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Commission tosses cold water on Bath & Racquet Club plan

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

It was simply too much of an ask for neighbors, city residents and ultimately the Sarasota City Commission. 

Last week, the Bath & Racquet Fitness Club failed to garner the necessary votes that would make possible a plan to build up to 207 units on the club’s 13.5-acre site.

The Club, located at 2170 Robinhood Street, has said it would be necessary to infuse the operation with capital and that the development plan would transform the center into a state-of-the-art facility.

But residents and neighbors were opposed to what was slated to be 3 to 5-story buildings on the perimeter of the property. The plan needed a comprehensive plan amendment, which requires a supermajority vote on the commission to pass.

The proposal was met with support of three of the five commissioners, but not the necessary supermajority.

The City’s Planning Board voted 3-2 to recommend denial of the proposal, while City Planning Staff recommended approval. The Planning Board sided with residents’ concerns about the density of the project.

In the end, Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch and Commissioner Willie Shaw voted against the comprehensive plan change. Commissioners Liz Alpert, Hagen Brody and Shelli Freeland Eddie supported the comprehensive plan change.

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