“Neighborhoods Only” (2016)

CCNA Leadership Assignments:

D1 – Bill Fuller, Facilitator and Gloria Armstrong, Note Taker

D2 (A-G) – Kevin Bales, Facilitator and Gretchen Serrie, Note Taker

D2 (H-Z) – Jennifer Ahern-Koch, Facilitator and Dan Bridinger, Note Taker

D3 – Kathy Kelley Ohlrich, Facilitator and Joyce Burnham, Note Taker

Unassigned Troubleshooter – Carl Shoffstall

Under the leadership of President, Kathy Kelley Ohlrich, CCNA’s Executive Committee organized and facilitated a “Neighborhoods Only” planning session in 2016.  On May 7, 2016, CCNA member neighborhood representatives shared information about their neighborhoods as well collectively identifying their top five issues of concern for residents of their neighborhoods. Issues were ranked utilizing a point system.  Those issues with the most points were selected for brainstorming of ideas during the June meeting.   At the June 4, 2016, CCNA meeting, CCNA neighborhood representatives participated in idea-generating brainstorming groups related to the highest ranked issues from the May meeting. The purpose of the brainstorming was to generate ideas to improve upon the current state of the city.  This list of concerns with possible solutions was then presented to the City Commissioners on June 16th prior to their strategic planning strategies for Fiscal Year 2017 and beyond retreat.   (Note – It is now 7 years later and that document is still providing direction to today’s commissioners, but as would be expected, needs updated.  CCNA Board is planning an update for fall of 2023.

The number in parenthesis represents the number of neigborhoods that felt that item was an issue

Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations, June 4, 2016

Traffic Ideas – Speeding

  • Provide more police presence to enforce existing traffic laws
  • Use signage on heavily congested roads to target speeders
  • Use flashing lights, speed bumps and other deterrents to speeding
  • Use speed detectors such as those in Pinecraft area
  • Establish more 4 way stops in neighborhoods
  • Consult with experts in traffic management
  • Redo islands

Traffic Ideas – Volume and Congestion

  • Build a third bridge from the main land to Longboat Key
  • Reroute traffic to less congested streets
  • Experiment with barriers to see if a narrower Fruitville Rd is plausible  No money needed to experiment
  • Increase the number of secure bike racks and short term bike rentals
  • Stagger hours for employees of downtown businesses   

Traffic Ideas – Cut-throughs / Construction

  • Notify property owners of upcoming construction with signage, door hangers, flyers, etc
  • Require permits for over-sized vehicles
  • Park on one side of street only
  • Provide temporary speed bumps and radar during construction projects
  • Encourage residents to be proactive in reporting problems in their neighborhoods.
  • Protect canopied trees from truck traffic.

Traffic Ideas – Planning by City

  • Survey and target gridlock
  • Hire staff to include experts in traffic management
  • Advertise for monetary gain for city (on benches,…)

Traffic Ideas – Pedestrians

  • Divide sidewalks providing space for pedestrians and bikers
  • Crossovers with 4-way walks
  • Build overpasses for pedestrians on large, heavily traveled roads
  • Support Legacy Trail Expansion

Traffic Ideas – Transportation

  • Provide incentives for public transportation use
  • Encourage public transportation with ferry services, water taxies, Park and Ride lots, circulating shuttle/trolley system from beaches to major tourist attractions and downtown,
  • Use electric carts
  • Ensure every bus stop has a bench and protection from the sun
  • Provide free public transportation
  • Privatize pubic transportation
  • Use smaller buses
  • Encourage ZIP cars in downtown with short term rentals
  • Offer SCAT buses as shared rides open to everyone
  • Offer door to door service
  • When more public transportation is in place, offer free days every now and then; sell week/month/yearly passes

Parks and Green Space

  • Work with neighborhoods to identify and purchase space for new parks, including pocket parks
  • Maintain parks with more consistency
  • Ask residents and commissioners to rank parks so maintenance can also be done on a ranked system.
  • Remove staff to respond to the crisis of the day very selectively
  • Develop and maintain parks consistent with natural ecosystems, not on a one size fits all mind set
  • Establish a Park Conservancy with taxing abilities
  • Provide park programs for children and adults
  • Take back all city parks from the county
  • Designate a pet friendly beach
  • Provide public education about the parks
  • Prohibit restaurants from putting chairs in the parks
  • Maintain all park features, including fountains, benches, trees, equipment, paths to keep parks safe as well as inviting
  • Maintain setbacks to keep green space
  • Develop Fruitville Road Park now
  • Increase lighting in parks and change to cost efficient LED Lighting in all parks
  • Increase budget for parks
  • Develop and implement a parks master plan
  • Unlock existing bathrooms and install bathrooms in parks that don’t have them
  • Put pressure on the county for more help and money for parks


  • Keep tree canopy, but regularly prune limbs over streets to keep truck traffic from damaging trees
  • Approve the tree ordinance
  • Protect and save ancient oaks and slash pines in Lukewood Park during construction of LF 87
  • Increase the number of tree medians
  • Establish an Urban Forestry program which has a master plan
  • Create and designate more canopy streets
  • Add more trees to those streets which don’t qualify as canopy roads
  • Protect the trees and ensure strong consequences for violators of the tree ordinance
  • Plant trees in rows.  Add new medians and islands on streets like Osprey
  • Encourage pervious sidewalks and parking areas to stop making our city a concrete parking lot. 
  • Keep the waterfront available to all residents instead of allowing more buildings
  • Plant trees in the city right of ways
  • Save old growth trees
  • Sponsor periodic park clean up days
  • Work on new zoning ordinance
  • Work to change city culture and to embrace enforcement of tree rules with developers and builders
  • Participate in holistic urban planning – environmental, quality of life, trees and pedestrians.

Development and Design – Planning

  • Officials need to work with neighborhoods to include more neighborhood involvement.
  • Establish a standing committee within CCNA  to test drive code changes before adoption. 
  • Maintain the character of special places.
  • Require setbacks.
  • Put limits on permeability, maybe 60% impermeability rather than70%.
  • Question air rights.
  •  Take advice from studies already done.  We Paid to have them done.  Why not listen to them?
  • Eliminate administrative site plan approval.
  • Integrate transit into overall development plan. 

Development and Design – Building and Design

  • Build attractions that would be more innovative such as golf courses and roller coasters.  Attract light manufacturing. 
  • Build a pedestrian overpass over US 41.
  • Design safe bike lanes (examples: European approaches)
  • Lock in urban design plans and enforce them, give them teeth !

Development and Design – Programs and Policy

  • Move away from one size fits all policies.
  • City buys back houses and establishes programs for home ownership for those who work downtown.
  • Reinstitute substantial impact fees and use the money to fund a robust, multi modal public transit system.
  • Establish a stand-alone planning department
  • Restrict growth.
  • Establish programs to encourage home ownership for working class people, to purchase and improve homes to preserve integrity of neighborhood including funding.
  • Expand urban design studio staff and expertise.
  • Zoning – lot line to lot line in established neighborhoods deprives city of heritage trees and character we are so proud of – change zoning rules
  • Put different codes in place for different neighborhoods.
  • Continue to increase density downtown to eventually reduce traffic
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