August 18, 2017 Edition


Celery Fields advocates planning rally and protest in advance of County Commission hearing on recycling project proposed on Palmer Boulevard

TST Ventures proposal to be the sole business item on Aug. 23 agenda

Opponents of a proposed construction recycling facility near the Celery Fields in eastern Sarasota County are planning a rally on Saturday, Aug. 19, and a peaceful protest outside the Sarasota County Administration Center on the morning of Aug. 23. (Read more »)

Hearing on challenges to dredging of Big Pass to begin on Dec. 12, administrative law judge rules

Parties in the case agreed on the new timeline after FDEP attorney sought delay because of an injury he incurred

The Florida Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) proceeding on challenges to the proposed dredging of Big Sarasota Pass will be held in December, the parties agreed on Aug. 14. A Notice of Hearing Administrative Law Judge Bram D.E. Canter issued in the case on Aug. 16 says the proceeding will be conducted Dec. 12 through Dec. 15 and on Dec. 18 and 19 in Sarasota. (Read more »)

Upcoming cleaning of drainage ditch along Quay Sarasota property expected to alleviate flooding problems on U.S. 41 in downtown Sarasota

Problems at Gulfstream and Sunset Drive continue to plague residents, with questions raised about construction practices at The Vue

With Tropical Storm Emily having put downtown Sarasota flooding issues in the spotlight again, a two-pronged effort to improve the situation near Gulfstream Avenue and U.S. 41 is underway, a Sarasota County stormwater manager has told The Sarasota News Leader. (Read more »)

New regulations related to homelessness scheduled for County Commission consideration on Aug. 29

‘Life-sustaining’ ordinance designed to deal with individuals committing crimes after refusing social service assistance

During their regular meeting on Aug. 29, the Sarasota County commissioners will be asked to take their first formal action on a proposed new ordinance related to homelessness in the community. “Staff is in the process of finalizing the draft ordinance [on life-sustaining activities] for an authorization to advertise [it],” county Media Relations Officer Drew Winchester responded to a Sarasota News Leader inquiry this week. (Read more »)

Circuit Court judge agrees to put Board of Zoning appeals case on hold while county staff works on amendment to Siesta Key zoning regulations

Siesta residents vow again to fight any revision that would figuratively open the door to a big new hotel on the island

Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Frederick P. Mercurio has granted a joint motion of Siesta Acquisitions LLC and Sarasota County to hold in abeyance a dispute over a June Board of Zoning Appeals decision regarding street setbacks for tall commercial buildings in the Siesta Key Overlay District. (Read more »)

First public hearing set for Sept. 20 in consultant’s efforts to revise and unify Sarasota County’s land development and zoning regulations

Initiative to create Unified Development Code remains on schedule for conclusion in fall of 2018

Sarasota County’s initiative to update and combine its land development and zoning regulations into one user-friendly document remains on schedule for approval by the fall of 2018, County Administrator Tom Harmer has reported to the County Commission. (Read more »)

Visit Sarasota County relocating downtown Sarasota Visitor Center to Chamber of Commerce offices

Main Street facility closing on Friday, Aug. 18

Visit Sarasota County (VSC) will be moving its Sarasota Visitor Center from its Main Street location to 1945 Fruitville Road, the county’s tourism agency announced this week. VSC will be leasing space from the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

An FDOT ‘oops’ occurs on Siesta and Higel; graffiti discovered at Siesta Public Beach and on Frontier Communications property; the new fence along Siesta Drive also an FDOT project; people urged to keep vehicles locked to avoid burglaries; Turtle Beach Campground improvements underway; and FDOT warns about upcoming short-term, nighttime bridge lane closures

If you spent much time driving along Siesta Drive and Higel Avenue from Aug. 11 through the middle of this week, you probably wondered what was going on with the changing speed limit signs. Zachary Burch, government affairs & communications manager for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), told The Sarasota News Leader that crews from the department’s Manatee Operations Office were supposed to install new signs lowering the speed limit from 40 mph to 30 mph just in the vicinity of the sharp curve where Higel intersects with Siesta Drive. (Read more »)

Sheriff’s Office working to raise public awareness about preventing the burglaries of vehicles

Public service announcement produced in wake of continuing incidents

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has released a public service announcement (PSA) to raise awareness about vehicle burglaries on the Suncoast, the office has announced. “In light of the frequency” of auto burglaries throughout Sarasota County, a news release says, “the video was specifically created to emphasize crimes of opportunity” and remind people how easily such crimes can be avoided. (Read more »)

Sarasota County School District planning for the partial solar eclipse on afternoon of Aug. 21

Signed parental permission form required for any student to participate in a school activity related to the event

Because of concerns about potential eye damage related to the partial eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21, all Sarasota County schools will move outdoor activities inside between 1:15 and 4:15 p.m., except for those approved for students with signed district parental permission forms, the district announced this week. (Read more »)

Barancik Foundation renews grant for training of math teachers to facilitate student progress in subject

Sarasota County School District points to effectiveness of the initiative

Thanks to the “overwhelming success “of last year’s program funded by a grant from the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, Sarasota County elementary teachers will continue to get special training to help them plan lessons that are expected to result in students “overcoming math anxiety and finding success in math class,” the Sarasota County School District has announced. (Read more »)

Sarasota County to host public meetings on updated fire assessment methodology

Changes in fees and classifications approved for implementation in the 2018 fiscal year

Because the Sarasota County Emergency Services Department has updated the methodology for determining fire assessments, it is inviting the public to learn about the proposed changes to the assessments. “Fire assessments are charges imposed against real property to fund the fire services” provided to the public, a news release explains. (Read more »)