20161118-18 Nov 2016

North Port/Sarasota/Bradenton market ranked 63 out of 76 in the South for affordable homes in third quarter

Sales of affordable homes slightly lower in 3rd quarter, national organization says

For the third quarter of the year, 61.2% of the homes in the North Port/Sarasota/Bradenton market were considered affordable for families with the area’s median income, a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) survey shows. (Read more »)

FDEP to hold open-house meeting on Lido Renourishment Project on Nov. 30

Sarasota event to feature individual stations on components of the plan

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) will host a public meeting on the proposed Lido Beach Renourishment Project at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 30, in Sarasota, the department has announced. The open-house style of session will be held at Fire Station No. 2, located at 2070 Waldemere St. in Sarasota, an FDEP news release says. The event is scheduled to end at 7:30 p.m. (Read more »)

Petland seeks to prevent retail dog and cat sales ban from going into effect

Complaint filed in 12th Judicial Circuit Court cites articles of the Florida Constitution in challenging the County Commission’s split approval of the ordinance

Contending that the retail pet sales ordinance the Sarasota County Commission approved in January violates numerous sections of the Florida Constitution, the owners of Petland in Sarasota have filed a complaint against the county, seeking to nullify the law. (Read more »)

Community plan for children and youth to be part of County Commission’s retreat discussion in December

Commissioner Christine Robinson wins consensus for that step, voicing hope that the plan will become a board priority

Outgoing Sarasota County Commissioner Christine Robinson has won consensus of the remaining board members that they — and their new colleagues — will consider whether to make a community plan for children and youth a future county priority. (Read more »)

Cassia Cay residential development options win county’s Planning Commission approval

Rezoning petition to come before County Commission on Dec. 14

One member did voice displeasure with the current owner’s seeking a fallback plan in the event the proposed sale of the property does not ensue. Nonetheless, the Sarasota County Planning Commission unanimously approved the rezoning of a 13.3-acre site on Little Sarasota Bay for a multi-family residential complex called Cassia Cay, with amended stipulations. (Read more »)

County zoning change proposed to make mixed-use developments more marketable to residents

With Planning Commission’s approval of the amendment, two County Commission hearings have been scheduled

Developers are having difficulty in finding people who want to live above stores and shops in mixed-use developments in the county, a Sarasota attorney — acting as the agent for one developer — recently explained to the Sarasota County Planning Commission. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

Miniature golf course developer evaluating next steps; county study from several years ago says Sarasota County has among the lowest percentages of public beach access statewide; part of Siesta Promenade site suggested as ideal for a food truck vendor Siesta resident loses out on TDC seat; and Light Up the Village will be here soon

In the wake of a neighborhood workshop this month, the proposal for a miniature golf course in Siesta Village is on hold, the attorney representing the couple behind the project has told The Sarasota News Leader. “We’re still evaluating [our next steps],” Robert Lincoln said during a Nov. 10 telephone interview. “There were some local residents who indicated their vociferous objection to the project,” he added of the Nov. 2 meeting held at St. Boniface Episcopal Church. (Read more »)

On Nov. 21, City Commission to vote again on transmitting Comprehensive Plan changes to the state

Without pursuing the state’s formal process of updating the document, city attorney says no other amendments to the plan will be possible

Because of what Sarasota City Attorney Robert Fournier characterized as “a little bit of confusion” on Oct. 3, the Sarasota City Commission next week once again will take up the issue of transmitting an amended Comprehensive Plan to the state for review. (Read more »)

New Venice Public Library will be about 6,000 square feet smaller but make better use of space, architect says

Timeline still calls for construction to start in fall 2017

Although the new single-story Venice Public Library will have about 6,000 square feet less than the previous one, the design essentially will create more usable space, Todd Sweet, founder of Sweet Sparkman Architects of Sarasota, has explained to the Sarasota County Commission. (Read more »)

Tax Collector Ford-Coates returns almost $10 million in ‘profit’ to county

Her office’s cost per capita remains the lowest in Southwest Florida, she tells the County Commission

On Oct. 31, Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates deposited $9,934,103 into the Sarasota County General Fund, noting in a Nov. 14 email to the County Commission that that represented what the private sector would call “profit.” (Read more »)

Thousands turn out on Siesta Beach to admire skills of master sand artists

A volunteer for the Crystal Classic offers her appreciation of the five-day event

You would have thought the Rolling Stones were appearing on Siesta Key Beach. That is how long the line stretched to buy tickets for the Crystal Classic on Saturday, Nov. 12. From my spot in the admissions tent, I could not see the end of the line; the reason, someone told me, is that it went all the way back to the parking lot. (Read more »)

Donations down so far for Mayors’ Feed the Hungry campaign

Collections of food for the less fortunate to continue through Friday, Nov. 18

The Mayors’ Feed the Hungry campaign is in full swing on the Suncoast, but this year, organizers say they are worried that contributions are down because of the fallout from the U.S. Presidential election. (Read more »)

Volunteers, including certified divers, sought for cleanup around Tony Saprito Fishing Pier in Sarasota

Event to be held starting at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19; registration required

Members of the Sarasota Police Department Dive Team and Marine Patrol will partner with Sarasota Bay Watch and other local environmental organizations at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, to clean up the water surrounding the Tony Saprito Fishing Pier, the Police Department has announced. (Read more »)

United States’ efforts to combat global anti-Semitism to be focus of Dec. 14 ‘Lunch and Learn’ event

U.S. State Department special envoy to speak at Temple Emanu-El

Ira N. Forman, the U.S. State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, will speak on the topic Global Anti-Semitism in 2016: What the U.S. Government is Doing to Combat It, at a special Lunch and Learn event at Temple Emanu-El, the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee and the Florida Holocaust Museum have announced. (Read more »)

Sandy Claws Beach Run to be reprised on Dec. 10 on Siesta Key

Along with the athletic competitions, the event will feature a party with costume prizes

The Sandy Claws Beach Run — an event Sarasota County staff calls “wildly popular” — will mark its 40th year on Siesta Key on Saturday, Dec. 10, the county has announced. (Read more »)

Southwest corner of Luke Wood Park closed for lift station construction

Intermittent construction activity to be audible over the next six weeks, city staff says

The southwest corner of Luke Wood Park in Sarasota has been closed as construction crews prepare to install the second of three microtunnel shafts, the City of Sarasota announced on Nov. 14. (Read more »)

City of Sarasota’s parking supervisor wins regional recognition

Cheryl Woodard to vie for top honors during Florida Parking Association conference

Cheryl Woodard, parking supervisor for the City of Sarasota, has been named the recipient of the Florida Parking Association’s 2016 Carol Easterling Award for the Central Region, the city has announced. (Read more »)

3 Sarasota County educators honored as Teachers of the Year; a fourth receives a scholarship

Accolades come from state organizations

Three Sarasota County teachers have been named Teachers of the Year by statewide education organizations, and a fourth has been honored with a scholarship, the Sarasota County School District has announced. (Read more »)

Sarasota Memorial planning new comprehensive cancer center

Facility expected to open in three to four years

Sarasota Memorial Hospital is moving ahead with plans to develop a comprehensive cancer center “that will offer services across the entire continuum of cancer care, from prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment, to follow-up care, survivorship and support,” it announced this week. (Read more »)