20171222-22 Dec 2017


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Petition drive begun in effort to let voters decide on whether to shift the City Commission election cycle from March to November, with primaries in August

Decide the Date campaign needs signatures of 3,758 registered city voters for referendum to be scheduled

A new initiative is underway to shift the City of Sarasota election cycle from March to November. A group called Decide the Date Sarasota, which lists the same address as the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, is working to gain the necessary number of signatures of registered City of Sarasota voters so it can put a proposed City of Sarasota Charter amendment on the ballot. (Read more »)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to take 1.7 million cubic yards of sand from Big Pass, instead of 1.2 million, expert witness testifies during state hearing

Fisheries in the pass to be adversely affected by Lido Renourishment Project, another expert witness tells Division of Administrative Hearings judge

Since the Lido Key Renourishment Project formally was unveiled to the public in September 2013, representatives of the City of Sarasota and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) routinely have referenced a range between 1.1 million and 1.3 million cubic yards of sand as the amount targeted for removal from Big Sarasota Pass and the pass’ ebb shoal. (Read more »)

No bacterial infections reported in Sarasota County as of mid-December resulting from contact with Petland puppies, Health Department says

CDC investigating illnesses in 17 states, with 14 reported in Florida as of Dec. 13

As of Dec. 15, no cases of Campylobacter bacterial infections linked to the handling of puppies at the Petland Sarasota store have been reported to the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County, The Sarasota News Leader has confirmed. (Read more »)

County completes Irma debris collections on Dec. 14, with total close to 300,000 cubic yards

After-action review meetings expected to continue into February, Emergency Services director says

A month after Hurricane Irma swept through Florida, toppling trees and showering all sorts of vegetative matter across the landscape, Sarasota County staff estimated the first pass of storm debris collections would not be completed before mid-January 2018. (Read more »)

Contractor at work to replace defective flooring at Ed Smith Stadium before Orioles begin Spring Training

Commissioner tells Tourist Development Council members that county hopes to recoup the expense through a lawsuit

In response to a News Leader question, county Media Relations Officer Drew Winchester reported in a Dec. 20 email that the contractor was nearly finished with the second floor of the facility and had completed approximately one-third of the first floor. The Baltimore Orioles are set to begin spring training at the stadium on Feb. 23, facing the Tampa Bay Rays at 1:05 p.m. (Read more »)

On Jan. 17, County Commission to address proposed changes in parking requirements to help spur more affordable housing developments

Planning Commission unanimously recommends the County Commission approve staff-initiated zoning text amendment

Sarasota County Planning Commissioner Kevin Cooper called it a necessary step, from the public policy perspective. His fellow Planning Commissioner Ron Cutsinger cited it as a key to reducing costs, so developers will build housing units that are more affordable. (Read more »)

No action yet on Oceane luxury condominium project slated for Ocean Boulevard on Siesta Key

Project was focus of dispute between developer and county building official earlier this year

In mid-March, a broker associate with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty in Sarasota told The Sarasota News Leader that if all went well, the first new condominium development on Siesta Key since 2009 would be underway in June or July. (Read more »)

County to lose more than $2.3 million on two Englewood parcels it bought years ago for a park — if it can sell both at board-approved prices

Neighbors expressed objections to park proposal after land was purchased, board hears

Sarasota County Commissioner Michael Moran seemed to sum up the sense of frustration board members felt on Dec. 12, as they approved motions in an effort to sell two surplus parcels in Englewood. “Boy, I tell you what,” Moran began. “This is not the county’s proudest moment on this.” (Read more »)

2nd District Court of Appeal dismisses appeal of Siesta Key resident regarding part of North Beach Road lawsuit

Mike Cosentino says Florida rules regarding litigation made the appeal necessary to ensure he could appeal his whole case if he loses in Circuit Court

Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal has granted Sarasota County’s motion to dismiss an appeal related to a Siesta Key resident’s 19-month-long fight to reopen a vacated segment of North Beach Road. However, the court made it clear that the appeal could be re-filed at a more appropriate time, based on Florida’s rules for litigation. (Read more »)

Sarasota County’s ‘bed tax’ collections off to good start in October, latest figures show

October figure up almost $119,000 over number for October 2016

After breaking another Sarasota County record in the 2017 fiscal year, Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collections are off to a good start in the current fiscal year, according to the latest report from the Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office. (Read more »)

Roadwork taking place at night this week on U.S. 41 in Sarasota in preparation for roundabouts construction

Crews on site between 10th and 14th streets from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., city manager says

This week, motorists have been advised that they should expect to see roadwork at night along U.S. 41 near downtown Sarasota as the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) began removing the median between 10th Street and 14th Street in preparation for the construction of roundabouts at those intersections, City Manager Tom Barwin announced. (Read more »)

Suncoast Partnership seeking volunteers to assist with 2018 Point-in-Time census of homeless people

Count to be conducted on the night of Jan. 29

The Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness needs the help of community residents “to reach out to our homeless citizens and find out what their needs and issues are,” the nonprofit has announced. Each year, the Partnership is charged with conducting the Point-in-Time census of homeless individuals in Sarasota and Manatee counties as part of a national initiative. (Read more »)

Draft of county’s Unified Development Code available on county webpage so public can offer comments

Goal is to combine Sarasota County’s zoning and land-use regulations in a much more user-friendly document

The Fort Lauderdale consulting firm working with Sarasota County staff to update the county’s zoning and land use regulations into a Unified Development Code (UDC) has produced its first draft, the county has announced. (Read more »)

Peppertree Bay, Island House Beach Resort and Sandpiper Beach Club take top honors in contest

18 condominium complexes participate in Siesta Key Condo Council competition

The Siesta Key Condominium Council has announced the winners of its 2017 Holiday Lighting Contest. Top prizes went to Peppertree Bay, Island House Beach Resort and the Sandpiper Beach Club in their respective categories, which organized by number of units, a news release says. (Read more »)

City of Sarasota announces holiday hours

Waste collection schedule changes planned

City of Sarasota administrative offices will be closed Monday, Dec. 25, and Tuesday, Dec. 26, in observance of Christmas, the city has announced. Offices also will be closed New Year’s Day, Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. (Read more »)

Selby Library to host volunteer fair on Jan. 16

Nonprofit organizations from Sarasota and Manatee counties will have representatives present

Making a New Year’s resolution to spend more time as a volunteer? Selby Public Library will host a Community Volunteer Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 16, the county has announced. (Read more »)

Sarasota County announces holiday schedules

Garbage and recycling to be collected Tuesday through Saturday the weeks of Dec. 25 and Jan. 1

Most Sarasota County Government offices and facilities will be closed Friday, Dec. 22, and Monday, Dec. 25, in observance of the Christmas holiday, as well as Monday, Jan. 1, for New Year’s, the county has announced. Collection schedules for garbage, yard waste and recycling will be delayed by one day during the weeks of Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. (Read more »)

Helping Hands program brings holiday cheer to children

Sarasota Fire Fighters Benevolent Fund established the initiative

The Sarasota County Fire Department in, collaboration with the Sarasota Fire Fighters Benevolent Fund and Sarasota Safe Children Coalition, “has brought holiday cheer to 31 local foster children,” the department has announced. (Read more »)

Sarasota County named recipient of 2017 Green Supply Chain Award by national publication

Materials Management Division honored

Sarasota County has been named a recipient of a 2017 Green Supply Chain Award by the publication and website Supply & Demand Chain Executive, the county has announced. (Read more »)