20170804-4 Aug 2017


County staff sends Benderson Development pages of comments citing insufficiencies in the firm’s latest Siesta Promenade applications

Among the issues, staff points to lack of details about heights of specific buildings and about traffic patterns in the development

Benderson Development Co. has been asked, figuratively speaking, to fill in a number of blanks in the latest materials it filed with Sarasota County regarding its proposed Siesta Promenade project, The Sarasota News Leader has learned. On July 25, county Planner Todd Dary sent Todd Mathes, director of development for Benderson, two letters detailing numerous insufficiencies in the documents the county received from the firm in late June. (Read more »)

State seeking delay of at least eight weeks in scheduling of administrative law hearing on nonprofits’ challenges of the proposed dredging of Big Pass

Proceeding has been set to start on Aug. 22 in Sarasota

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) is seeking a delay of at least eight weeks in the holding of an administrative law hearing on three nonprofits’ challenges of the department’s intent to issue a permit for the dredging of Big Sarasota Pass, The Sarasota News Leader has learned. (Read more »)

Amended financial agreement for World Rowing Championships makes it clear Benderson Development will cover any cost overruns

County Commission also approves plan for unpaved parking lot at Benderson Park

With the clock at Nathan Benderson Park continuing to count down the days until the Sept. 23 opening of the World Rowing Championships, the Sarasota County Commission unanimously has approved an amended financial agreement for the event making it clear that Benderson Development Co. will cover any shortfall in expenses. (Read more »)

Tourist Development Tax revenue continues to climb

Number of visitors to Sarasota County up by 8.2% in June, compared to same month in 2016

Sarasota County’s Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenue has continued a positive trend for three months, with total collections for the fiscal year through May 31 showing an increase of almost $400,000 over the same period in the 2016 fiscal year, the Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office has reported. (Read more »)

Ramirez once again passed over for appointment to county’s Public Facilities Financing Advisory Board

County Commission appoints Robert James Bessom and Victoria Brill to the two open positions, after re-advertising the vacancies

Once again, a Siesta Key resident who is a past candidate for the Sarasota County Commission has been turned down by that commission for a seat on one of its advisory boards. (Read more »)

Benderson Development plans roundabout at entrance to project next to county’s Celery Fields

County Commission agrees to further delays in timelines for build-out of first three blocks and a linear park

For the second time in 16 months, the Sarasota County Commission has approved a delay in the date for the start of construction of projects Benderson Development Co. plans next to the Celery Fields, at the intersection of Fruitville Road and Coburn Road in the eastern part of the county. (Read more »)

Former Southside Elementary PTO volunteer charged with stealing more than $7,000 from the organization

Tiffani Donovan of Sarasota arrested on Aug. 2; court records show she and Timothy Donovan owed close to $10,000 to a California company during the period of the alleged thefts

A Sarasota woman has been charged for allegedly stealing checks totaling $7,325 made out to the Southside Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), the Sarasota Police Department reported on Aug. 3. (Read more »)

Sheriff’s Office staff expects to move into Cattleridge Boulevard building on Sept. 22

Facility will be the home of administrative and forensics lab personnel

About seven-and-a-half months after the Sarasota County Commission authorized the purchase of the building, Sheriff’s Office administrative and other personnel will be moving into a three-story structure at 6010 Cattleridge Boulevard. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

Siesta Key ‘SIN’ Party cancelled; Saba Sands II coastal variance petition on hold for time being; the Key has a long zoning history; a stabbing takes place at The Beach Club; and autopsy completed on drowning victim

An Aug. 15 party planned with DJs on the sandbar in Big Sarasota Pass — announced late this spring on Facebook — has been cancelled, The Sarasota News Leader has learned. The event had raised more questions than answers, based on comments the News Leader heard. (Read more »)

Summer whites flourish in the wild, too

’Tis the season for that coolest of looks

Summer is the time in Florida when Mother Nature brings out the whites: lilies floating in ponds, tarflower in pine flatwoods, Elliot’s milkpea curling across a trail, swamp hibiscus, narrow leafed Sabatia, crownbeard — to name just a few of the wildflowers currently in bloom all over the peninsula. Buttonbush favors wet places; frostweed, dry woods. (Read more »)

I-75/University Parkway diverging diamond interchange fully operational, FDOT announces

All 12 lanes open to traffic; final tasks being undertaken at night only

The state’s first diverging diamond interchange (DDI) — at Interstate 75 and University Parkway — has become fully operational, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announced on July 31. (Read more »)

Brookside Middle School robotics students earn national recognition to go with world honor

National Technology Student Association presents awards to school and its team adviser during conference in Orlando

The Brookside Middle School chapter has been named No. 1 in Florida by the National Technology Student Association (NTSA), the Sarasota County School District has announced. The chapter, which sponsors competitive robotics teams, also has received the NTSA Chapter Excellence Award, a news release says, and its faculty adviser, Joel Kaplan, has been honored as the TSA Adviser of the Year. (Read more »)

Sarasota County earns national award for procurement excellence for third consecutive year

Formal recognition to come at conference in October

Sarasota County has earned the 2017 Achievement of Excellence in Procurement (AEP) award from the National Procurement Institute (NPI) for the third consecutive year, the county has announced. (Read more »)

ALSO Youth of Sarasota announces appointment of its new executive director, Nathan Bruemmer

Stetson Law grad to join the staff Aug. 7

Nathan Bruemmer will join ALSO Youth as executive director on Aug. 7, the Sarasota nonprofit has announced. A May graduate of the Stetson University College of Law, Bruemmer is a native Floridian who hails from the Tampa Bay area, a news release says. (Read more »)

Osprey Junction Trailhead to be closed as of Aug. 2 for a road construction project

Extension of Bay Street to Honore Avenue will take up to a year, county says

The Osprey Junction Trailhead will be closed for up to 12 months as of Wednesday, Aug. 2, to accommodate the construction of the Bay Street extension to Honore Avenue, Sarasota County has announced. (Read more »)

County launches redesigned, mobile-friendly website

Initiative incorporated customer feedback and analytics, county staff says

On July 26, Sarasota County Government undertook a “soft” launch of a significant renovation of its website. The goal, a county news release explains, was to make the site more responsive to reflexive design and mobile devices. (Read more »)

Fully leased University Station expected to open on University Parkway in fourth quarter of the year

Second Sarasota Whole Foods to anchor the shopping center

Georgia-based commercial real estate development firm S.J. Collins Enterprises has fully leased University Station, a 53,746-square-foot commercial project, which will be anchored by Sarasota’s second Whole Foods Market, the company has announced. (Read more »)

Southwest Florida Water Management District adopts lower proposed millage rate for 2018 fiscal year

Owner of $150,000 home with $50,000 homestead exemption would pay $31.31 per year

The Governing Board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) has adopted a proposed millage rate of 0.3131 mills for the 2018 fiscal year, the District has announced
The rate is 5.6% lower than the millage rate for the current fiscal year, a news release points out. (Read more »)