20161007-7 Oct 2016

162 Beach Road parcel where County Commission has denied a construction variance three times for one couple could become parkland

Most recent appraisals put the value of that land and an adjacent lot at $338,000 each; both will be under consideration for county purchase

Almost exactly one year ago, an Osprey couple listened as the Sarasota County Commission for the third time denied them a coastal setback variance so they could construct a house on their parcel at 162 Beach Road on Siesta Key. (Read more »)

Latest traffic studies for proposed Siesta Promenade project cite ‘much lower’ volumes than it expects, FDOT says

County staff advising the public that the Oct. 11 boundary hearing on the project will not address anything but the area planned for the development

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) staff has warned about deficiencies in traffic studies prepared for the proposed Siesta Promenade project at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Stickney Point Road, including what an engineer cited as “much lower traffic volumes than what we believe will be generated,” The Sarasota News Leader has learned. (Read more »)

North Beach Road lawsuit finally served on Sarasota County

Deadline actually was Oct. 8, assistant county attorney acknowledges

Late on the afternoon of Oct. 5, Sarasota County finally was served the Petition for Writ of Certiorari Siesta Key resident Michael Cosentino filed in June, alleging the County Commission violated the county’s Comprehensive Plan in voting on May 11 to vacate a portion of North Beach Road. (Read more »)

City’s passage of Zoning Code amendments does not change issues in Woman’s Exchange case, nonprofit’s attorney says

But the action might be helpful to a potential future owner of the Woman’s Exchange property and other downtown businesses in historic structures, Robert Lincoln tells the News Leader

With no comment, the Sarasota County Commission this week unanimously approved new Zoning Code amendments crafted in an effort to make it easier for the Woman’s Exchange and businesses operating in other historic structures to handle traffic and loading issues. (Read more »)

City of Sarasota to bill county for one last CRA payment and initiate conflict resolution over dispute

City manager already has given county staff a ‘heads up’ about the potential for the process

With the city attorney having provided all the background last month, it took slightly less than 12 minutes on Oct. 3 for the Sarasota City Commission to vote unanimously to bill Sarasota County for about $4.5 million as the county’s 30th and final payment into the Downtown Sarasota Community Development Area (CRA) Trust Fund. (Read more »)

Save Our Siesta Sand 2 refuses to back down on request for public hearing over easements for Lido project

The nonprofit’s chair tells a Siesta merchants organization that FDEP staff members tried to convince him that a hearing is not necessary

As the City of Sarasota and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) await a final determination from the state on their permit application for the Lido Renourishment Project, one facet of the process has received scant attention. Yet, it must be resolved before the permit can be issued, the chair of a nonprofit organization opposing the dredging of Big Sarasota Pass pointed out this week. (Read more »)

City Manager Barwin to be City Commission’s appointee to Bayfront 20:20 planning organization

Commissioner Susan Chapman argues that the city’s new assistant city manager — and former finance director — would be the more appropriate choice

It took one failed motion before four members of the Sarasota City Commission this week appointed City Manager Tom Barwin to be their representative among the nine members of a planning organization that proposes to develop a design and funding strategies for 42 city-owned acres on the bayfront. (Read more »)

Late December the time frame for state to announce whether it will issue permit for Lido project

Under state law, FDEP has 90 days from Sept. 28 to issue a notice about its intent; short window provided for legal action

On Sept. 30, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) notified the City of Sarasota that its staff had deemed the Lido Renourishment Project application to be complete as of Sept. 28. The state department’s deadline for issuing its notice of intended action is Dec. 27, according to information FDEP Project Manager Gregory Garis provided Siesta Key Association (SKA) Second Vice President Catherine Luckner, which she shared with The Sarasota News Leader. (Read more »)

Presence of West Nile Virus in county sentinel chicken leads commissioner to call for public disclosure

County health officials explain that the low level of the virus’s presence does not portend a problem, but they advise people to protect against all mosquito-borne illnesses

Much attention has been put on the Zika virus in Florida in past months, but the focus for Sarasota County Commissioner Christine Robinson turned late last week to a different mosquito-borne illness. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

Cosentino’s payments for Beach Road property parsed; driving on the beach incident alleged; timeline announced for Givens Street traffic lights installation; updates offered on the proposed miniature golf course and the new Daiquiri Deck; Safe Treats coming soon; and red tide memories ‘aired’

A bit of buzz was generated recently by Siesta resident Michael Cosentino’s purchase of the property at 10 Beach Road — where an aged groin juts into the Gulf of Mexico — and another submerged parcel just to the northwest of it. Just how much did he pay, people have asked. (Read more »)

Dogs rule

A canine lover pours passion into a volunteer role

In my relentless quest for the perfect volunteer job, I might have found success at last: I am about to start working at Sarasota County Animal Services, helping with dog walking and canine communing. (Read more »)

CONA to host forum on County Commission District 1 race

Both candidates invited to Oct. 10 event

On Monday, Oct. 10, members of the public are encouraged to join members of the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) as it holds a 7 p.m. forum for the candidates campaigning to represent District One on the County Commission. (Read more »)

Public invited to meet Sarasota County Schools superintendent candidates

Reception to begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, in Riverview High cafeteria

In its continuing effort to include members of the community in the search for a new Sarasota County Schools superintendent, the Education Foundation of Sarasota County will host an open reception on Thursday, Oct. 13, for the public to meet the candidates and then offer comments about them to the School Board, the school district has announced. (Read more »)

Stateside vote-by-mail ballots started going out this week, elections office says

Supervisor of elections encourages voters to return them early, to ensure they are counted

The Sarasota County elections office began mailing vote-by-mail (absentee) ballots for the Nov. 8 General Election to stateside voters on Tuesday, Oct. 4, Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent has announced. (Read more »)

Fire Prevention Open House to offer education and fun for families

Annual event set from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, at Fire Station No. 5 on North Beneva Road

Families are invited to participate in the annual Fire Prevention Week Open House, sponsored by Sarasota County Emergency Services, on Saturday, Oct. 8, the county has announced. (Read more »)

Reclaimed city water drains into Whitaker Bayou after pipe malfunction

Water had been fully treated and disinfected, city staff says

During the heavy rains in Sarasota on the night of Oct. 3, a 36-inch City of Sarasota discharge pipe temporarily malfunctioned, leading to the runoff of about 124,000 gallons of reclaimed water into Whitaker Bayou, the city announced. (Read more »)

Knight Trail Park range partially reopened to the public

Installation of baffles took place over the summer to foster safety

The pistol and rifle range at Knight Trail Park partially reopened to the public on Oct. 1, Sarasota County announced. The range was closed to the public over the summer during the installation of baffles, a news release notes. (Read more »)

‘Inside the Publishing Industry’ to be featured program at North Port Public Library Oct. 19

Presenter is a literary agent who worked in New York and London

Anyone who has had dreams of being a published author may enjoy a preview of how to do that, thanks to Inside the Publishing Industry, a free program that will be held at the North Port Public Library from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 19, Sarasota County has announced. (Read more »)