gillespie Day” to duly remember his contributions.  This photo of a woman’s tea was taken in 1914 in front of the club.