20161111-11 Nov 2016


Traditional Veterans Day parade and ceremony to be held in downtown Sarasota on Nov. 11

Parade will begin at 10 a.m.; ceremony will follow in Five Points Park

The public is invited to attend the annual Veterans Day parade in downtown Sarasota on Friday, Nov. 11, starting at 10 a.m., the City of Sarasota has announced. (Read more »)

Site of proposed 3,450-home project east of I-75 wins rezoning approval from County Commission

Commissioner Charles Hines casts only ‘No’ vote, citing a much narrower buffer than he would prefer on the SR 72 border of the property

For Sarasota County Commissioner Charles Hines, it was a matter of 450 feet. For three of other board members, the concept was almost exactly what they had envisioned under the county’s 2050 Plan for new development on the LT Ranch property east of Interstate 75. (Read more »)

Botelho’s appointment as deputy county administrator prompts Mason’s criticism about lack of workforce diversity

Commission vote on County Administrator Tom Harmer’s request approved 4-1

In October 2013, the Sarasota County commissioners asked Tom Harmer to step up from his job as deputy county administrator to the position of interim administrator, after they fired Randall Reid. In February 2014, Harmer accepted the board’s offer to remove “interim” from his title. Until this week, though, he had worked without a replacement in his original position. (Read more »)

New county impact fees for seven types of services to go into effect April 1

County Commission votes 4-1 to set them at the 100% level

With Chair Alan Maio having made the motion, the Sarasota County Commission voted 4-1 on Nov. 8 to implement new impact fees for seven different types of services at the 100% level, effective April 1. Commissioner Carolyn Mason was in the minority on the decision, which followed a public hearing that had been continued from Sept. 6. (Read more »)

Work on master pump station to begin Nov. 14 on Siesta Key

Projects remain on schedule for December 2017 decommissioning of the Siesta Key Wastewater Treatment Plant, county staff says

The new master pump station that will replace the Siesta Key Wastewater Treatment Plant will have triple redundancies and it will not be designed to allow any discharge into the Grand Canal, Sarasota County staff members told about 60 people during the Nov. 3 Siesta Key Association (SKA) meeting. (Read more »)

Orange Hammock Ranch purchase negotiations to proceed

County Commission declines to cap the amount staff may offer; the Southwest Florida Water Management District tentatively has proposed putting up $10 million as a partner in the process

Having talked of promises dating back almost 20 years, and those of more recent times, the Sarasota County commissioners this week unanimously directed staff to continue negotiations that they hope will lead to the purchase and preservation of Orange Hammock Ranch. (Read more »)

Residents applaud city’s steps to save Pineapple Park’s mermaid fountain

Resolution adding property to the park wins unanimous approval

With a unanimous vote this week, the Sarasota City Commission approved a resolution that will add an 18-foot strip on the far west side of the former Lemon Avenue to Pineapple Park. That should ensure ongoing protection of the mosaic mermaid fountain that is the park’s signature feature, supporters say. (Read more »)

Food truck operators finally win relaxed regulations in the county

County to maintain 150-foot separation between a vendor and a residence, and the businesses will be restricted to private property in certain zoning districts

With changes having been made at their request in October, the Sarasota County commissioners this week unanimously approved a revised food truck ordinance that will eliminate restrictions between the mobile units and between the trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants. (Read more »)

Steps approved to remediate conditions in city’s Central Records facility

City auditor and clerk had requested a limited air assessment in the building after an employee became ill while looking through documents stored there

A limited air-quality assessment of the City of Sarasota’s Central Records facility found “quite a bit of … suspect microbial growth” on the air conditioning supply vents and a constant influx of warm moist air because of the proximity of a rollup door and a mail slot in a second, standard door in the warehouse where the documents are kept, a consultant told the Sarasota City Commission this week. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

SKA and county staff provide an update on the Lido Renourishment Project; the Condo Council will meet next week; Sheriff’s Office deputy and SKA members trade anecdotes; SKA membership renewals underway; and SKA email blasts are worth reading in detail

Confusion continues to swirl around the exact timeline the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) is following in regard to the City of Sarasota/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) proposal to dredge Big Sarasota Pass to renourish South Lido Key Beach. (Read more »)

Volunteers sought for Thanksgiving luncheon for the homeless

Table hosts needed for Nov. 23

The Sarasota Ministerial Association is seeking volunteers to assist with the complimentary Thanksgiving luncheon traditionally provided for the homeless in the community, the Rev. Dr. Tom Pfaff has announced. (Read more »)

U.S. 41 improvements getting underway this week in City of Sarasota

Nighttime and overnight lane closures planned between Browning Street and 11th Street, FDOT advises

Extensive improvements along U.S. 41 through downtown Sarasota were scheduled finally to get underway as of Nov. 8, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announced. The project will stretch from Browning Street to 11th Street in Sarasota. (Read more »)

L.K. Nandam named FDOT District 1 secretary, replacing Hathaway

Former director of operations began his new job on Nov. 4

L.K. Nandam, a professional engineer, has been named the new District 1 secretary for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), effective Nov. 4, the department has announced. (Read more »)

Affordability housing survey launched

Public comments sought in effort to address gaps in the community

As part of a major initiative focused on housing affordability, Sarasota County is seeking community comments on the topic through a newly launched online survey, the county has announced. (Read more »)

Optimal aging in place and designs for future public use of the bayfront to be CONA’s discussion topics on Nov. 14

Session to be held at Sarasota Garden Club in downtown Sarasota

On Monday, Nov. 14, the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) will host a discussion about universal design concepts and services to “enable the continuing safe enjoyment of our homes while we advance in age,” the organization’s members have announced. (Read more »)

FEMA floodplain map changes in effect

County staff had worked with a consultant to undertake a detailed review of the changes

As part of the ongoing Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood map modernization project, the FEMA flood maps for Sarasota County and its municipalities became effective Friday, Nov. 4, the county has announced. (Read more »)

County Property Appraiser Office’s administrative director accepts honor on behalf of state organization

Prestigious award presented by International Association of Assessing Officers

Brian Loughrey, administrative director of the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office, recently accepted the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) 2016 Outstanding Chapter of the Year award on behalf of the Florida Chapter of IAAO (FCIAAO). (Read more »)