THANK YOU! to Vice Mayor Ahearn-Koch, Commissioner Willie Shaw, and Commissioner Shelli Freeland Eddie for standing up for public safety, the environment, the City's residential neighborhoods, our shared system of laws, and last but not least, our Comprehensive Plan!

The nature of the garden is at the root of the issue

Petition to keep Selby Gardens a Garden

We Selby GARDENS too! That’s why we don’t want this serene oasis co-opted by commercialization.
  • Selby Gardens wants to become a commercial event and "destination" party center, with a high rise garage, and a large elite destination restaurant. This project will forever intrude upon Marie Selby’s lovely garden.
  • 111 mature trees, including 5 grand oaks, will be removed to make way for this concrete project. 25% of trees on the East side of the Selby property will be destroyed. Trees take decades to grow, but only minutes to destroy forever.
  • The “skygarden” actually is a one-acre 83.5-foot high (equal to 8 stories with 5 parking levels), block-long, paid parking garage. It will serve as a pedestal for a 10,000 square-foot roof top restaurant and event/party space, with an exclusive, long term deal given to Michael Klauber.
  • The touted 50 percent increase in garden space actually includes roads, paving, and buildings not open to the public.
  • Selby Gardens is requesting a change to the City’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan to the city’s MOST INTENSIVE USE normally reserved for airports, hospitals and sports arenas and a rezoning to a commercial and highly intensive use. This land use category – the Metropolitan Regional Center—is even more intense than downtown Sarasota.
  • There are flexible solutions to Selby Garden’s parking needs that don’t require a massive garage. The over-sized parking facility being proposed is large enough to accomodate a 747 jetliner, and it is simply a justification for turning the property into a highly commercial use AND THEY PLAN TO FILL THAT GARAGE EVERY DAY AND NIGHT resulting in massive traffic congestion at Orange Avenue and Mound Street.
  • Marie Selby was passionate about gardening, and she left her property of a “public garden for the people of Sarasota"—a public that is going to be priced out of access. Now Marie's good name and her tranquil garden are being used to justify a commercial event and party center.
  • Please sign this Petition to say NO to this plan that is incompatible with neighborhoods, traffic, safety and the needs and wants of the people of Sarasota.
  • NO to intense urban development imposing upon neighborhoods.
  • NO to the concrete garden and decimation of mature trees.
Girl feeding fish at Selby Gardens

Marie’s love of nature and of gardening was her most consuming passion. She was a charter member of Sarasota’s first garden club. She had a great desire to keep Sarasota a beautiful and green place and was disturbed later in life by the proliferation of high-rise construction

Marie Selby
Selby bayview

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature.

To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.

Alfred Austin
English Poet Laurete