20160513-13 May 2016

Community workshops to be held on backyard chicken keeping in the county prior to a public hearing later this year

County Commission votes unanimously to allow staff to proceed with crafting an ordinance based on the City of Sarasota model

Based on staff’s estimate, the Sarasota County Commission likely will hold a public hearing in late September or early October on allowing people in the unincorporated parts of the county to keep backyard chickens. (Read more »)

Sheriff withdraws his support for county referendum planned for November

Saying his department still needs new facilities badly, Tom Knight nonetheless feels the timing of the ballot measure is wrong

Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight has withdrawn his support for what county staff has estimated could be a $191-million referendum this fall for Sheriff’s Office facilities on Cattlemen Road, a new fleet facility for the Sheriff’s Office — and possibly county vehicles — on Laurel Road in Nokomis and a new courthouse complex and renovations at the R.L. Anderson Center in Venice. (Read more »)

North Beach Road segment on Siesta Key will be abandoned, County Commission decides

Coastal Setback Variance also approved for new construction to replace old buildings that do not meet current standards

It took about three hours and 45 minutes, a last-minute proffer from the petitioners in one public hearing and discussion about interpreting a section of the Sarasota County Comprehensive Plan, but the County Commission this week finally agreed to abandon a 360-foot segment of North Beach Road on Siesta Key, which has been closed to through traffic since 1993, staff pointed out. (Read more »)

Condominium residents seek elimination of 12 Beach Road parking spaces next to the public beach

County’s Traffic Advisory Council to address the request on June 13, most likely in Sarasota, staff says

Siesta Key condominium owners’ request for Sarasota County to eliminate 12 parking spaces on Beach Road — parallel to Siesta Public Beach — will be one agenda item the county’s Traffic Advisory Council (TAC) will consider at 2 p.m. on Monday, June 13, most likely in downtown Sarasota, John Sharp, a staff member in the Transportation office of the county’s Public Works Department, told The Sarasota News Leader this week. (Read more »)

Demolition scheduled to start this week in Hamilton Building in Venice

County’s director of library services says the contractor has 90 days to get a Certificate of Occupancy; architectural firm chosen for new Venice Public Library

Demolition was scheduled to get underway in the interior of Venice’s Hamilton Building on May 11, as the initial step in the process of transforming the structure into temporary library space on the island of Venice, Sarabeth Kalajian, director of libraries and historical resources, told the Sarasota County Commission this week. (Read more »)

County Commission requests monthly updates on preparations for 2017 World Rowing Championships

Face-to-face presentations sought from SANCA president and director of the event

Three other Sarasota County commissioners verbally joined Commissioner Carolyn Mason this week in a request that staff begin scheduling more regular updates from both the director of the 2017 World Rowing Championships and the president of the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA), which manages events at Nathan Benderson Park. (Read more »)

Completion of Palmer Point Park restoration in Little Sarasota Bay expected to begin this fall

Spoil islands the focus of County Commission presentation

The restoration of a spoil island in the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) — near the area of Siesta Key where Midnight Pass once flowed — is scheduled to get underway once again this fall, Sarasota County staff has told the County Commission. (Read more »)

Longboat Key’s beach renourishment using sand hauled by trucks about twice the expense of inlet dredging

Town Manager Dave Bullock provides Siesta Key Association members details about the undertaking and about the island’s permeable adjustable groins

The Town of Longboat Key is paying close to $11 million for what is essentially “designer sand” being hauled in by truck from a mine in the vicinity of Immokalee in Collier County, Town Manager Dave Bullock told about 40 members of the Siesta Key Association (SKA) during their monthly meeting on May 5. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

‘Complete chaos’ among swimmers, boaters and fishermen described at Turtle Beach; complaints aired about valet parking service at Ophelia’s and garbage left out by renters; and Duink gets another term on county advisory council

For almost exactly three years, Andrew Terry has been trying to get Sarasota County staff to address what he calls “complete chaos” at Turtle Beach, where he has been swimming for exercise since he and his wife moved to the Key from Osprey. (Read more »)

Community workshops scheduled for discussion of ‘puppy mill’ ordinance

Sessions planned next week in North County and South County will focus on new regulations

During two upcoming public workshops, Sarasota County staff will present details and gather community comments about the county ordinance adopted early this year that addresses commercial sales of pets, the county has announced. (Read more »)

‘College Money Madness’ set on May 24 in Sarasota to offer help for students seeking college aid

Event to be held at Booker High School from 2:30 to 7 p.m.

Local high school students and their parents are invited to gain assistance with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at College Money Madness, a free workshop from 2:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24, in the media center at Booker High School, the Sarasota County School District has announced. (Read more »)

Elections office to host orientation for potential bilingual poll workers

Session to be held at 6 p.m. on May 16 in downtown Sarasota

The Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office will host a poll worker orientation session on May 16 for bilingual (English-Spanish) Sarasota County voters who are interested in becoming poll workers, the office has announced. (Read more »)

Section of Cocoanut Avenue to be closed for about six weeks, as of May 9

Sarasota city manager says that is necessary to allow infrastructure to be put in place for Hotel Curio

As of Monday, May 9, Cocoanut Avenue in downtown Sarasota between First Street and Palm Avenue is scheduled to be closed for approximately six weeks, City Manager Tom Barwin has announced, to allow what Barwin called “critical infrastructure, including force mains and stormwater lines,” to be installed underground in conjunction with the building of Hotel Curio, adjacent to the Palm Avenue garage. (Read more »)

Youth Fishing Tournament set for May 14 at Nokomis Beach

Pre-registration available through the county website

The Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department will host the fifth annual Youth Spring Fishing Tournament on Saturday, May 14, at Nokomis Beach, the county has announced. (Read more »)

Sarasota County wins drinking water honors for third straight year

Regional award bestowed last month; county also was one of 12 finalists in the statewide competition

Sarasota County’s drinking water once again has been recognized among the safest and cleanest in the state, the county has announced. Sarasota County won top honors in a regional Best Tasting Drinking Water contest, held last month by the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association. (Read more »)

New principal named for Wilkinson Elementary School in Sarasota

Susan Nations, who was Teacher of the Year for the Sarasota County Schools in 2005, will relocate from Southside Elementary

Sarasota County Superintendent of Schools Lori White has appointed Susan Nations as the new principal of Wilkinson Elementary School in Sarasota, effective June 8, the school district has announced. (Read more »)

County’s landfill gas-to-energy facility earns Project of Year honors

Honor bestowed by American Society of Civil Engineers’ Suncoast Branch

The Sarasota County Landfill Gas to Energy facility recently earned Project of the Year honors from the Suncoast Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the county has announced. (Read more »)