Lido Pavilion plan vote set for Jan. 14

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After some bickering and general disagreement, the Sarasota City Commission voted unanimously to hold what could be a final vote on the Lido Beach Pavilion and Pool redevelopment plan.

The vote will decide whether the plan, which includes remodeling the pavilion into a 200-seat restaurant along with a tiki bar and rented cabanas, is compatible with the neighborhood and meets the criteria of a Major Conditional Use.

About 100 residents argued against the plan last month at a City Planning Board meeting and the advisory board voted against the proposal. The residents said the plan which would include live music as well as hard liquor sales, would forever alter the public amenity and undermine the family-oriented primary use of the beach. They also cited the quiet residential zone to the east of the beach.

The applicants are the co-owners of the Daiquari Deck restaurants, and entered into a lease with the City that is conditional on the final approval of the Major Conditional Use.

The 2.42-acre site of the pool and pavilion is part of the Lido Beach Park. An organization opposed to the plan has garnered more than 4,000 signatures in hopes of altering the commission that voted 4-1 in favor of the lease. Commissioner Willie Shaw attempted to re-open the vote and change his vote at the meeting following, when the lease was decided, but his fellow commissioners did not allow him to reopen the issue.

At the meeting last week, Shaw made a motion to schedule the Major Conditional Use vote for Jan. 14, and the board voted unanimously in support. Commissioner Shelli Freeland Eddie said she might not be able to attend the January meeting saying she might have to work in her capacity as an attorney with a client who has a jury trial scheduled at that time.

Residents and those opposed to the plan had written numerous emails and letters to City Hall stating the meeting should be held after the Christmas holiday so everyone could be in attendance. The Lido Beach Redevelopment Partners agreed with that date and the issue came to a close.

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