Spotlight on Neighbor - Genia and Al Urbont

Residents of Golden Gate Point have long enjoyed the diverse flowers and plants in front of Majestic Bay.  The garden was initially designed by Genia Urbont, a resident of Majestic Bay who moved to GGP in 2005.   Genia is an ASID designer who operated a thriving design company in Larchmont, New York, when it was less common for women to have their own companies.   She designed builders’ models for new homes and condos as well as other projects.   

The garden in front of Majestic Bay was Genia’s passion.   She selected the plant material, designed it, and tended to it personally for many years.   

Al Urbont in front of 288 GGP, Majestic Bay.

Majestic Bay won the Golden Gate Point Association 2016 Beautification Award at the 2017 Members' Annual Meeting

Genia’s son Al Urbont was an art director in New York and later sold printing products for many years until he moved to Florida to help take care of his mother.  Al is the GGPA Building Captain for Majestic Bay. Al designs flyers, signs and the cover of the annual GGPA directory for the Association and works with the landscaping committee.

As Genia’s ability to care for the garden diminished, Al took it over as a labor of love.   Genia’s health needs are such that she is now in assisted living and is not here everyday to appreciate her lovely garden.   We are thankful to Genia and Al for their contribution to the attractive appearance of GGP.

Spotlight on Neighbor - Charlotte Hedge  

GGPA member Charlotte Hedge and her husband Tom bought a unit in Pier 550 in 1992.   Charlotte was one of the founding Board members of the Golden Gate Point Association when a community association on GGP was revitalized in 2001.  She has served as GGPA Vice President, and continues to volunteer to this day as building captain for Pier 550.

            Charlotte’s husband Tom is the Golden Gate Point Association’s representative to Bayfront 20:20, and keeps the GGPA Board up to date with the Bayfront development progress.   Charlotte, Tom and their son Tom, Jr. are realtors in town, and have a long history of volunteering in many Sarasota community organizations.   In particular, they’ve been past Presidents of the Sarasota County Boys & Girls’ Club.   

            The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County provides afterschool and summer programs for children and teens from ages 6 to 18, at five locations in the county.  Two of those locations are in Sarasota: one at the Lee Wetherington Club, 3100 Fruitville Road, and another at Newtown Estates Park on Newtown Boulevard.

            Charlotte is an accomplished craftsperson, and has been an avid knitter for many years.  Nine years ago Charlotte founded an afterschool program, a knitting club, in the Fruitville branch of the Boys & Girls Club.  The knitting club attracts about 15 girls and boys (yes, boys too) to get together each week, learn a craft and talk.   Charlotte, as well as a few dedicated volunteers, meet with the knitting club once a week.  Kids have made all kinds of knitted and other fabric crafts, such as blankets using fleece as well as yarn.   Part of the fun for the kids is sitting around and talking with others in the club as they work on their projects.  Charlotte welcomes any GGP craftspeople or others who may have time to volunteer for the Boys & Girls Club.   More information about their programs is available by Clicking Here.

            Charlotte is an avid photographer as well as knitter.  She enjoys taking photographs locally and makes note cards with her photographs.  


Three members of GGPA met with Karin Murphy, Director, and Briana Dobbs, Senior Planning Technician, of the Urban Design Studio.  The city commission established the Urban Design Studio to work with Sarasota residents to create a city wide Form-based code to replace the city’s current zoning code.  A Form-based code and its districts are different than conventional zoning.  As the Urban Design Studio explains, “Conventional zoning designates permitted uses of land based on map zones which separate one set of land uses from another.   While a conventional code separates uses, it’s difficult to determine what the built environment or community will look like upon build out.”

They explain that a Form-based code fosters predictable buildings and high-quality public spaces by using physical form (rather than separation of uses) as the organizing principle for the code.

Form-based codes “address the relationship between building façades and public spaces such as parks, the form and mass of buildings in relation to one another, and the scale and types of streets and blocks.”  The regulations and standards in Form-based codes are presented in and clearly drawn diagrams, metrics and other graphics.

Karin Murphy advised that Sarasota’s zoning code is over 40 years old andpresently exists in paper documents and books.  Upon the adoption of a Form-based code, all Sarasota zoning will be computerized and available.

This code initiative it is anticipated to be a three year process, and there will be many public participation events scheduled city-wide.

The meeting of GGPA members with Ms. Murphy and Ms. Dobb is just one of many that are occurring as part of this process.

Others from GGPA are invited to take part.   Brent Parker, former President of GGPA and instrumental in the Streetscape development, has expressed his interest in participating in this GGPA feedback process. 

You can read more about the zoning initiative by Clicking Here. 

Karin Murhy and Briana Dobbs, Urban Design Studio

Karin Murhy and Briana Dobbs, Urban Design Studio


Spotlight on GGP Neighbor - Cathy Antunes    GGPA member Cathy Antunes has been a longtime political commentator in Sarasota.   She’s written monthly articles in SRQ daily, an online news site, since 2011, and writes her own blog at   Cathy has now become a radio personality as well.  Her show,  “The Detail”, is on Fridays at 2 p.m. on WSRQ, 98.3 FM, 106.9 FM and 1220 AM.  She began her show last June and all of her interviews can be heard on podcasts accessible at

Cathy Antunes

Cathy’s interviews grapple with a range of issues of local and regional concern.  She’s explored subjects relating to property development and land use, traffic,  the Sarasota Charter,  moneyand influence in elections, ballot amendments and voting rights, lawsuits involving Sarasota, beach assets, and school board issues-- to name just a few.   Her guests are elected officials from Sarasota city and county, as well as other city, county and state representatives, along with business people and local activists.

Cathy is active in the GGPA, and presently serves as its Vice President .  She also keeps GGPA’s board up to date on activities of regional neighborhood associations.  These include CCNA (Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations), DSCA (Downtown Sarasota Condominium Association) and CONA (Council of Neighborhood Associations).

Cathy and her husband Jose Antunes, an endocrinologist, live in the Renaissance (378 GGP).


Meet and Greet-   June 23, 2016  See Photos on Photo Page  

Meet and Greet Thursday October 27, 2016 at Pier 500  See Photos on Photo Page  


Photo courtesy of Charlotte and Tom Hedge, Premier Sotheby's International Realty

Photo courtesy of Charlotte and Tom Hedge, Premier Sotheby's International Realty

News & Events



The Annual Meeting of Members of the Golden Gate Point Association was held on Saturday, January 21, 2017, 9:30 a.m., at the Bird Key Yacht Club.  

Kelly Strickland, Director of Finance, and Candie Pedersen, Manager of Landscape Operations of the City of Sarasota discussed the public/private partnership between GGPA and the City and how streetscape taxes and maintenance issues are handled.      Both Ms. Strickland and Ms. Pedersen gave excellent presentations to the members.  

Ms. Strickland addressed how the tax relating to the debt on the Golden Gate Point special taxing district are calculated as well as maintenance costs of the streetscape.   She discussed the tax savings from the recent refinancing of the bond.

Kelly Strickland, Sarasota  Director of Finance

Kelly Strickland, Sarasota  Director of Finance

Ms. Pedersen addressed the landscaping contract as well as the special issues affecting landscaping in the Golden Gate,  such as salt spray, drainage and runoff,  saltwater intrusion.     

Ms. Strickland and Ms. Pedersen provided a copy of their powerpoint presentations for us to share with members.  Both presentations continue on the same link, so please continue to scroll to find Ms. Pedersen's comments after Ms. Strickland.    To read and view the powerpoint, click here.

Ms. Pedersen also prepared and provided Association members with an additional summary of the landscaping contract standards applicable to GGP.   You can read those standards by clicking here.

Members who were able to attend the Bird Key Yacht Club meeting enjoyed breakfast, visited with neighbors, and learned  how the GGPA- City relationship works.  

Our thanks to Ms. Strickland and Ms. Pedersen!


At the annual meeting, a  number of members signed up to walk with others around the point, the bayfront or over the bridge.    

If you're interested too, please contact, so you can be added to the list.

Meet new friends and find others who will encourage you to keep that New Year's resolution!


Most GGP members have their GGPA annual dues paid directly by their condo associations.  These include the Phoenix, Vista Bay, Toscano, Majestic Bay, Alta Mer, Renaissance, Harbor House South, Grande Riviera, La Bellasera and Marina View.  If you are not an owner or resident of these condos, please be sure that you pay your GGPA $20 annual dues directly by sending a check to Golden Gate Point Association, 136 Golden Gate Point, Sarasota, Florida 34236.


GGPA Residents received a notice from the Florida Department of Transportation about a Project Development and Environmental study to evaluate US 41 and Gulfstream Avenue.   The purpose of the project is stated to be the improvement of pedestrian and bicycle connectivity between downtown Sarasota nd the Bayfront area and traffic flow.

Improvements under consideration are said to include "doing nothing" to building "roundabouts" (for some, called "traffic circles" or "rotaries").  FDOT advises on the flyer that it can be contacted at a website, however,  the one on the flyer won't work, as it's in capital letters.   The correct website address for the project is

The construction and any possible changes will have great impact on GGP and the Association and GGPA members should keep an eye out for the public meeting on the subject.  No public meetings are scheduled at this moment but the flyer states that one is anticipated in February or March, 2017.  

A GGPA Board member has been in contact with a Florida State engineering specialist Joshua A. Jester, E.I. and the offices of Walter Breuggeman, P.E. with the Florida Department of Transportation to discuss how a rotary will impact walkability and access from the bayfront to the township.    A few comments from FDOT representative about how a rotary works for pedestrians can be reviewed by clicking here.  

GGPA Member Tom Hedges represents GGPA at a Sarasota Bayfront 20:20 Meeting

GGPA’s Board of Directors voted to have the Association participate in the Sarasota Bayfront 20:20 planning process.   GGPA member Tom Hedges volunteered to serve as the Association’s representative.   Tom reports that the last meeting was well attended and hosted by Mr. Klauber with a fundraising update from Drayton Saunders, who has been tasked with the effort of raising 2.5 million privately and hopes to do this in $50,000 pieces.  To get some sense of what has transpired to date Tom suggests that anyone interested visit   For more information about Tom's report, click here.

GGPA Entrance Way Upgraded

Golden Gate Point's Entrance Way was created during the streetscape, an has not been painted since 2008.  GGPA's Board, working with the City, arranged for it to be freshly repainted.  The adjacent retaining wall has been power washed.


Site Plan Approval Granted for 609 Golden Gate Point
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