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Long-Range Planning

The Long-Range Planning Division is responsible for developing, evaluating, and maintaining the City´s Comprehensive Plan, also known as the Sarasota City Plan. The Sarasota City Plan is a broad policy document that prescribes how the City will develop in future years. The first comprehensive plan was developed in 1925 by John Nolen [click here to view the Nolen Plan]. John Nolen was a well-known urban planner of his day. Updates to the Comprehensive Plan were produced in 1960, 1972, 1979, 1986, 1989, 1998, and most recently in 2005.

Beginning in 1979, Comprehensive Plans were prepared under the guidelines of the State of Florida´s Local Government Comprehensive Planning Act of 1975. This Act was amended in 1985 by the Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Regulation Act, commonly referred to as the "Growth Management Act"; and Plans are now prepared under the guidelines of the "Growth Management Act".

Sarasota City Plan (2030) [Comprehensive Plan]

On December 1, 2008 the City Commission adopted Ordinance No. 08-4792, which revised the Sarasota City Plan [1998] to the Sarasota City Plan [2030].  Support Documents for each Chapter are included in the Plan, although the Support Documents are not formally adopted by the City Commission.  For additional information on the Sarasota City Plan (2030) or citizen involvement in the comprehensive planning process, call Planning and Development Services staff at (941) 365-2200.

A representation of the table of contents is provided below and includes separate links to each chapter.


Future Land Use Plan


Amendments to the Sarasota City Plan

The Sarasota City Plan amendment process guidelines and the calendar of events relating to amendments are located below.


Guidelines for Seeking Amendments to the Sarasota City Plan

Annual Amendment Schedule.

The City processes Comprehensive Plan Amendments on an annual schedule that begins on the fourth Wednesday in May when a pre-application conference request form must be submitted. Once a pre-application conference and a community workshop are held, an applicant is eligible to file a formal application seeking to amend the Comprehensive Plan. The required forms are included in the City´s Development Approval Application Package.

Population Estimates

Population estimates for the City of Sarasota and Sarasota County from 1930 to 2016.


To promote orderly development, every parcel within the City has a zoning designation that governs its use.  These uses are defined in the City´s Official Zoning Code [below]. Staff applies Code regulations through a review of Applications for Development Approval as well as through Building Permit Applications.  Additional zoning staff responsibilities include Zoning Confirmation Letters, Zoning Interpretation Letters, Lot Split and Boundary Adjustments, Plat Consolidations, Alcoholic Beverage Licenses, and assignment of Street Addresses.  You may contact Zoning staff weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at [941] 365-2200.

Zoning Code

The City´s Zoning Code is intended to implement Sarasota´s Comprehensive Plan [or long-range plan] and related land use plans in a manner that protects the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Sarasota. The boundaries of the base zones, overlay zones and plan districts are shown on the official zoning maps of the City [see below].

The City´s Official Zoning Code is published by the Municipal Code Corporation.  The official zoning code is updated through the quarterly printing of supplements.

There are several types of zoning regulations that may affect a property. You will need to research all of these regulations to determine what is allowed on your property.

Base Zones- All properties within the City of Sarasota have a base zone. There are residential zones, office zones, commercial zones, industrial zones and mixed use zones.
Overlay Zones- Some properties have overlay zones that consist of regulations that address specific subjects in particular areas of the City. For example, the North Trail Overlay is applied to areas where additional height is allowed on a case-by-case basis.
Other Zoning Requirements - Some uses and development types have additional regulations that apply. For example, school uses or parking lots have additional regulations that apply.

Zoning District Maps and Other Reports

Zone District Maps -- Copies of the Official Zone District [Quarter Section] Maps

Downtown CRA Map

Newtown CRA Map

2003 ERA Economic Analysis of the Downtown Code

2006 ERA Downtown Density Bonus & Attainable Housing Policy

1992 Main Street Revisited - by J. West

Zoning Code Text Amendments [ZTAs]

Unless directed by the City Commission the processing of zoning text amendments has been placed on hold until such time as the Form Based Code being developed by the Urban Design Studio is adopted by the City Commission.

Current Planning

Current Planning staff, through review of new development projects, ensures that the long-range plans of the City are implemented and that new development adheres to the City´s codes and regulations.  Every new project is different and City Planners work with developers, architects, engineers, attorneys and neighborhood representatives to achieve a balanced integration between new development and the built environment.

Development Application Forms and Information

The table below contains the forms and general information needed to apply for development approval in the City of Sarasota. Printed copies of this package are also available from the Office of the City Auditor and Clerk.  (Please be sure that you review and complete all pertinent documents prior to any submittal to the Office of the City Auditor and Clerk.) For additional information, contact the City Auditor and Clerk´s Office at (941) 365-2200 x4103.

Describes the information needed to submit an application as well as the City´s application approval process

Development Application
General Information



Packet of ALL Application Forms

Development Application

All Forms


Listing of Fees

Tiered Flat Fee Schedule

Form 1


This form must be submitted with all application types.  Note that the following pre-application activities and information may also be requested using this form:

- Pre-Application Conference with the DRC
- Community Workshop
- Transportation Concurrency & Circulation Analysis

General Application Information

Form A


Minimum Submission Checklist

Form B 1
Form B 2


Ownership Disclosure Form

Form C


Affidavit for Conditional Use Applications
[Requirement under Section IV-910(b)(3) of the Zoning Code]

Affidavit - Conditional Use

Form D


Applicant´s disclosure of information and witnesses that may speak at public hearings as well as a statement by applicant detailing any special conditions offered for consideration during approval process [The later must be signed and notarized]

Applicant Disclosures - Proffer Form

Form E


Description of the impact to the affordability of housing.

Affordable Housing Form

Form F


Required if a Power of Attorney is assigned

Power of Attorney Affidavit

Form G


Application to the City for status as an "Affected Person"

Request for Affected Person Status

Form H


Required information when applying for an Amendment to the Sarasota City Plan [Comprehensive Plan Amendment]

Comprehensive Plan Amendment [CPA]

Form I


Public Input Sheet required for Comprehensive Plan Amendment applications

Public Input Sheet for CPA´s

Form J


Application to change an existing Street Name

Street Name Change Form

Form K


Application to establish a Pet-Free Area within a City Park

Pet-Free Area Form

Form L


Application to establish a Provisional Use/Sidewalk Café Permit

Sidewalk Café Permit

Form M


Application to determine school concurrency

School Impact Analysis Application

Form N


Comprehensive Plan Amendment Application to designate a high density, high intensity mixed-use area as a Regional Activity Center [RAC].


Form O


Application for Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Funds


Form P


Development Review Committee

This group, composed of City Staff from various Divisions, meets on the first and third Wednesday of every month to coordinate and analyze requests for development approval, such as rezonings and site plans.  Meetings typically begin at 9:00 a.m. and are held in Room 112 at City Hall. To view meeting agendas, staff comment memoranda, and to access audio recordings of meetings, select "Video on Demand" from the City´s Main Web Page. The DRC Meeting Schedule and Application Submission Deadlines are provided here:

2017 DRC Meeting Schedule and Agenda Deadlines

2018 DRC Meeting Schedule and Agenda Deadlines

DRC Committee Members

Development Application Status Report

(Note: Development Review Committee meetings are open to the public. However, participation is limited to committee members, unless a committee member requests information of an applicant (Reference: Zoning Code, Section III-603). Opportunities for citizen comment on proposed developments are provided through the Community Workshops, by scheduling appointments with individual City Staff, or by speaking or submitting written comments at public hearings before the Planning Board or City Commission.)

Planning Board

The Planning Board / Local Planning Agency holds public hearings and makes recommendations to the City Commission on a variety of development applications and related issues including:

  • Proposed amendments to the Sarasota City Plan (2030)and the Sarasota Zoning Code (2002 Ed.);
  • Ordinances and regulations governing development of land in the City;
  • Whether proposed development conforms to the principles and requirements of the Sarasota City Plan (2030).

Planning Board members are volunteers appointed by the City Commission to serve three-year terms. Members of the Planning Board are required to be City residents who do not hold any public position or office in City Government.  Refer to the City´s Main Web Page and select "Video on Demand " to view Planning Board Agendas, Staff Reports, Meeting Videos, and Minutes. A schedule of Planning Board Meetings is provided here. To Contact Board Members click e-mail address listing below

2017 Planning Board Meeting Schedule

2018 Planning Board Meeting Schedule

Contact Your Board Members

Planning Board Guidelines

Planning Board Rules of Procedure

Board of Adjustment - Variance Application

The Board of Adjustment has the authority to decide appeals of any written determination or interpretation of the Zoning Code by Director of Neighborhood and Development Services and to grant variances from the regulations of the Zoning Code if they have resulted in an unnecessary or undue hardship. The Board of Adjustment consists of 5 members who are volunteers appointed by the City Commission to serve three-year terms. Members of the Board are required to be City residents who do not hold any public position or office in City Government. Generally, the Board meets on the last Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m.  A schedule of meetings is provided in the application form presented below.

Variance Application and Information

Variance Appeal Application

Current Board of Adjustment Members

Building & Permitting Information and Forms

(Effective June 30, 2015)
2014 Residential Building Code 5th Edition

Minimum Requirements for Commercial Alterations and Renovations

 On June 30, 2015 the 5th Edition of the 2014 Florida Building Code will take effect.  Below are the links to the Florida Building Commission .pdf files for major changes

 Changes to the Florida Building Code - Building

Changes to the Florida Building Code - Energy Conservation

Changes to the Florida Building Code - Existing Building

Changes to the Florida Building Code - Fuel & Gas

Changes to the Florida Building Code - Mechanical

Changes to the Florida Building Code - Plumbing

Changes to the Florida Building Code - Residential

New 2010 Florida Building Code Wind Map

This group reviews building plans and provides accurate technical inspection.  They ensure that every building project in the City conforms to the appropriate codes and regulations.

Also note that in 2002, the Florida Legislature passed House Bill 1307 which allows the use of Private Providers for building plans examination and inspections.  Please check this link for important information about the use of Private Providers in the City of Sarasota; and if you wish to use Private Providers, fill out these Private Provider Forms and Affidavit. Submit the completed forms to the City's Building Department. 

Note:  The Inspections Line Hours of Operation are Monday - Friday, 7:30 am - 3:30 pm; Call 941-954-4126.

Request Inspections by E-Mail-Instructions

The following links will assist you in filing for a Building Permit:

Learn When a Building Permit Is Needed

Review Building Permit Application Requirements

You can now email your completed Sub Form, Notice of Commencement & Roofing Affidavit to this new email address,

Inquire about Building Permit Status by Application or Permit Number
October 1, 2007 to Present
October 1, 2006 to September 30, 2007
October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2006
October 1, 2002 to September 30, 2005
October 1, 2000 to September 30, 2002
October 1, 1997 to September 30, 2000

Inquire about Building Permit Status by Site Address
October 1, 2007 to Present
October 1, 2006 to September 30, 2007
October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2006
October 1, 2002 to September 30, 2005
October 1, 2000 to September 30, 2002
October 1, 1997 to September 30, 2000

[When entering address, Do Not enter AV, ST, LN, DR, etc. Do Use initial only to indicate N S E W]

Link to Current Impact Fees

Click Here to provide your comments about our service,

and e-mail your comments to Thank you.

New Requirement for Residential Alarm Systems Effective October 1, 2013

Mandatory Blower Door Testing Effective Date July 1, 2017

 RESIDENTS: Your Neighborhood Association may require compliance with their Rules and Regulations governing construction on your property. Please check with your Association officials prior to applying for a Building Permit and be sure that the form below is submitted with your Building Permit application.


To view or print the documents listed below, download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader software. 










Contractor Registration Information

STATE CERTIFIED CONTRACTORS: Are required to register with the City of Sarasota and provide proper credentials to include: copy of Certified State License, proof of Certificated of Liability insurance and workers’ Compensation Insurance or exemptions. There is no fee for Certified Contractors.

STATE REGISTERED CONTRACTORS: Are required to register with the City of Sarasota and provide credentials to include: copy of Registered License, copy of Letter of Reciprocity from Sarasota County, Copy of Certificate of Liability Insurance and workers’ Compensation. Note that the signature on the Contractor’s Affidavit must be SWORN AND NOTORIZED. For convenience, City Staff includes a notary public with a fee. An Original application form may NOT be faxed and must be mailed to the City of Sarasota Building Department, 1565 First Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 or brought in person to the Building Department. Contractors must renew their registration by October 1st every two years. Registration fee is $50.00.

SPECIALTY TRADESPERSONS [anyone who performs work under contract within the City of Sarasota and whose trade or craft is not certified or registered by the State of Florida] are required to register prior to pulling a permit or performing work.  This primarily affects landscape contractors, tree removal services, painters, drywall contractors, framing contractors and other skilled craftsmen and craftswomen whose trade is not registered with the State.  Specialty Tradespersons must provide proof of liability insurance [$50,000 per person/$100,000 per occurrence], proof of Worker´s Compensation Insurance [or an exemption by the State of Florida Waiver Form BCM 204].  If you have taken a local examination and have received a competency card from your jurisdiction, please provide a copy of that card. Registering as a Specialty Tradesperson provides the ability to use authorized agents as discussed above.  The registration fee is $150.00 every 2 years.  Specialty Tradespersons must renew their registration by October 1st every two years.

NOTE that Contractors and Specialty Tradespersons are subject to Local Business Tax Receipt if their business is operated from a location within the City of Sarasota City Limits.  For most Contractors/Specialty Tradespersons, the cost is approximately $50.00 annually depending on your business location and classification.  For more information, see below.

Building & Fire Board of Rules and Appeals

The Board of Rules and Appeals was established to hear appeals, to approve alternative standards to various model building codes, to certify contractors, to hear and decide whether or not to suspend or revoke a contractor certificate of competency, to deny issuance or renewal of certificates, to impose fines, or to deny the issuance of building permits for cause.

The Board consists of 9 members each possessing the specific technical and professional skills necessary to accomplish the work of the board.  Meetings are generally held once per Quarter in the Building Department Conference Room.

View Board of Rules and Appeals Guidelines

View List of Members

Local Business Tax Receipt [Previously named Occupational License]

All entities doing business in the City of Sarasota must obtain a City Local Business Tax Receipt each year.  This is in addition to any tax required by Sarasota County or any other municipal, state or federal agency. A Local Business Tax Receipt is easy to obtain.  Simply fill out the Local Business Tax Receipt Application and submit it.  In most cases, the only additional documentation required is the state license(s) required to conduct your occupation.  Businesses should contact Local Business Tax Division staff at 941-365-2200 ext. 4186 for the tax amount.

If the proposed business location is in a residential zone, use the Home-Based Occupation Application. Food Vendors should use the Peddler/Vendor Local Business Tax Receipt Application. All other businesses should use the Local Business Tax Receipt Application. Provided here are answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs ].

Retail Establishments will need to supply an estimated inventory value.  A retailer moving to the City should use the average monthly stock on hand for the past 3 years [or if the business is less than 3 years old, use the average stock on hand during the period the business has existed] and adjust for the size of your new location.  If this will be a new retail business, use the estimated or actual value of the stock purchased to open business.

NOTE that effective November 1, 2007 [per Sarasota County Ordinance 2007-053 and City of Sarasota Resolution 07R-1973], all Commercial and Institutional Fertilizer Applicators must present a Certificate of Completion from a Sarasota County approved "Best Management Practices" training program when applying for or renewing a Local Business Tax Receipt.  Golf courses are exempt.

Code Compliance

Through fair and thorough enforcement of local codes and standards, this group helps facilitate an attractive, clean, and aesthetically pleasing city.  They work to keep the City of Sarasota the best small city in the country.  They investigate complaints quickly and thoroughly and police neighborhoods and commercial areas alike. 

Click here to read or print a brochure detailing the Citizen´s Guide to Code Compliance. This valuable brochure outlines some of the most common code compliance complaints and what your neighbors in the City of Sarasota expect of you. (This brochure requires Adobe Acrobat Reader; download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader software.)

Submit a New Complaint or Check Status of Existing Complaints entered after 1/02/2008.
Or Call Code Compliance staff at [941] 365-2200, Ext.4125.

Registration of Abandoned/Foreclosed Real Property

On October 6, 2014, the City of Sarasota enacted Ordinance 13-5072 in an effort to decrease the growing problems of abandoned and neglected properties throughout the City.  All lenders/mortgagees are required to register properties that are currently in foreclosure according to this ordinance.  Foreclosed property includes any property that the lender/mortgagee has determined to be in default, has issued a notice of default, has recorded a lis pendens, or taken any other legal action to enforce its right to accelerate a debt or foreclosure its interest in the property.  Chapter 17 Article II of the City Code establishes the responsibility for mortgagees concerning registration, maintenance and security of subject property.  Additionally, the ordinance requires compliance with other standards such as signage requirements with contact information, monthly inspections and minimum housing codes. 

This ordinance allows the Code Compliance staff to maintain a list of properties and conduct regular inspections to ensure compliance with the ordinance and other maintenance requirements.

Abandoned/Foreclosed Property Registration

City of Sarasota Ordinance 13-5072

City of Sarasota Sec. 17-11

A separate registration form is required for each property.  Checks should be made payable to the City of Sarasota.

Please mail registration form and fee to:

City of Sarasota Code Compliance
Attn: Diane Kennedy
1565 First Street, Annex Building, 2nd Floor
Sarasota, FL  34236

Redevelopment Downtown


2017 Downtown CRA Advisory Board Meeting Schedule & Submission Information

5 Points

Cultural Park Concept Plan

Bayfront Connectivity

Main Street-Orange Avenue Roundabout

First Street Streetscape Plans April 20, 2015

First Street Streetscape Plan Summary in Color


Transportation Engineering Division


The Engineering Design Criteria Manual [EDCM] is actively in the revision process
for approximately the next 12-18 months. [May 2010 - November 2011]. During this
time the NDS Engineering Division will be collecting recommendations for changes
to sections of the EDCM. Please complete the information on the form below as applicable.
Thank you for your assistance in this process.

Form - EDCM Recommendations

Transportation Engineering staff regulates the public Rights-of-Way within the City of Sarasota. Public Right-of-Way refers to the area of land dedicated for public use, located between parcels of privately owned land. These include streets, alleys, parkways, sidewalks, drainage facilities, and other infrastructure. The Right-of-Way is typically dedicated for pedestrian and vehicular movement but can be used for other purposes such as the placement of landscaping, signage, public art, lighting and the placement of private and public utility equipment, both above and below ground. A Right-of-Way permit or Encroachment Agreement issued from the City is required in order to construct or place structures or objects in, or otherwise blocking access to, the public Right-of-Way. Click Here to view our Brochure of additional information and fees. The Transportation Engineering Division is located on the second floor of the City Hall Annex Bldg. and permitting hours are10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays. Click below for Right-of-Way Permit forms and information.

Right-of-Way Documents:

Permit Application for Right-of-way Use and Erosion Control

Transmittal form for Right-of-way Use / Erosion Control

Public Notice of ROW Closures



Erosion Siltation Sample Plans:


Single Family
Single Family with Parking Only
Single Family with Parking Only [2]

Adjacent to Waterway
Commercial with Existing Condition

Utility Documents:






Sidewalk Cafe Documents:







Transportation Planning


Transportation Planning is responsible for developing, evaluating and maintaining the Transportation Chapter of the Sarasota City Plan, a/k/a the Comprehensive Plan.  The Comprehensive Plan includes adopted Level of Service designations for roadways within the City which range from "A", indicating little or no delay, to "F", indicating consistent or continuing delay.  Whatever the adopted Level of Service, transportation planning is charged with ensuring that the City (including the required financial assistance of new development) is able to pay for the transportation facilities needed to maintain the designated level of service. 

The Sarasota City Plan contains maps of the current status of transportation  Some of the maps are:


Annually, all Florida cities adopt a Capital Improvements Program [CIP] identifying infrastructure projects and funding for them for the next five years.  The projects are identified for inclusion in the CIP to help the City maintain its adopted levels of service.  Road projects, roundabouts, intersection improvements and bicycle/pedestrian projects are examples of transportation improvements that might be included in the Capital Improvements Plan.


Concurrency is a requirement of Florida Statutes for new developments which must have adequate infrastructure in place --“concurrently” -- or at the same time as the new development is constructed.  Subsequent legislation allowed infrastructure to be constructed or in place within three years of the issuance of the first building permit for the project.  Concurrency regulations apply to all infrastructures: potable water, sewer and transportation.

In accordance with Florida Statutes, developments are considered to have de minimis traffic impact, or having no traffic impact, if new trips generated by the development are less than 1% of the capacity of the adjacent roadway.  Single family homes are, by Florida law, always considered to have no impact.  Also, a piece of property can receive credit for existing trips.  When a proposed development or use is NOT found to be de minimis, a complete Transportation Concurrency and Traffic Circulation Study is required.  These studies are conducted according to the adopted regulations in Appendix A of the City Zoning Code. 

A Traffic Determination Application for new development can be found in the City's Development Application materials on Page 3 above.


The Metropolitan Planning Organization consists of elected officials from Sarasota and Manatee Counties and all their local cities and towns.  The MPO makes decisions regarding the distribution and allocation of federal and state funds for transportation improvements.  Funds administered by the MPO include the Major Project Funds, Congestion Management System Funds (CMS), and Transportation Enhancement Grants (TE.)  The City annually submits a list of transportation projects for review and ranking by the MPO.  The ranking determines which City projects will receive funding through the Florida Department of Transportation District 1 Work Program. 


Transportation Planning works closely with Sarasota County Area Transit.  Projects include a decorative bus bench program, location of bus benches and bus shelters within the City limits, and transit infrastructure requirements for new development.  The City is also working to support SCAT’s grant application for Bus Rapid Transit.  The proposed BRT line will run from Sarasota Bradenton Airport to Bee Ridge Road entirely within the City limits. 


City Transportation Planning works closely with the Transportation Planning Division of the Sarasota County Public Works Business Center.  Traffic Impact Studies that are completed for developments adjacent to County roadways must meet both City and County Standards for Review.  In addition, improvements that may impact County-maintained roadways located within the City Limits are always reviewed with County staff.  Sarasota County maintains a traffic count program that includes many City streets. 


Transportation Planning provides traffic calming services to the City’s neighborhoods.  Since 1992, the City has provided traffic calming planning, design and construction on an area-wide basis on a first-come, first-served basis. 


Transportation Planning works closely with the Florida Department of Transportation District 1 located in Bartow, Florida.  FDOT permits all access to state roadways within the City limits including US 41, US 301, Fruitville Road, John Ringling Causeway and several other roadways. 

"Meaningful citizen participation yields better long-term solutions for neighborhood issues."

Goal and Mission

It shall be the Goal of the City to achieve healthy and livable neighborhoods by:

  • Maximizing opportunities for all citizens to have meaningful involvement in the decisions that affect their neighborhood;
  • Maximizing compatibility between residential and non-residential uses;
  • Ensuring neighborhood safety and quality of life;
  • Developing safe, aesthetically pleasing and efficient transportation networks;
  • Preserving, protecting and enhancing neighborhood aesthetics, identity, and natural and historic resources; and,
  • Embracing an Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) philosophy by focusing on the capacities and assets of associations and citizens.

The Mission of City Neighborhood Services is to sustain and advance the physical, social and economic health of neighborhoods, promote community involvement, and support neighborhood self-reliance through asset-based community development.

Below are typical characteristics of active City neighborhood associations:

  1. Meet regularly.
  2. Have recognized leadership.
  3. Communicate with residents.
  4. Communicate with government.
  5. Take formal action to officially represent.
  6. Have articles of association/incorporation.
  7. Have delineated neighborhood boundaries.
  8. On record with Neighborhood and Development Services.

If your neighborhood is not within an existing neighborhood association and is interested in organizing a new Neighborhood Association, take the first step and download and fill out the form provided here:

Neighborhood Contact Information Form

Map of City Neighborhood Associations

Community Workshops

Prior to the City receiving a development application, for example a rezone, major/minor conditional use, street/right-of-way vacation, or comprehensive plan amendment, the applicant is required to hold a Community Workshop informing stakeholders [residents or businesses located within 500 feet] of the development proposal.  Community Workshops provide a forum for constructive dialogue between citizens and developers. Engaging the public early in the development process often times reduces the number of issues that can arise during the public hearing process.  Community Workshop Applications can be found with the Development Application material above.

City Calendar - Community Workshops

Understanding The City's Land Development Regulations - Brochure

Neighborhood Action Strategy [NAS] Program

The Neighborhood Action Strategy (NAS) process is a comprehensive and participatory effort to develop an action plan for the neighborhood by the neighborhood, with assistance from the City. The effort is comprehensive because it deals with all aspects and elements of the neighborhood and because it consults with all the stakeholders in the community, including property owners, renters, and businesses.

The City established the Neighborhood Action Strategy process in 1999 as a programmatic approach to revitalizing and investing in neighborhoods affected by blight or potential blight. Those investments range from capital improvement projects to focusing City staff resources on a specific neighborhood issue or concern. NAS plans have been adopted for eight City neighborhoods: Park East, Gillespie Park, Rosemary District, Bayou Oaks, Central Cocoanut, Arlington Park, Alta Vista and Poinsettia Park. Staff actively manages the implementation of action items from these NAS´s and tracks their progress while providing results to service users and providers. There are a total of 646 individual action items for the eight NAS neighborhoods.

 Click Here to View Eight Adopted Neighborhood Action Strategies (NAS)

Neighborhood Grant Program

The intent of the Neighborhood Partnership Grant Program is to assist and strengthen the City of Sarasota neighborhood associations and improve the quality of life within City neighborhoods.  Neighborhood Partnership Grants are offered twice per fiscal year Fall and Spring.  During each cycle, the City Commission votes to approve Neighborhood Grant applications based on recommendations from the Grant Review Committee.  Applications are ranked and given a maximum of 100 points as follows:

  • Project Description [20 Points]: How well the application describes the project and its goals.
  • Demonstration of Community Need [ 20 Points]: How well the application explains a community need and whether the project addresses said community need.
  • Evidence of Community/Association Strengthening [20 Points]: Whether the project has the potential to strengthen the Association and/or Neighborhood.
  • Community Support [20 Points]: Whether there is community consensus for the project as well as resident involvement in implementation of the project.
  • Appropriate Proposed Budget and Funding Source [20 Points]: Whether the budget revenues an dexpenses are clear and justifiable and whether the funding source is appropriate.

Past Neighborhood Partnership Grants have funded the following types of initiatives: Newsletters, Crime Watch, Public Landscape Improvements, Neighborhood Entry Signage, Website Development, Meeting Signs, Membership Drives, Safety Programs, T-Shirts, Special Events and more. Neighborhood Associations are eligible to receive one Neighborhood Partnership Grant per fiscal year. 

2017-18 Cycle A Grant Applications 

A Community Building grant is also offered for neighborhood associations to support community gatherings, celebrations or special events. Such events have the ability to increase neighborhood pride and deepen a sense of community. A sample of eligible funding projects includes: supplies, entertainment, printing, food and provisions (excluding alcohol and tobacco products), and permitting fees in conjunction with neighborhood festivals/celebrations. Neighborhood Associations are eligible to receive one Community Building grant per fiscal year. There is no application deadline for this ongoing program.

Community Building Grant Applications available October 1, 2017

Neighborhood Sign Identification Program

In 2005, the City Commission established the City neighborhood signs design standards identified in the link below. Neighborhood identification signs must adhere to these design standards when City funds are utilized as payment for the signs.

Neighborhood Sign Specifications

Neighborhood Services also provides several ongoing programs to City residents, including:

Being a Good Neighbor

CLICK HERE to Report Graffitti

Useful City Contact Numbers

Historic Preservation Program

"It shall be the goal of the City of Sarasota to identify, document, protect, preserve, and enhance all cultural, historic, architectural, archaeological resources of the City."

Application for Historic Designation

In general, properties considered for historic designation should be more than 50 years old, although the City has encouraged designation of architecturally significant structures associated with the Sarasota School of Architecture that are younger than 50 years old.  Buildings, sites and structures are considered eligible for local historic designation when it can be demonstrated that the specific criteria in Zoning Code Section IV, Division 8 have been met.  The Historic Designation of a property is achieved after public hearings before the Historic Preservation Board and the City Commission and approval of an ordinance that historically designates the property in question.  The Office of the City Auditor and Clerk is then authorized to pay for the installation of an official 8 x 8 bronze plaque to identify designated historic structures.

Locally Historically Designated Properties

National Register of Historic Places

Florida Master Site File Properties within the City of Sarasota [in Adobe .pdf format]

Reference books are available at the Sarasota County History Center Library, 6062 Porter Way, (941) 861-5000. Research hours are Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.   Also, sample designation reports are available in the Neighborhood and Development Services Department located on the 3rd Floor of the City Hall Annex Building at 1565 First Street.  The City maintains a listing of approximately 180 locally designated buildings.

Historic Designation Application and Information

2017 Meeting & Submission Schedule

Contact Your Board Members

To encourage the preservation of significant historical resources, historic designation entitles an owner to a variety of programs. These include incentives to promote sensitive historical rehabilitation by offering some relief from building and zoning code regulations.  Also a County ad-valorem tax exemption is offered for qualifying improvements to historic structures.  More information on the benefits of local historic designation is available from the City Department of Neighborhood and Development Services.  For additional information contact Dr. Clifford Smith, Senior Planner-Historic Preservation, at [941] 365-2200, ext. 4361.

Certificate Of Appropriateness Applications


Making changes to a locally designated structure requires a Certificate of Appropriateness [COA] application, and changes are subject to Secretary of Interior Standards.  The COA application is submitted through the Office of the City Auditor and Clerk, is reviewed by staff, and is scheduled for a hearing before the Historic Preservation Board.  The application should include clear building plans and other relevant information.  The Board has a deadline for submission of materials for presentations and applications, and the schedule is presented above.  Note: Refer to the City´s Main Web Page and select "Video on Demand" to view previous Historic Preservation Board Agendas, Staff Reports, Audios of Meetings, and Minutes.

Certificate of Appropriateness [COA] Applications

Forms to make exterior changes to LOCALLY DESIGNATED structures. (Whenever filing a building permit.)

Forms to relocate a LOCALLY DESIGNATED structure to a new location.

Forms to request the demolition of a LOCALLY DESIGNATED structure.

Demolition Application - Structures Listed on the Florida Master Site File [FMSF]

The State of Florida maintains a comprehensive statewide list of locations and structures that are of historical and archeological interest.  That list is called the Florida Master Site File [FMSF], and the structures listed on FMSF may be eligible for national or local historic designation. 

When an application for demolition of a structure listed on FMSF is submitted, an historic review will be conducted to determine if the structure is a contributing building to a historic district, eligible for local or national designation or if there are any viable alternatives to the demolition of the structure. The review will include an evaluation prescribing what measures are required to avoid, minimize, or mitigate the adverse effect on the historic resource.

Any FMSF structure found to be non-contributing or not eligible for either local or national designation may be issued a demolition permit by the Director of Neighborhood and Development Services.

FMSF structures that are eligible for National Register designation, designation by the City, or as a contributing building to a historic district will not be issued a demolition permit until the Historic Preservation Board finds appropriate mitigation measures have been undertaken.  Contact Dr. Clifford Smith, Senior Planner-Historic Preservation, at [941] 365-2200, ext. 4361 for additional information.

Application for Demolition of an FMSF Structure

Public Art Program

The City's Public Art Program facilitates the creation and exhibition of a wide variety of publically and privately initiated art works through commissions, acquisitions, donations, loans governed by Zoning Code requirements for new development in the downtown.  Provided below are policies, requirements, applications, Public Art Committee Members and meeting schedule.

Public Art Requirements Information Package

Public Art Application

2017 Meeting Dates and Submission Schedule

Public Art Collection

For more information about the City´s Public Art Program, please contact Dr. Clifford Smith, Senior Planner, at (941) 365-2200, ext. 4361.

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