20170113-13 Jan 2017

Judge denies Sarasota County’s motion to dismiss Petland lawsuit

Hearing set for late this week on request for a temporary injunction to keep a new law banning retail dog and cat sales from going into effect

A 12th Judicial Circuit Court judge last week denied Sarasota County’s petition to dismiss the lawsuit the owner of the community’s Petland franchise filed against the county last year, seeking to prevent a ban on retail sales of cats and dogs from going into effect on Jan. 27. (Read more »)

County Commission splits on vote allowing two privately initiated Comprehensive Plan amendments to be considered outside the normal cycle

One could lead to a new hotel on commercially zoned property on Siesta Key; opponents of that amendment voiced their views to the board

The crux of the matter was the process, a Sarasota County staff member and the past chair of the County Commission explained during the board’s regular meeting on Jan. 10, and that was exactly what Commissioner Nancy Detert said she did not like. (Read more »)

County Commission takes no action on Lido Renourishment Project this week

Representative of Siesta nonprofit points to county Comprehensive Plan policy that prohibits dredging of county waters without county approval

On Jan. 10, the only Sarasota County Commission comments regarding the proposed Lido Renourishment Project came from newly elected Commissioner Nancy Detert, and she prefaced part of them with a question to County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh. (Read more »)

Proposal for three-story self-storage facility on Fruitville Road turned down by County Commission

Board declines to amend the county’s zoning ordinance to make the project possible

A month made no difference. On Dec. 14, 2016, the Sarasota County Commission held a public hearing on a petition to amend the county’s zoning ordinance to allow self-storage buildings by special exception in the county’s Office, Professional and Institutional (OPI) districts. A related proposal called specifically for a three-story, 82,200-square-foot, climate-controlled self-storage facility on Fruitville Road on land zoned OPI. (Read more »)

SKA presses County Commission to continue to seek Environmental Impact Statement on Lido project

The organization has established a nonprofit committee to help with its legal challenge of the dredging of Big Pass

The Siesta Key Association (SKA) has renewed its request for the Sarasota County Commission to press for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the proposed $19-million Lido Renourishment Project. The nonprofit this week also announced the establishment of the Siesta Key Environmental Defense Fund (SKEDF) “to further educate and advocate for the protection and preservation of environmentally sensitive structures and areas of Siesta Key.” (Read more »)

Casey Key chickee hut request prompts discussion about amending county regulations regarding construction beyond the Gulf Beach Setback Line

Commissioners indicate staff approval of such an amenity would be appropriate, without the need for a board vote

In voting unanimously on Jan. 11 to approve the construction of a chickee hut over a deck that stands 105 feet seaward of the county’s Gulf Beach Setback Line (GBSL), Sarasota County commissioners also indicated they would consider amending county regulations to allow staff to provide permits for such an amenity in the future without the need for board action. (Read more »)

Another 131 intersections to undergo re-timing to facilitate traffic movement in the county

County Commission awards contract to Hillsborough County firm for work through 2018

With no comment this week, the Sarasota County Commission unanimously approved a $1,394,603.25 contract with Albeck Gerken Inc. of Hillsborough County to perform signal re-timing on another 131 intersections. (Read more »)

City of Sarasota’s legal expenses for litigation over lift station project approaching $5 million

City Commission had agreed a settlement offer was too low

When the Sarasota City Commission agreed last week that a settlement offer from a firm in litigation with the city over the original Lift Station 87 project was insufficient, the city attorney did not have with him an updated figure for the legal fees the city had incurred. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

New Sandal Factory shop expected to open later this month; more thoughts offered on FDOT’s drainage project; hearing set on Cosentino’s lawsuit against county; Cosentino wages another legal battle; Condo Council supports SOSS2 in fighting Big Pass dredging; and Siesta Chamber’s 2017 officer slate announced

Within another week to 10 days, the newest store on Ocean Boulevard in Siesta Village should be open: the Sandal Factory, on the site of the former 7-Eleven store. Jim Syprett — who co-owns the property with Jay Lancer — told The Sarasota News Leader on Jan. 9 that he was just in the Village that morning to check on the progress, adding that he was really pleased with how the final details were coming together. (Read more »)

Most city and county facilities to be closed on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 16

MLK Unity Walk and Celebration to begin at 11 a.m. at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex in Sarasota

City of Sarasota and Sarasota County administrative offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 16, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the city and county have announced. (Read more »)

Inauguration Day lecture in Sarasota to explore polarization in American culture and politics

Art and archetypes to be subject of related workshop on Jan. 21

On the day President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office — Jan. 20 — internationally recognized author Dr. Richard Tarnas, professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and winner of the 2006 Book of the Year Prize from the international Scientific and Medical Network, will speak in Sarasota on the prevailing zeitgeist of Western culture and politics, organizers of the lecture have announced. (Read more »)

Albanian ambassador to speak during International Holocaust Remembrance Day event in Sarasota

Commemoration planned on Jan. 29 on Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee campus

Floreta Faber, the Albanian ambassador to the United States, will be the special guest at the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration on Jan. 29, the federation has announced. (Read more »)

Sarasota in Defense of Animals to host ‘Croquet Soiree’ on Jan. 21

Fundraiser will celebrate the organization’s 27 years of providing a home to abused and abandoned animals

Sarasota in Defense of Animals (SDA) will host a fundraising Croquet Soiree from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, in the Edson Keith Mansion at Phillippi Estate Park in Sarasota, the nonprofit has announced. (Read more »)

STOP! to host Jan. 23 town hall meeting

Citizen participation in local government to be the topic

The organization STOP! will host a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 23, in the auditorium of Selby Library in downtown Sarasota, the City of Sarasota has announced. (Read more »)

Sarasota Police Department wins grant for pedestrian and bicycle safety awareness program

Initiative underway in five areas of the city of Sarasota

The Sarasota Police Department has received a grant for a pedestrian and bicycle safety awareness program that recently began in five areas of the city, the department has announced. (Read more »)

Supervisor of elections invites scholarship applications

Deadline is March 29

Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner is accepting applications for a scholarship to be awarded by the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections (FSASE) this year, his office has announced. (Read more »)

Suncoast Partnership’s executive director to step down in March

Loveless has led the nonprofit since May 2013

The executive director of the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness has announced her retirement as of the end of March. (Read more »)

County program to provide rebates for installation of public charging stations for electric vehicles

Details to be discussed at two public meetings; information also available online

With electric vehicle use becoming increasingly popular, Sarasota County government is launching a program to boost the number of charging stations across the county; two workshops have been planned to provide details, the county has announced. (Read more »)

Winter Arts and Crafts Show to return Jan. 21 to Englewood Sports Complex

Vendor spaces have sold out, county staff says

On Saturday, Jan. 21, the Winter Arts and Crafts Show will return for its fifth year at the Englewood Sports Complex, Sarasota County has announced. (Read more »)

Free Legacy Trail Surrey Ride Program has begun again

Pre-registration required for outings planned through April 20

The Surrey Ride Program has returned as of Jan. 11, offering residents and visitors who are mobility-challenged a way to enjoy Sarasota County’s award-winning and highly popular Legacy Trail, the county has announced. (Read more »)