20160708-8 Jul 2016

County staff rebuked over delay in work on affordable housing initiative

County Commission chair talks of embarrassment that it could be close to two years before the county is ready to offer significant new incentives to developers

After almost six-and-a-half hours of review, discussion and public comments — the vast majority of which were critical — the Sarasota County Commission on July 6 voted unanimously to transmit to the state a draft of its first revision of the county’s Comprehensive Plan since 2006. (Read more »)

SOSS2 steps up fundraising efforts to fight dredging of Big Sarasota Pass

City of Sarasota staff members indicate during budget workshops that the state permit for the Lido Renourishment Project is expected to be issued this fall

Sarasota City Attorney Robert Fournier and Deputy City Finance Director Kelly Strickland both made the point during the recent City Commission budget workshops: The permit the city and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) need to dredge Big Sarasota Pass to renourish Lido Key is expected to be awarded later this year by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. (Read more »)

Members of the public argue against Comprehensive Plan change regarding abandonment of roads on waterfronts

Siesta Key residents — including plaintiff in a lawsuit against the county — voice objections to County Commission’s May 11 vote regarding a portion of North Beach Road

On July 6, as the Sarasota County Commission held its third public hearing on proposed revisions to its Comprehensive Plan, five members of the public argued against a 4-1 vote the board took on May 11 to abandon a 360-foot segment of North Beach Road that has been closed to traffic since 1993 because of its deterioration. (Read more »)

Vice mayor casts only ‘No’ vote in City Commission’s approval of fire assessment agreement

Shelli Freeland Eddie explains her reservations about Sarasota County’s references to ‘in-kind services’ regarding the properties in question

Having voiced reservations about what the city might be binding itself to do in the future in regard to “in-kind services,” City of Sarasota Vice Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie cast the lone “No” vote on July 5 as the City Commission approved a settlement agreement with Sarasota County over fire assessments of city-owned property. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

Village Association discussion arises over seafood festival planned on Siesta Public Beach in December; Sheriff’s Office finds a better way to manage beach parking lot traffic on the Fourth; expanded Siesta Fiesta planned again in 2017; Code Enforcement officer gives restaurants a ‘heads up’ over music volume

Members of the Siesta Key Village Association (SKVA) made it clear this week they are not pleased with the concept of the Siesta Beach Seafood & Music Festival, scheduled for Dec. 3-4 on Siesta Public Beach. (Read more »)

Fruitville/Beneva intersection logs the most traffic crashes in the city for the first six months of 2016

Police Department releases its Top 10 chart for incidents through June 27

The intersection in the city of Sarasota where the greatest number of traffic crashes occurred during the first six months of this year was Fruitville Road and Beneva Road, the Sarasota Police Department has reported. (Read more »)

Woman’s Exchange attorney says litigation against the city still seems likely

In the meantime, the city attorney is speeding up an effort to amend the city’s Zoning Code with hope that the nonprofit will stay in downtown Sarasota

City of Sarasota staff is speeding up an effort to amend the city’s Zoning Code with the hope of keeping the Woman’s Exchange in downtown Sarasota, thanks to direction City Attorney Robert Fournier won from the City Commission during its regular meeting on July 5. (Read more »)

Gulf Gate Library survey produces common themes that can be used in designing a new Venice Public Library

More meeting room space of various sizes and more computers among suggestions from patrons

Gulf Gate Library patrons especially like their facility’s convenient location and natural light, its study and meeting room space, its programs and special events, and the beauty of the building itself. They also say the top shelves are too high and the bottom shelves are too low; the aisles between shelves are too narrow; the acoustics could be better; and a single-story structure would have been preferable. (Read more »)

Lifeguard championships coming to Siesta Beach next week

Events scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 14-15

Lifeguards from around the state will be competing for medals at the U.S. Lifesaving Association Southeast Region Lifeguard Championships at Siesta Beach on July 14 and 15, Sarasota County has announced. The public may attend the competitions for free from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, a news release says. (Read more »)

City’s greenhouse gas emissions inventory showing 22-percent reduction over the past 12 years

Decrease is the equivalent to removing 40,000 cars from the road for one year, EPA says

“The combination of cleaner energy and more efficient energy usage” has led to a 22-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the Sarasota city limits since 2003, according to a recent inventory conducted by the City of Sarasota, the city has announced. (Read more »)

Sandbags approved by county staff as emergency measure for nine properties on Manasota and Casey keys

Residents had sought help in dealing with erosion caused by Tropical Storm Colin

Sarasota County staff has assisted a number of Manasota and Casey key residents dealing with property damage resulting from Tropical Storm Colin in early June, a senior manager in the county’s Planning and Development Services Department has reported. (Read more »)

Free activities offered in county parks and nature preserves in celebration of Park and Recreation Month

County staff encouraging the public to use its wide variety of recreational facilities

“Get ready to discover your super powers this July with Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources and the National Recreation and Park Association.” From learning a new skill, such as swimming, to meeting personal fitness goals, Sarasota County parks and recreation facilities and natural areas “can have you feeling like a superhero before July ends,” a county news release says. (Read more »)

SCOPE’s new website called a community resource

Organization’s Community Report Card more easily accessible, executive director says

The popular Sarasota County Community Report Card, SCOPE’s community well-being assessment, has been posted on SCOPE’s new website. “SCOPE is a resource for the community and we wanted a website that was a resource as well,” SCOPE Executive Director John McCarthy said in a news release. (Read more »)

Burns named new principal at Riverview High School in Sarasota

Appointment expected to win School Board approval on July 19

Riverview High School (RHS) Assistant Principal Paul Burns has been appointed principal of the school, effective July 11, the Sarasota County School District has announced. (Read more »)