12 Apr 2019



Petland to cease operations in Sarasota by July 1

After almost exactly two-and-a-half years of litigation, information produced by the judicial discovery process has resulted in an agreement that Petland will cease operations in Sarasota County as of July 1. The lease for the Fruitville Road store will expire on that date, Sarasota County Attorney Frederick “Rick” Elbrecht reported to the County Commission on April 9. The franchisee has agreed not to renew the lease, he pointed out, as part of a stipulation to end the legal action that began in October 2016.

Time has come to take another look at Sarasota County shoreline hardening policies, board chair suggests

Is it time for the Sarasota County Commission to amend the County Code to remove the decades-old policies against shoreline hardening? That is the question Chair Charles Hines asked this week as he proposed a workshop on the issue. His suggestion came the same day the board members listened to tales of hardship from Manasota Key Beach property owners fighting erosion that has grown more severe in recent years.

Commissioner Ziegler’s proposal for ban on Sarasota County sanctuary policies put off until after legislative session concludes

Sarasota County Commissioner Nancy Detert pushed back the hardest. Nevertheless, the three other board members joined her this week in asking Commissioner Christian Ziegler to wait until after the conclusion of the Florida legislative session to bring back before them a resolution calling for the prohibition of sanctuary policies for undocumented immigrants charged with crimes in Sarasota County.

Before County Commission decides whether to pursue redistricting prior to having 2020 Census results available, board seeks considerable research

Before the Sarasota County Commission potentially launches an initiative to redraw its district boundaries, board members this week asked the Office of the County Attorney and County Administrator Jonathan Lewis to provide the answers to a number of questions. Among the issues raised by Commissioner Nancy Detert’s proposal for redistricting, commissioners want to know what data legally could be used for such a process.

About $4.4 million needed over next five fiscal years to keep jail facilities in adequate condition

Sarasota County’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) lacks approximately $4.4 million for projects needed in fiscal years 2020 through 2024 to maintain the Sarasota County Jail in an acceptable condition, the County Commission has learned. To put that in context, Jeff Lowdermilk, director of the county’s General Services Department, pointed out during the board’s March 29 budget workshop, a new jail has been estimated to cost between $70 million and $120 million.

Siesta Key Association contends that Sarasota city engineer’s letter in March 2015 application for state permit not sufficient to prove city determined Lido Renourishment Project complies with city’s policies

A copy of a letter the City of Sarasota’s engineer wrote to a consultant for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in 2015 is not sufficient to show that the city has determined its plans to dredge Big Sarasota Pass comply with a city Comprehensive Plan policy, the Siesta Key Association (SKA) contends.

Sarasota Bay Estuary Program unveils preliminary concept for improving habitat on Jim Neville Preserve

The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program is working on a concept to restore native habitat to two connected islands off Siesta Key on which spoil material was dumped during the creation of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW).

Sarasota County Commission agrees to join Charlotte County in Manasota Key Beach renourishment project

Having heard from almost a dozen Manasota Key residents alarmed about worsening erosion on their beachfront property, the Sarasota County Commission this week voted unanimously to pursue one renourishment project and to ask staff to undertake further research for a second one.

Lido Beach emergency renourishment project finally wrapping up after December start

The Lido Beach emergency renourishment project was close to completion by the end of last week, Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin reported in his April 5 newsletter. “The protective sand and beautiful white beach has returned to Lido Key!” he wrote. “The contractors had finished the dredging portion of the project.”

Sarasota nanny arrested and charged with two counts of child abuse involving 8-month-old and 2-year-old

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a nanny and charged her with two counts of Child Abuse after she allegedly left two children under her care with multiple bruises, the office has announced.

Siesta Seen

It took only a couple of minutes on April 10 for the Sarasota County Commission to cast a unanimous vote, setting in motion the construction of a new Fire Station No. 13 on Siesta Key. No person showed up to speak during the public hearing that was part of the board’s regular meeting in Sarasota. However, in making the motion to proceed with the project, Commissioner Alan Maio — who represents Siesta as part of his District 4 territory — pointed out, “This is a very big deal.”

OPINION (free):


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OTHER NEWS (free):

Sarasota County launches system-wide ‘Living Library’ initiative this week

Sarasota Memorial among the world’s best hospitals, ‘Newsweek’ reports

Free, confidential text line available for Sarasota County students and the public 24 hours a day

City of Sarasota joins nationwide challenge, encouraging residents to be most ‘water wise’

Downtown Venice to host 2019 ‘Eggstravaganza’


County residents may adopt green buttonwood or dahoon holly saplings for transplant as part of National Arbor Day celebration