Proposed medical marijuana dispensary zoning amendment to be on City Commission’s Jan. 16 agenda

First public hearing scheduled for the 6 p.m. session

During its regular meeting next week, the Sarasota City Commission will hold the first of two required public hearings on a proposed ordinance to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. The hearing is on the agenda for the evening part of the session, which will begin at 6 p.m. It is scheduled to be the first item after Citizens’ Input. (Read more »)

Proposed new zoning regulations for Pinecraft Overlay District to be addressed by County Commission

Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend the County Commission approve proposal

On Jan. 17, the Sarasota County Commission will consider a zoning overlay district for the historically Amish and Mennonite community of Pinecraft, which is bordered largely by Bahia Vista Street and Beneva Road, just outside the Sarasota city limits. (Read more »)

Benderson Foundation board member acknowledges private fundraising for Benderson Park has been difficult but expresses optimism that efforts will succeed

Continued public funding for park questioned during CONA panel discussion

A member of the Nathan Benderson Community Park Foundation told members of the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) this week that he does not know why the nonprofit has been unable to raise all the private money promised years ago for improvements at the county-owned facility. (Read more »)

Plans proceeding for launch later this year of ferry service between city of Sarasota and Bradenton

Dredging at 10th Street Boat Ramp cited as one factor in delay

Although it is taking him a bit longer than he had anticipated, Capt. Sherman Baldwin of Paradise Boat Tours told The Sarasota News Leader this week that he has been working on the final details necessary to launch his planned ferry service between the City of Sarasota and Bradenton Beach. (Read more »)

City Commission directs staff to research parcels at 12th Street and Lockwood Ridge Road as new park site

Mayor’s request for action approved after airing of variety of concerns about a facility at that location

At the request of Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie, the Sarasota City Commission has directed staff to assess the potential of two parcels at the intersection of 12th Street and Lockwood Ridge Road as the site of a new park. The unanimous vote came Jan. 2 in spite of various concerns voiced by three of the board members. (Read more »)

Sarasota School District graduation rate rises

Pine View hits the 100% mark

The graduation rate for the Sarasota County Schools for the 2016-17 was 85.7 percent, the Florida Department of Education reported on Jan. 10. Pine View School in Osprey achieved a 100% graduation rate for the 2016-17 school year, the report shows. The Sarasota Military Academy achieved a rate of 96.7%. (Read more »)

FDOT working on restriping and ‘Qwick Kurb’ devices to slow down vehicles and prevent accidents in vicinity of Siesta Drive/Higel Avenue curve

President of Bay Island Siesta Association tells Siesta Key Association members about latest plans FDOT has proposed as a result of Make Siesta Drive Safer campaign

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is working on plans for restriping and the installation of “Qwick Kurb” devices at the intersection of Siesta Drive and Higel Avenue on Siesta Key, the president of the Bay Island Siesta Association announced to Siesta Key Association (SKA) members last week. (Read more »)

Sheriff’s Office and county staff dealing with complaints about actions at 10 Beach Road parcel near Access 2

Sergeant says officers will not cite Mike Cosentino for parking a vehicle on the property, but county permitting staff has ordered the removal of a portable toilet and sign

During the Jan. 4 Siesta Key Association (SKA) meeting, Sgt. Jason Mruczek, who heads the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office substation on Siesta Key, appeared to think he was going to have a brief time at the podium, as his monthly report was not a long one. (Read more »)

Siesta Seen

Lifeguards make a rescue in bitterly cold weather; bridge traffic leads to post-Christmas gridlock; proposed zoning text amendment sparks SKA exchange; and a littering complaint nets a Sheriff’s Office response

On Jan. 3, the average Sarasota resident who has adapted to the balmy Florida winters was shivering on land. Yet, two Sarasota County lifeguards proved once again that first responders take their responsibilities very seriously, even in very uncomfortable circumstances. (Read more »)

Voter registration deadline nearing for the Feb. 13 House District 72 Special Election

Jan. 16 is the last day

Tuesday, Jan. 16, is the last day to register to be eligible to vote in the State House District 72 Special Election, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 13, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner is reminding citizens who reside within that district. (Read more »)

Decide the Date Sarasota petition campaign receives Sarasota NAACP endorsement

Group working to move city elections from the spring to the fall

The Sarasota NAACP has endorsed Decide the Date Sarasota, a petition campaign with the goal of allowing Sarasota residents to decide whether they want to move the city elections from spring to fall, Decide the Date has announced. Trevor D. Harvey, president of the Sarasota County Branch of the NAACP, says “the group fully endorses the Decide the Date campaign to place the charter-changing question on the ballot,” the release adds. (Read more »)

Kight to become new CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, effective Feb. 1

She will take over for the retiring Barbara Zdravecky

Stephanie Kight has been named the new president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, effective Feb. 1, the organization has announced. (Read more »)

New electric vehicle charging stations installed at locations in the city of Sarasota

Several existing electric stations updated

The City of Sarasota, in partnership with Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL), recently added three new electric vehicle (EV) charging ports and updated seven existing ports in parking garages and surface lots, the city has announced. (Read more »)

City of Sarasota administrative offices to close for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 15, with special events planned throughout the day

Garbage and recycling collections will not be affected

City of Sarasota administrative offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 15, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the city has announced. The regularly scheduled City Commission meeting will be held the following day, Tuesday, Jan. 16, at City Hall’s Commission Chambers at 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. (Read more »)

Fredd Atkins Park closed through Jan. 19 for redesign

New seating and enhanced landscaping part of the work underway

Fredd Atkins Park, located at the corner of U.S. 301 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Sarasota, is closed through Friday, Jan. 19 as the park is redesigned to an open park setting, the City of Sarasota has announced. (Read more »)

County government offices to be closed on Jan. 15 for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday

Garbage and recycling collections to remain on normal schedule

Most Sarasota County Government offices, including the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County, will be closed Monday, Jan. 15, for the national observance celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., the county has announced. (Read more »)