20161202-2 Dec 2016

Army Corps of Engineers tells County Commission an Environmental Impact Statement not warranted for Lido Renourishment Project

Nov. 29 letter says that ‘vigorous opposition’ to the project does not equate to ‘existence of substantial dispute or scientific controversy’ about its effects

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has informed the Sarasota County Commission that it does not believe an Environmental Impact Statement is warranted on its joint project with the City of Sarasota to dredge Big Sarasota Pass to renourish South Lido Key. (Read more »)

Majority of City Commission agrees not to divert funds from homelessness programs to help first-time homebuyers

In the minority on the vote, Mayor Willie Shaw and Vice Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie cite lack of educational outreach and continuing need for down payment assistance

Sarasota Mayor Willie Shaw and Vice Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie believe the City of Sarasota still should be using some of the housing funds it receives from the federal government to help families with down payments, they have made clear. (Read more »)

County asks 12th Judicial Circuit Court to dismiss Petland lawsuit

Motion notes year-long amortization period as well as lack of requirement for sales of dogs and cats in the business’ franchise agreement

An attorney for Sarasota County has asked the 12th Judicial Circuit Court to dismiss a complaint filed by Lamar Brad Parker Jr. and BKG Pets Inc. that seeks to overturn the retail pet sales ban that is scheduled to go into effect in the county on Jan. 27, 2017. (Read more »)

With Dec. 27 deadline looming for FDEP decision on Lido permit, leaders of three organizations talk of preparations for legal action

State agency’s Nov. 30 open house on the proposed renourishment project draws about 115 members of the public

Carl Shoffstall, president of the Lido Key Residents Association, stood at one end of the second-floor meeting room on the evening of Nov. 30 at Fire Station No. 2 located on Waldemere Street in Sarasota. At the other was Kay Paquette, president of the board of the Whispering Sands Condominium Association on Siesta Key. (Read more »)

County Commission determined to forge agreement with Airbnb before World Rowing Championships

Board wants to ensure all property owners who host visitors for the event pay Tourist Development Tax

With the World Rowing Championships expected to bring tens of thousands of visitors to Sarasota County in September 2017, the County Commission wants to do all it can to finalize an agreement with Airbnb to ensure it does not lose Tourist Development Tax revenue on home rentals through that online home rental service. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

Purported religious group causing angst among Drum Circle participants; Cosentino submits a new filing in his lawsuit against the county; Pine Shores Estates to get uniform speed limit; Stahley still the Key’s Code Enforcement officer; and the Condo Council announces details of its Holiday Lighting Contest

Members of a religious group from north Florida have been antagonizing participants during recent gatherings of the Drum Circle on Siesta Public Beach, The Sarasota News Leader has learned. On Nov. 20, for example, men in the group used a bullhorn to address Drum Circle participants. (Read more »)

County board allocates extra money to two South County projects, but cites upcoming discussions that could affect awarding the contracts

The final decision on the location of new fleet facilities for both the Sheriff’s Office and the county will have an impact on whether the projects go forward

With decisions yet to be made about the location of a new fleet facility for both the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and Sarasota County Government, the County Commission has approved extra funding for separate South County fleet and fueling projects. (Read more »)

Chapman and Ahearn-Koch join Hyde as City Commission candidates

Atwell declines to seek a third term

Sarasota City Commissioner Susan Chapman filed on Nov. 30 as the only incumbent to seek re-election to the board in 2017. She joins Tahiti Park Neighborhood Association President Jennifer Ahearn-Koch and small business owner Martin Hyde in the race for two at-large seats on the commission. (Read more »)

New Dairy Queen and other commercial space expected to open in 2017 on Stickney Point Road

County Commission approves rezoning petition to enable infill development near Siesta Key to proceed

The owner of the property at 2121 and 2131 Stickney Point Road — just east of Siesta Key — hopes to open a new Dairy Queen and two speculative commercial buildings there in 2017, following unanimous County Commission approval of the rezoning of the site, the owner’s agent has told The Sarasota News Leader. (Read more »)

Light Up the Village lights up children’s faces on Siesta Key

32nd annual event kicks off the holiday season on the island

The holiday season officially has begun in Siesta Village, thanks to Santa Claus’ arrival during the 32nd annual Light Up the Village event held on Nov. 26. Mark Smith, chair of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, told The Sarasota News Leader this week that the parade “was one of the best, if not the best” since that became part of the holiday festivities several years ago. (Read more »)

Street closures announced for Downtown Sarasota Holiday Parade

Towing will be enforced in areas where parking is restricted for Dec. 3 event, Police Department says

The 21st Annual Downtown Sarasota Holiday Parade will be held on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m., the Sarasota Police Department is reminding the public. (Read more »)

Marijuana Law and Policy Group added to Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick roster

Attorneys will assist clients with rapidly changing federal and state laws and policies, firm says

The full-service business law firm Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP just added a new practice group — the Marijuana Law and Policy Group — to its roster, the firm announced this week. (Read more »)

Community update on future Venice public library scheduled for Dec. 8

Morning and evening sessions will include the same information, county staff says

Members of the public are welcome to learn what is new in the planning process for the future public library in Venice when Sarasota County staff hosts a community update next week, the county has announced. (Read more »)

Safe option now available for homebound residents to dispose of prescription medicines

Department of Health, Drug Free Sarasota and the Sheriff’s Office collaborate on the new initiative

Drug Free Sarasota and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office have partnered with the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County (DOH-Sarasota) in distributing easy-to-use Deterra pouches for homebound residents and their caregivers to safely dispose of unused or expired prescription medications, the organizations have announced. (Read more »)

County celebrates completion of Bee Ridge Road improvements

The 2.6-mile segment includes a four-lane stretch and roundabouts

On Nov. 28, Sarasota County commissioners and staff celebrated the completion of improvements to a 2.6-mile segment of Bee Ridge Road between Mauna Loa Boulevard and Iona Road, east of Interstate 75. (Read more »)