20180413-13 Apr 2018


Splitting 3-2, County Commission agrees to amend Siesta Key zoning regulations to allow potential for shorter setbacks from the street

Gary Kompothecras argues that the boutique hotel he plans for Old Stickney Point Road will not be 85 feet high and that the public will be ‘pleasantly surprised’ by the design

After a public hearing that lasted almost four hours, the Sarasota County Commission split 3-2 in approving an amendment to the Siesta Key Overlay District (SKOD) zoning regulations that will give the board flexibility to allow buildings taller than 35 feet to be built closer to the street than the previous county ordinance allowed. (Read more »)

Office of the County Attorney to provide report to County Commission on whether county can impose more limits on medical marijuana dispensaries

Discussion arises after board approves two dispensaries in two days

Having approved the first two medical marijuana dispensaries in Sarasota County in two days, the Sarasota County Commission this week asked Deputy County Attorney Alan Roddy to prepare a report on potential options for tightening the ordinance it approved several years ago that covers such businesses. (Read more »)

County administration awaiting FDOT response to details it has spelled out in April 6 letter regarding proposed River Road/Siesta roads swap

List of commitments includes FDOT plan to construct permanent improvement to 90-degree curve at intersection of Higel Avenue and Siesta Drive

County leaders sent a letter on April 6 to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), spelling out the latest details of a proposed road swap involving River Road and Siesta Drive, Higel Avenue, Midnight Pass Road and Stickney Point Road on Siesta Key. (Read more »)

City Commission asks staff to plan discussion on mobility impact fees as soon as possible after learning of negative consequences for Newtown and North Trail

Concern arises that new fee schedule is discouraging the opening of small businesses in areas where board wants to spur economic development

Almost 14 months ago, the Sarasota City Commission voted unanimously to approve the implementation of updated mobility impact fees. The action followed a presentation by Steve Tindale, CEO of the Tindale Oliver consulting firm based in Tampa, who explained the methodology behind the fees. (Read more »)

Democrat Jordan Letschert files for District 4 Sarasota County Commission seat

Latest entry into the race will necessitate both Democratic and Republican primaries on Aug. 28

Another Democrat has entered the race for the Sarasota County Commission District 4 seat. Jordan Letschert, a 35-year-old Sarasota native, filed with the Supervisor of Elections Office on April 10, setting the stage for an Aug. 28 primary with another Democrat who filed for the seat, Wesley Beggs of Sarasota, managing director of Growl Studios, which produces media and marketing strategies for businesses. (Read more »)

Class I Emergency Variance in Sarasota County to be good for three years, County Commission agrees

Board declines on April 10 to pursue further tweak in ordinance after hearing from county attorney

In late January, the Sarasota County Commission asked staff to modify proposed changes in an ordinance that would allow owners of property threatened by acute erosion to keep sandbags in place for three years. On April 10, Commissioner Alan Maio suggested one more tweak to the latest staff work on the modified ordinance regarding Class I Emergency Variances. (Read more »)

Paid parking at Siesta Public Beach to be key part of future County Commission discussion

Board members ask staff to schedule an agenda item in the not-too-distant future

No decision had been made on the date as of this writing, but the Sarasota County commissioners this week agreed to a future formal discussion regarding the potential implementation of paid parking at Siesta Public Beach. The suggestion came from Commissioner Alan Maio, who represents the Key as part of District 4. (Read more »)

New zoning district and redevelopment plan for Stickney Point Road hotel win Planning Commission approval

County Commission to address Siesta Key Palms proposals on May 22

After winning plaudits from the neighbors and from Sarasota County Planning Commission members, a proposal to redevelop an old hotel property on Stickney Point Road near Siesta Key will undergo final review by the County Commission. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

‘Happy Anniversary’ to the Breeze; Cosentino removes portable toilet from 10 Beach Road; complaints aired about speeding boaters, dogs on the beach at Access 1 and variety of issues at Access 2; Cosentino’s proposed Charter amendments still well away from needed numbers; April proves very busy for the Village and the beach; and renowned organist to play at St. Boniface

Shortly after 2 p.m. on Monday, April 9, representatives of Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) and the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce — along with County Commissioner Alan Maio and business owners — climbed aboard a Siesta Key Breeze open-air trolley, which was parked at the Village gazebo. They had gathered to recognize the 250,000th rider since the service began on March 20, 2017. (Read more »)



Editorial: We’re baaack!

Since we resumed weekly publication in September 2015, there has been something missing that was present during our first three years: an opinion section. The absence first was due to our trying to reconfigure our publication with a smaller staff and smaller budget, while still covering all of the essential news in our area. (Read more »)

Cartoon of the Day

(click on image to enlarge)







FSU, SMH emergency medicine residency program receives initial accreditation approval

First graduating medical students expected to enroll in program in the summer of 2019

The Florida State University (FSU) College of Medicine and Sarasota Memorial Health (SMH) Care System have received approval to launch a new emergency medicine residency program to meet health care and physician workforce needs in Sarasota and surrounding communities, SMH has announced. (Read more »)

Sarasota County School District encouraging students, parents and staff to complete annual survey

Survey available on district website through April 20

Each year, the Sarasota County School District conducts what is known as a “climate survey,” with the goal of understanding better how the school district is operating, staff is reminding the public. Students, parents and staff are invited to provide their comments “about how their school or workplace is meeting their needs and expectations in such areas as communication, curriculum, management, school safety, academics, maintenance of facilities and parent involvement.” (Read more »)

Hart’s Landing to be site of free open house from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 14

New concessionaires of the facility on the southeast side of the Ringling Bridge in downtown Sarasota will welcome all members of the public

On Saturday, April 14, the new operators/concessionaires of the popular Hart’s Landing, located on the southeast side of Ringling Bridge in Sarasota, will host an open house at the renovated activity center and the adjacent, recently redesigned Doc and Eloise Werlin Park. (Read more »)

Film Festival’s closing night party to feature 10th Sarasota Chillounge Night

Event planned for Saturday, April 21

Chillounge Night is partnering with the Sarasota Film Festival to host its 10th event in downtown Sarasota as the closing night party for the 20th annual Sarasota Film Festival, Chillounge has announced. The event will transform Five Points Park “into a magnificent outdoor lounge with all the chic, stylish, and ‘cool vibe’ [elements] that Chillounge Night has become known for throughout Florida,” a news release says. (Read more »)

Nzeza named new Southside principal

She has been assistant principal at the school since 2017

Jennifer Nzeza has been named principal of Southside Elementary School, effective May 30, the Sarasota County School District has announced. (Read more »)