Venice has a new parking problem — figuring out how to guide motorists to open parking spaces that are just outside downtown.

Council Member Chuck Newsom said he’s seen cars circulating through Centennial Park and circling the block trying to find a place to park close to businesses.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of spaces available behind Venice Theatre, at the Hamilton Building and under the KMI Bridge, a block or two away, he said.

He and his wife automatically park at the Venice Community Center for events downtown, he said, a walk of about three blocks.

The shortage isn’t of parking spaces, it’s of signs directing people to them, he said.

Some people have limited mobility, he said, and need to park close or use valet service. But most people just need to be educated that there are convenient parking spaces within a short walk even during peak season.

Directional signs in strategic locations could divert drivers to an open lot, as could signs in Centennial Park visible to those circling cars.

Staff was directed to suggest locations for signs.

Other business

Also on Tuesday the Council:

• heard a presentation from Jon Thaxton, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, on a proposed Venice Shark Hunt Community Display.

• received updates from Bobby Young, chair of the Code Enforcement Board, and Joan Piper, chair of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

• received an update on the Suncoast BBQ Bash from Don Fisher.

• heard a presentation from Charles Hines, Chair, Sarasota Board of County Commissioners.

• presented Hines and Vince George, Southwest Florida project manager, Department of Environmental Protection, with awards for assistance in providing funding for the beach renourishment project.

• approved Council Member Bob Daniels attending “Assessing the Effects of Local Impact Fees and Land-Use Regulations on Workforce Housing in Florida,” sponsored by the Argus Foundation.

• directed staff to determine the interest of city employees in adopting Granada Nolen Green.

• agreed to request a presentation from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Health on the changes in the law regarding shark fishing.

• discussed alternative ways to deal with complaints about contractors other than the Construction Board of Adjustments and Appeals.

• appointed Danielle Lewis as a deputy city clerk.

• heard first reading of an ordinance providing an annual update of the five-year capital improvement schedule for Fiscal Years 2019-23 and long-range schedule of capital projects for Fiscal Years 2024-28.

• heard first reading of an ordinance dissolving the Economic Development Advisory Board

• heard first reading of an ordinance modifying utility capacity charges.

• approved a preliminary plat for Cassata Place.

• approved an agreement with Consultant Services with Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. for professional engineering services for an aquifer storage and recovery well feasibility study.

• approved applying for a Recycling Partnership Coastal Grant.

• accept an easement from Sered Venice 41 LLC for public ingress and egress over the portion of the property at 116 North Tamiami Trail.

• approved a contract with Spectrum Underground Inc. for an aircraft wash rack facility at Venice Municipal Airport.

• authorized the mayor to execute the Community Development Block Grant Program Interlocal Agreement with Sarasota County.

• appointed Candice Roberts to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and Bill Willson to the Planning Commission.

• heard a presentation from Dave Wimberly, president, and Doug Griffin, Scholarship chair, Venice Aviation Society, and Dennis King, president, Experimental Aircraft Association, on scholarships for Venice High School students.

• proclaimed May 18, 2019, as “Venice Museums Day.”

• proclaimed the month of May 2019 as “National Preservation Month.”

• proclaimed the week of May 18-24, 2019, as “National Safe Boating Week.”

• proclaimed the week of May 19-25, 2019, as “National Public Works Week.”

• presented the Mayor’s Pillar of the Community Award to the city’s police and fire departments.

• presented National Drinking Water Week Poster Contest award certificates to students Justin Scheiwiller and Addison Kearns, from Epiphany Cathedral School, and Aubrey Wiese, from Venice Elementary School.

You can watch the video of the meeting at VeniceGov.com, under the “Meetings” tab.

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