New Standards Set for St. Armands Circle Events


The Sarasota City Commission unanimously approved in October of 2014 an ordinance that sets specific regulations for special events held at St. Armands Circle Park. The measure was initiated in order to minimize traffic disturbance to the local neighborhoods and at the same time enhance St. Armands Circle’s reputation as a prime shopping and dining destination which serves as among the many perks for Sarasota homes for sale.

The ordinance provides a restriction on traffic closure on any part of St. Armands Circle as well as gives the St. Armands Residents Association a say in the types of event to be allowed in the park. The local residents’ association has also received approval for its request for more time to respond to requests for event permits before such are issued.

Ad-hoc body formed

New Standards Set for St. Armands Circle Events

The city commissioners also approved a moratorium on events hosted at the St. Armands Circle Park. This freeze on special activities at the park applies during peak tourist season starting from February 1 to April 15 or up to Easter, whichever came later. The ordinance likewise paved the way for the creation of an ad-hoc committee composed of St. Armands Circle stakeholders—including residents, merchants and landlords—to formulate standards for events hosted at the park.

The new city ordinance also sets a limit on the monthly events allowed at the Circle. Nonetheless, it likewise grants special consideration for permitting the special activities previously allowed at the park to help boost business for the Circle’s merchants and landlords.

The Circle’s top attractions

Among the regular activities at St. Armands Circle are the Annual Holiday Night of Lights held every December and the Annual Circus Ring of Fame that the park hosts every January. Shows and exhibits of luxury cars and boats, musical concerts and culinary, arts and craft festivals, in addition to sidewalk sale and store happenings, are also held regularly at the Circle.

The Circle’s park is a designated historic site in Sarasota, impressive with its vintage Renaissance statuary imported from Europe. Landscaped with lush tropical Florida foliage, the park serves as centerpiece for more than 130 trendy shops, boutiques, art galleries, cafe and restaurants. Given this charming ambience and a slew of special events that the Circle hosts, St. Armands has grown to become one of the top local attractions for tourists and prospective buyers of Sarasota homes for sale.

Resolution on parking

Sarasota’s city authorities, meanwhile, have adopted steps to solve the problematic vehicle parking situation at St. Armands Circle, especially when there are events around the area. Construction of a multi-level parking garage in two public lots at Adams Avenue is one solution proposed by a feasibility study which the city commissioned in 2013.

Preliminary construction estimates put building cost at between $5 million and $13 million. According to Sarasota’s Parking Division, the Circle needs from 320 to 450 additional parking spaces. Residents close to the proposed garage site, who are concerned that more parking sites will result in added traffic, have counter-proposed that the city first experiment with more trolleys or possibly a water taxi service.