20160311-11 Mar 2016

Backers of Sarasota’s bayfront cultural redevelopment initiative to tour Carmel, IN, performing arts facilities

Sarasota Bayfront 20:20 will lead a group on a tour this spring of the Indianapolis suburb, while one city commissioner is already focused on how the cost of a new entertainment venue soared there

Advocates for a re-imagined Sarasota cultural bayfront district plan to travel to Carmel, IN, later this spring to explore how a performing arts hub was built in a former cornfield in the Indianapolis suburb. (Read more »)

Backyard chicken keeping to be topic for another County Commission discussion in about 60 days

Board votes 4-1 March 8 to ask staff to compile more material on the issue, along with suggestions for Zoning Code changes

In an effort to avoid writing an ordinance themselves during a public discussion, the Sarasota County commissioners voted 4-1 this week to have staff come back with another report — within 60 days — incorporating information for them to consider in creating a program that would allow people to keep backyard chickens in designated areas. (Read more »)

Hamilton Building lease approved, but county commission holds off on renovations until staff can prove no new health concerns may arise

Testing underway on whether the Venice Library site can support a new facility; county staff announces details about expanding temporary services, including a shuttle once a week to Jacaranda Public Library

A 4-1 Sarasota County Commission vote and a 4-3 Venice City Council decision on March 8 cleared the way for the county to lease the 9,475-square-foot Hamilton Building as a temporary space for a public library until a new facility can be built. (Read more »)

FDEP requests status update from the City of Sarasota and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding Lido Renourishment Project application

City engineer tells Sarasota County that it appears the peer review team it hired did not avail itself of all the information available online to support the proposal for dredging Big Pass

Just five days after the City of Sarasota provided long-sought comments to Sarasota County staff regarding a peer review the county commissioned of the city’s proposed Lido Renourishment Project, a staff member of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) notified the city engineer that the city and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) risk an automatic denial of their permit application for the undertaking unless they provide some sort of update to FDEP by April 7. (Read more »)

County to work with Intervenors to try to expedite case challenging rezoning of rare wetlands site for Whole Foods store

After being granted the right to join the case, the Intervenors file an answer saying a change in the county’s Comprehensive Plan makes the lawsuit moot

Owners of the property on University Parkway where Whole Foods plans its second Sarasota store have been granted the right to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the Sarasota County Commission’s decision to rezone a rare wetlands site to allow the project to go forward, Deputy Sarasota County Attorney Alan W. Roddy told the County Commission during its regular meeting on March 8. (Read more »)

Marian Anderson site figuratively on the move from former dump to scene of economic promise in north Sarasota

City Commission approves process to solicit developer concepts for the property, which is located on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way

The Marian Anderson Place property on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, just east of U.S. 301 in Sarasota, has been tarnished by a literally trashy past and failed attempts to bring economic stimulus to north Sarasota. (Read more »)

Sarasota County, West Villages and the Atlanta Braves would share expenses for a new stadium

County Commission votes unanimously to proceed with negotiations on new Spring Training facility for the team

“Cautionary excitement” was how Sarasota County Commissioner Christine Robinson termed it just before the board voted unanimously this week to authorize County Administrator Tom Harmer to continue negotiating terms with the West Villages and the Atlanta Braves for the funding, design and construction of a state-of-the-art spring training destination in the new master-planned community near North Port, Englewood and Venice. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

SKA sells out annual breakfast meeting; concern voiced about median near public beach; Village irrigation problem cited at Siesta Center; question posed about lockers at the beach park; and help wanted: an Easter Bunny

The Siesta Key Association (SKA) marked a milestone last weekend: For the first time ever, the organization sold out its annual members’ breakfast meeting. That was the announcement President Michael Shay made at the conclusion of the session, held on Saturday, March 5, at St. Boniface Episcopal Church. (Read more »)

Benderson’s plans for Stickney Point Road/U.S. 41 site remain a hot topic on Siesta Key

Siesta Key Association hears from County Commission chair and county administrator during its annual breakfast meeting

Just as when he addressed members of the Siesta Key Condominium Council in January, Sarasota County Commission Chair Al Maio noted during remarks to Siesta Key Association (SKA) members on March 5 that the future of the property at the northwest corner of Stickney Point Road and U.S. 41 continues to be of utmost concern to Siesta Key residents. (Read more »)

Revised city panhandling ordinance and reinstatement of water and sewer fees approved on second readings

As a result of comments made during the Feb. 16 City Commission meeting, the City Attorney’s Office tweaked a section of the panhandling law that could have prohibited free speech

Because of questions raised during the Sarasota City Commission meeting on Feb. 16 about proposed revisions to the city’s panhandling ordinance, City Attorney Robert Fournier explained to the board this week that he had made changes for their consideration. (Read more »)

Siesta Public Beach Park’s Grand Opening puts the spotlight on community’s ‘masterwork’

Writer finds herself enjoying a perfect day at the beach

Stop me if I am getting too spiritual, but I really think Siesta Key Beach is God’s answer to paradise on earth. And when I attended the festivities celebrating the two-year, $21.5-million renovation, I was beyond the point of being overwhelmed. (Read more »)

Park to offer archaeology ‘show and tell’ for children and adults on March 16

At Phillippi Estate Park, artifacts to be presented from the remains of an encampment used by people during the Manasota Period, 500 B.C. to 800 A.D.

Archaeology will again be in the spotlight at Phillippi Estate Park in Sarasota when the park hosts an archaeological “show and tell” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 16, Sarasota County has announced. (Read more »)

Through April 3, FDOT conducting pedestrian/traffic study on St. Armands

Pedestrians and traffic will be halted at various times while FDOT initiative proceeds

On Wednesday, March 9, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) began posting pedestrian traffic managers on St. Armands Circle to document the effectiveness of controlling pedestrian flow at the crosswalks, the department has announced. (Read more »)

Riverview High students headed to National History Bowl April 22-24

Teams brought home their third district title in late January

The Riverview High School (RHS) History Bowl teams are headed to the National History Bee & Bowl in Washington, D.C. April 22-24, pending School Board approval of the trip, the Sarasota County School District has announced. (Read more »)

Sarasota Memorial named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics

Study identifies hospitals and leadership teams ‘that provide the highest level of value to their communities’

“The 2016 100 Top Hospitals award winners represent the highest national standards in hospital care and management. They set the benchmarks for peers around the country to follow,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president at Truven Health Analytics, in a news release. (Read more »)

Tuttle Elementary School to offer Cambridge Primary program

Curriculum designed to help students develop critical thinking skills

Tuttle Elementary School in Sarasota has been approved by Cambridge International Examinations to offer the first Cambridge Primary program in the Sarasota County School District, the Sarasota County Schools have announced. (Read more »)