20170707-7 Jul 2017


Medical marijuana dispensary ban imposed while City of Sarasota works on amending Zoning Code

Staff expected to report back to City Commission during the first September board meeting

Agreeing with the city attorney that the Legislature figuratively had tied their hands, the Sarasota city commissioners this week unanimously approved a two-month ban on medical marijuana dispensaries within the city limits. (Read more »)

A 5% Sarasota business tax increase wins approval of majority of the City Commission

Mayor calls for staff to do a better job of conveying to business owners how the revenue is used

With Sarasota City Commissioner Hagen Brody proving to be the only board member this week to vote against it, a 5% increase in the city’s business tax was approved on the first reading, held July 3. (Read more »)

City and County of Sarasota see further upticks in taxable property values for 2017

July figures show slight declines from June preliminary estimates for Venice, North Port and Longboat Key

With the Sarasota County Commission on June 21 having directed County Administrator Tom Harmer to make every effort to find more money to try to balance the 2018 fiscal year budget, Harmer had some good news last week from the Property Appraiser’s Office: The final taxable values for this year are up 8.25%, instead of the preliminary increase of 8.15% announced in late May. (Read more »)

Proposed amendment to Sarasota County Zoning Code designed to help Code Enforcement officers prove cases of illegal short-term rentals

June 11 public hearing planned before County Commission in Venice

As the No. 1 Beach rankings have brought more and more attention to Siesta Key since 2011, property owners have capitalized on increased demand from visitors for accommodations — including single-family homes, Sarasota County Code Enforcement officers say. (Read more »)

City Commission splits 3-2 on makeup of proposed advisory committee that will handle tree issues

Commissioners Ahearn-Koch and Shaw voice concerns that including developers or developers’ representatives would lead to conflicts of interest

On a 3-2 vote, the Sarasota City Commission this week directed the Neighborhood and Development Services Department staff to work with the city attorney to craft a resolution regarding the make-up and duties of a Tree Advisory Committee. (Read more »)

FDOT to lower the speed limit from 40 mph to 30 mph on Siesta Drive at Higel Avenue intersection

Sarasota Police Department announces multiple charges against driver of vehicle in April incident in that vicinity

Traffic accidents in the sharp curves on the north end of Siesta Key have been common for many years. However, in response to recent resident complaints about speeding — and two incidents with fatalities — the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will have signage up in about a week to lower the speed limit from 40 mph to 30 mph in the curve at the intersection of Higel Avenue and Siesta Drive. (Read more »)

Governance charter for new Suncoast Leadership Council to undergo a July 19 vote of representatives of providers of services for the homeless

Proposed new Memorandum of Understanding lays out responsibilities for council and Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness

The proposed new governance charter for the organizations in Sarasota and Manatee counties that work to develop and implement strategies to end homelessness calls for a group with 20 to 29 members representing “individuals with lived experience of homelessness,” service providers, the “business community,” contributors to services, the faith community, housing providers and local governments, as announced this week. (Read more »)

City attorney pleased ACLU case settlement allows city to maintain its relationship with the Salvation Army

City pays Salvation Army for up to 30 beds a night for homeless individuals

In remarks this week to the Sarasota City Commission, City Attorney Robert Fournier called the city’s recent settlement of a lawsuit the Sarasota Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed against it on Sept. 30, 2015 “a good one,” because it is based on efforts the city already is undertaking to help the homeless. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

Lobster Pot co-owner talks of a close call; Liberty Litter Cleanup volunteers find plenty to do on Siesta; Chamber decides not to partner with Seafood & Music Festival organizer; Village’s Public Improvement District taxable value up; Cosentino gains more charter petition signatures; Parks Department seeking County Commission OK to hire full-time beach attendants; and MTV reality show on Siesta gets a debut date

Glen Medeiros, co-owner of the Lobster Pot in Siesta Village, truly was counting his blessings on July 5, a day after a truck plowed into the patio in front of the restaurant. His son and partner in the business, Tony, had given him the day off for the July Fourth holiday, Glen said. (Read more »)

Powerboats up close: sensory overload

Grand Prix Festival showcase of contestants keeps drawing this fan year after year

Who doesn’t love the experience of ogling a beautiful, sleek, fast powerboat, especially if one is making the observation from the comfort and safety of the shore? It was another stunning Sarasota day — blue sky, sun breaking through the clouds, just enough of a breeze to cool us off. (Read more »)

New self-reporting red tide app available from Mote

Smartphones operating on iOS or Android systems can use the app to provide details in real time

Mote Marine Laboratory has unveiled a new app to allow smartphone users to self-report impacts of Florida red tide algae (Karenia brevis). “The free app, Citizen Science Information Collaboration (CSIC), allows users to report when and where they experience respiratory irritation or see discolored water or dead fish — all potential indications of Florida red tide,” Hayley Rutger of Mote’s media team has announced. (Read more »)

Bayfront Park addition on Longboat Key featuring new amenities for the public, thanks to county funding

Playground, picnic shelters and docks among the improvements

The Town of Longboat Key, in collaboration with Sarasota County Government, has announced the opening of the 3.54-acre Bayfront Park addition. New facilities available to the public are a playground, restroom, picnic shelters, docks, sidewalks, parking, rain garden, stormwater treatment facility, portions of a pedestrian bridge and landscaping, a county release notes. (Read more »)

Row for the Cure regatta to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month following 2017 World Rowing Championships at Benderson Park

All proceeds of sales to go to Florida Suncoast Chapter of Susan G. Komen

On Oct. 1, the final day of competition during the 2017 World Rowing Championships, Breast Cancer Awareness Month will be celebrated with a Row for the Cure event at Nathan Benderson Park, the World Rowing Championships staff has announced. (Read more »)

County’s updated Comprehensive Plan wins state honor

Florida Planning and Zoning Association recognizes it with Award of Merit

Sarasota County’s updated Comprehensive Plan has received the 2017 Award of Merit from the Florida Planning and Zoning Association (FPZA), the county has announced. The organization’s awards committee noted that it was impressed with the streamlined, user-friendly plan, which guides decision-making related to the physical development of the county, a news release explains. (Read more »)