20180601-1 Jun 2018


Plans call for about 200 surplus Sarasota County parcels to be turned over to one or more brokers in July for sale as soon as possible

County staff creates spreadsheet tool providing data about every county-owned parcel

In early July, the Sarasota County Commission is expected to get a list of approximately 200 parcels that are ready to be sold as surplus, with county staff proposing that — most likely — the property will be divided among a number of firms for marketing purposes. (Read more »)

Details debated for ‘half dwelling unit’ criteria in proposed county ordinance designed to foster creation of affordable housing projects

Utilities fee changes under review, as well

The Sarasota county commissioners have asked staff to consult not only with representatives of the private sector but also with appropriate county advisory boards as they work on their next steps to spur more affordable housing development. (Read more »)

City Commission to discuss successful petition drive calling for referendum on changing city election cycle

Agenda item set for June 4 in the evening

On the evening of June 4, the Sarasota city commissioners are scheduled to make their formal decision about letting citizens decide when future city elections will be conducted. On May 18, Decide the Date Sarasota — which describes itself as “a grassroots, bipartisan petition campaign” — announced that “it had succeeded in collecting the required number of petitions to ask city voters, on a November referendum ballot, whether they desire to change the date of City Commission elections to coincide with federal, state, county, and district elections.” (Read more »)

Most preliminary 2018 taxable values for Sarasota County and cities lag increases seen in 2017

County’s overall figure up 7.06%, with City of Sarasota showing 8.49% uptick

Sarasota County property values generally did not jump as much this year as they did in 2017, based on preliminary figures from the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office. The report released on May 25 show the county’s total taxable value for ad valorem taxing authorities to have climbed 7.06%, compared to the certified value in 2017. (Read more »)

State of Emergency declared for Lido Beach erosion

Lido property owners directed to contact the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for sandbag permits

Late on the afternoon of May 30, Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin declared a local State of Emergency for Lido Beach because of erosion exacerbated by Subtropical Storm Alberto and continuing storm conditions. Barwin took the action, a city news release said, “following an extensive walking inspection of the severely eroded beach” with Kelly Cramer, an environmental specialist with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). (Read more »)

Lido Key Residents Association argues administrative law judge was wrong to give weight to expert witness testimony on sea trout spawning in Big Pass

Organization seeks elimination of proposed restriction for one sand borrow area

The Lido Key Residents Association is arguing that a Florida administrative law judge erred in giving weight to a witness’ expert testimony when the judge recommended that dredging in two areas of Big Sarasota Pass be prohibited during certain months, The Sarasota News Leaderhas learned. (Read more »)

Ramirez obtains enough signatures to waive filing fee for County Commission race

District 4 incumbent Alan Maio remains well ahead of challengers in fundraising

One candidate for the Sarasota County Commission District 4 race has gathered enough petitions to place her name on the August Republican Primary ballot. At the same time, she and the other woman vying for the seat held by Commissioner Alan Maio both are making some headway in raising funds, the latest campaign records show. (Read more »)

Last two surplus Bee Ridge parcels that were focus of residents’ request for conservation designation sold by County Commission

Board members had agreed to deed restrictions limiting the amount of development on each

Just three days before they delved more deeply into a discussion about marketing county-owned land that staff has deemed no longer needed, the Sarasota County commissioners approved the sale of two surplus parcels on Bee Ridge Road. (Read more »)

Anderson named new director of Sarasota County’s Public Works Department

He served as interim director after Isaac Brownman took a job last summer with the Town of Longboat Key

On May 24 — the day before the County Commission held its most recent budget workshop — county staff released a new “org” chart, with County Administrator Jonathan Lewis at the top. A note at the bottom said the positions would be in effect as of Oct. 1, when the 2019 fiscal year begins. Nonetheless, the list of department directors indicated that Spencer Anderson, 42, was the leader of Public Works. (Read more »)


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Photo essay: Reflections on the object of my affection

Oh, the scenes it and I have seen

It has been dropped, rained on and subjected to the broiling heat and high humidity of a Florida summer, but it has remained faithful throughout many years of my traipsing about. It has covered an eclipse, tropical storms, slide shows at conferences, high noon in the Florida scrub and a rare winter freeze. (Read more »)

Second solar co-op organized in the community

Three information sessions planned for interested homeowners

Sarasota County’s second solar co-op has been organized by the nonprofit Solar United Neighbors of Florida, the group has announced. As Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin noted in his May 25 newsletter, “The idea is for homeowners to come together as a group and use their purchasing power to buy solar panels at a more affordable price.” (Read more »)

Proposed constitutional amendments to be discussed during June 11 CONA meeting

Session planned to educate voters about bundling of proposed changes

On June 11, the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) will presenta discussion of the proposed stateConstitutional Review Committee (CRC) ballot amendments, which “voters will need to understand in order to determine which ones they will approve,” CONA has announced. Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates, Dennis Maleyand Lourdes Ramirez will discuss the issues. (Read more »)

Volunteers sought to help clean up county’s beaches after July Fourth holiday

Next Civics 101 class to be conducted in Sarasota County this summer

Kids’ Summer Beach Runs to be held again in June

Low-income residents expected to achieve significant savings on energy and water costs through new program getting underway in Sarasota County

Temporary deceleration lane to be constructed next to Mound Street in Sarasota starting June 4