Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Letter to developers regarding Covenant

A letter requesting the developer of the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce was sent to the developer, TerraCap Management, to its agents, Peter Dailey and Richard M. Fischer, and to several members of the County's planning staff.

The letter asks that the BRPOC voluntarily sign a binding agreement, or Covenant, stipulating that they will not allow adult entertainment, shooting ranges, or other uses that could degrade or otherwise harm the property values and / or relative tranquility long enjoyed by residents of Lake Sarasota and other communities along the Bee Ridge Corridor. The uses identified as objectionable were determined through neighborhood polls.

A copy of the letter is here, or here. If neither link works for you, you can request a copy by writing to LakeSarasota@gmail.com.

The developers are seeking Sarasota County's approval to rezone a portion of their 40-acre site to Commercial Neighborhood. They come before the Board of County Commissioners at a hearing on May 21st. Related story here.

Rezoning portion of BRPOC

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Candidate to make second visit to Lake Sarasota

County Commission candidate Lourdes Ramirez will be back doing a second walking tour of Lake Sarasota this Friday, April 25th. She was in the community on April 14th and met a number of residents.

She plans to walk several streets east of Mauna Loa Blvd (Palau, Friendship, Lancaster, Westminster Drives). If time remains, she'll walk further east to Berkshire.

If you see a car with her nameplate, stop and say hello.

If you wish to sign a petition to get Lourdes Ramirez on the ballot, you can download a petition form here and mail it in. Deadline is May 9th.




Monday, April 14, 2014

Candidate to visit Lake Sarasota

County Commission candidate Lourdes Ramirez will visit Lake Sarasota Wednesday afternoon, April 16th.

Ms. Ramirez, a Republican, is the first candidate to come to the neighborhood this campaign season, and the visit is on her own initiative. She is president of the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations, or CONA. Her candidate page is here.

One key issue of this year's County Commission campaign concerns the "2050 Plan" -- the County's directives for new development east of I-75.

The position of CONA is that new development should pay for itself. From CONA's home page:
NO new taxes for current county residents, especially to pay for new development.
Ramirez will be meeting residents of Lake Sarasota on Wednesday afternoon. Look for her car (with name signs) on Mauna Loa Blvd as well as other neighborhood roads. More about Ramirez and this year's issues herehere, and here.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Covenanting with the developers of the BRPOC

At a Planning Commission hearing on April 3, the agents for TerraCap, the owner of the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce, were directed by the Commissioners to work with nearby residents to establish an understanding of what the neighborhoods would consider friendly and welcome uses for the commercial spaces.

On May 21, the County Commission will be asked to approve the rezoning of the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce. About 7 acres of the 40-acre site will be converted from PCD to CN zoning. The rest remains PCD.

As the above link shows, PCD allows a very wide range of uses, from clubs to liquor stores to gun and archery ranges. Even under the narrower CN zoning, the range includes several uses that Lake Sarasota and other area residents cited as objectionable. These included:
  • Stormwater facility in different zoning district than principal use
  • Clubs & lodges
  • Day Care
  • Bars
  • Boarding House
  • Entertainment Outdoors
  • Animal Hospital
On April 3, TerraCap agents Richard Fischer and Peter Dailey were instructed by Planning Commssioners to work with nearby neighborhoods. If neighbors feel there are uses that could prove harmful to their values -- whether of lifestyle or of property -- they now have an opportunity to seek to work with the agents prior to the May 21 hearing.

There are recent local precedents for this. Neighborhoods worked with the Publix shopping center at the Bee Ridge Extension to limit undesirable or nuisance uses. They drew up a a set of Covenants signed by all parties. A facsimile of that set of covenants is here - see in particular the development restrictions on p. 2 and the land use restrictions on p. 3-4. Of special interest may be the article Under Land Use Restrictions B.2, where the developer agreed to not have
liquor stores, adult entertainment, bar/tavern, extreme sports, movie theater, animal hospital or veterinary clinic, and more.
Some idea of what the Bee Ridge Commercial area might turn out to look like can be gathered from a statement Mr. Fischer made at the Planning Commission hearing. He said he was the developer of CattleRidge at the northeast corner of Cattlemen Rd. and Bee Ridge, just west of I-75. That site will be familiar to folks who have been to the Sarasota Ale House, Joey D's, the Hampton Inn or any other of the 13 businesses there. The Bee Ridge Park of Commerce could be similar, he said.




Wednesday, April 09, 2014

County will continue to have Spine for now

A public hearing on the fate of Spine Road resumed Wednesday, April 9. The head of County Transportation presented the County Commission with a detailed history showing that Spine Rd. was originally put in the County Comprehensive Plan in 1989, but as a straight line that, if built, would have run through existing homes, he said.

Spine Rd. was removed in 1992 from the plan, but it was later realigned and put back into the Comp Plan by a 4-1 vote of the 1996 County Commission. The Transportation Dept. feels the road is buildable and will be needed in the future, and recommended the County take no action to remove it. The developers of the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce (BRPOC) had requested the removal, prompting the hearing.

The Board took no action Wednesday, but may revisit the issue on May 21, at a final hearing on a proposed rezoning of the BRPOC.

Jonathan Paul went on to say that the concerns expressed by community residents of Lake Sarasota had some justification.

"I've driven it; their concerns are legitimate."

When connector roads are built, it's necessary to make sure residential communities are not negatively affected. Residents had asked the County to make sure Mauna Loa Blvd. south of Bee Ridge would not be re-classified to a major connector, as that would intensify traffic through the neighborhood, where children are always playing, and where people are walking or riding bicycles. 

"We have no intention of converting any portion of Mauna Loa Blvd or any road south of Bee Ridge into any high order road," he said. "Based on land use pattern today, [Lake Sarasota] is essentially built out,"

In the coming months, the County will hold a series of workshops or hearings on future plans for roads east of I-75 at which concerns of residents can be addressed, he added. Residents of Lake Sarasota, for example, could request that Mauna Loa Blvd. south of Bee Ridge be given a status that would further discourage pass-through traffic. It’s inappropriate to see it as a continuation of an artery, he added.

"If the board directs us, we can require further analysis to make sure there's no impact south of Bee Ridge."

At a hearing on May 21, 9 a.m., the developers will seek final approval to rezone a portion of the BRPOC to Community Neighborhood. At that hearing, they will likely again raise the issue of Spine Road, which they wish to remove in order to accommodate road access to the future Racetrac gas station planned for their site, opposite the main entrance to Lake Sarasota. The Transportation Dept. has opposed the a median cut in N. Mauna Loa because it could create danger points for traffic.

Interestingly, Spine Road at the hearing was called "North Mauna Loa Boulevard." Should it perhaps be given another name?

County updates



Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, contact us at pubcom@scgov.net.   
SARASOTA: Sarasota County government provides essential services that the public relies on every day. Find out more from the staff of many Sarasota County departments at Gulf Gate Library in the Westfield Sarasota Square Mall on Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sarasota County libraries and the American Association of Retired Persons are offering free assistance with the preparation of 2013 tax returns throughApril 15
Sarasota County has been selected by the United Nations Environment Programme's Regional Office for North America (UNEP RONA) as the official North American host community for World Environment Day (WED) 2014. 
Your input will be taken into consideration leading to a possible amendment of the Air and Sound Pollution Ordinance No. 94-038 to allow for recreational warming fires on private properties. Enter your feedback in an online survey available on the county's website through Monday, April 21
Sarasota County and the city of North Port have begun an international campaign seeking prospective long-term vendors to operate and/or develop Warm Mineral Springs in North Port.
The Sarasota Office of Housing and Community Development is offering zero-percent deferred loans for home repairs on owner-occupied homes throughout Sarasota County.
National Library Week is April 11-18. Celebrate 
The national 2014 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps tool, released by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, addresses physical environments; social and economic factors; health behaviors, and access to clinical care.
Actress Janet Davies, of Sarasota and New York, will portray Emily Dickinson in "The Belle of Amherst" at the North Port Library, 13800 S. Tamiami Trail in North Port, Wednesday, April 16, at 6 p.m.
Real estate agents, landlords, property managers, architects, multifamily complex builders, permitting officials and all community members are invited to attend one of two free Fair Housing seminars Thursday, April 24.
The Venice Community Center, along with its partners, is offering a progressive dinner event Friday, April 25, starting at 6 p.m. for $40. 
About Us
Sarasota County Government 
1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, Florida 34236 

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Planning Commission OKs Re-zoning portion of Bee Ridge Park of Commerce to CN

The Sarasota County Planning Commission voted 6-1 to forward the re-zoning petition for the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce to the County Commission. That is, the Planning Commissioners, after about an hour of probing discussion and remarks from nearby neighborhoods, agreed to give Mr. Peter Dailey and Richard Fischer the right to convert 6.9 acres of the Park of Commerce -- adjacent to the north and east of the Racetrac parcel - to Commercial Neighborhood.

In a separate ruling, they allowed the agents to expand from CN's usual limit of 20,000 square feet to 37,000 square feet for one building, without committing to specific uses for it, or for two other parcels.

In return, Dailey and Fischer on behalf of TerraCap agreed to honor a 50' setback buffer along Bee Ridge Rd. The CN designation does not require that large a buffer, but it was already built into the plan and will remain intact.

Commissioner John Burrus cast the only dissenting vote, stating that the absence of specifics for parts of the 6.9 acre parcel, which could include restaurants or other retail and office space, was troubling. The whole matter of adequate parking was left in limbo, for example.

The Planning Commission also ok'd a right in/right out access point into the BRPOC from Bee Ridge, about 460' east of the Mauna Loa intersection.

Remarks to report the results of a neighborhood poll were submitted both orally and in writing, and can be read here.

Dailey and Fischer will next go before the County Commission seeking final approval for their rezoning.

A poll of Lake Sarasota residents done both online and via email found that many opposed what they would view as nuisances: noisy and unattractive outdoor sales, bars, liquor stores, boarding houses, clubs and lodges, and similar uses allowed under CN zoning.

Fischer and Dailey were instructed by the Planning Commissioners to work closely with Lake Sarasota and other Bee Ridge communities to find uses within the CN zoning that will be compatible with the desires of residents.


New bidding system, authors, library week, more: County Update



Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, contact us at pubcom@scgov.net.   
Sarasota County libraries and the American Association of Retired Persons are offering free assistance with the preparation of 2013 tax returns throughApril 15
Sarasota County has announced a new partnership with BidSync, a company that develops cloud-based procurement solutions for the public sector. The move marks an expansion by Sarasota County into electronic procurement, which began in 2011 with a system called "eProcure" that allows electronic filing and tracking of bids, requests for proposals and invitations for quotes.
In collaboration with the Asolo Repertory Theater's production of "The Grapes of Wrath," National Steinbeck Center playwright Octavio Solis will speak at the Selby Library on Monday, April 7, at 10:30 a.m. in the Geldbart Auditorium. 
National Library Week is April 11-18. Celebrate 
The national 2014 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps tool, released by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, addresses physical environments; social and economic factors; health behaviors, and access to clinical care.
Real estate agents, landlords, property managers, architects, multifamily complex builders, permitting officials and all community members are invited to attend one of two free Fair Housing seminars Thursday, April 24.
The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) has named Sarasota County a "Healthy Weight Community Champion," for its efforts to increase physical activity and improve nutrition. 
The Venice Community Center, along with its partners, is offering a progressive dinner event Friday, April 25, starting at 6 p.m. for $40. 
About Us
Sarasota County Government 
1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, Florida 34236 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Rezoning the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce PCD vs. CN

On Thurs. April 3, a request to rezone a portion of the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce from PCD to CN will be heard by the Planning Commission. See here for details.

Below are descriptions of what is permitted under each designation. Are there any uses we as nearby residents would prefer not to see across from our front entrance? Have a look, let us know.

===========


PCD vs. CN by level of permission (Sarasota Cty Code Appendix 5)

Info taken from the Municode for Sarasota County

4.7. - Commercial and Industrial District Intent Statements.

4.7.1.
Commercial Neighborhood District (CN).

a.

The CN District permits small-scale, neighborhood-oriented commercial facilities. Their proper development and use shall be facilitated through design techniques and sufficient buffering (as set out in Article 7), which provide for walkable, pedestrian-friendly uses compatible with nearby residential uses. The district is not intended for use by major or large-scale commercial, sales, service or automotive-oriented activities. The primary uses include retail sale of food, drugs, hardware, and similar items and the provision of personal services. Offices and other similar uses are encouraged. Uses in this district are intended to be located within convenient traveling distance from one or several neighborhoods which they will serve. This district allows residential use, including upper story residential dwelling units, in order to promote live-work and mixed use opportunities.

b.

The CN District is generally used to implement the Comprehensive Plan within those areas of Sarasota County shown as Regional, Community, Village I, Village II, or Neighborhood Commercial Center, or Commercial Corridor on the Future Land Use Map.

c.

When rezoning to the CN District the applicant for rezoning may request that the Development Concept Plan submitted with the rezoning application be binding. Under such circumstances, if the rezoning is approved, the Development Concept Plan shall be binding.

==

4.8.3.

Planned Commerce Development District (PCD).

a.

The PCD District provides an area for coordinated mixed use developments which include industrial, commercial, office, educational, civic, institutional, residential and service uses within a planned development with appropriate perimeter buffering and open space. This district provides a mechanism to attract major employers to Sarasota County, in locations where the service needs of employees and customers are accommodated. This district allows for significant contribution to the economic base of Sarasota County and provides for housing opportunities near employment centers. The variety of land uses available in this district will allow flexibility to respond to market demands and the needs of tenants, which provides for a variety of physically and functionally integrated land uses.

b.

Generally, land uses include manufacturing, wholesaling and warehousing, construction services, transportation services, limited retail trade and service, office, educational, civic, institutional, and residential uses in support of employment activities in the district. This district allows residential use, including upper story residential dwelling units, in order to promote live-work and mixed use opportunities. When rezoning to the PCD District, Development Concept Plans are binding.

c.

Developments at this scale are often also subject to a Development of Regional Impact or Critical Area Plan. The PCD District is generally used to implement the Comprehensive Plan within those areas of Sarasota County designated as Major Employment Center (MEC) and/or Major Employment Center/Interstate Regional Office Park (MEC/IROP) on the Future Land Use Map.

Click on "Read More" to see what is permitted under CN and what is permitted under PCD:


Sunday, March 23, 2014

A list of Florida attractions

Here's a list of places to enjoy around our area and farther afield, but all in Florida. If you have any to add that aren't here, or discover something needing updating, drop us a note or leave a comment - thanks.
MANATEE
Anna Maria Island Historical Museum: 402 Pine Ave., Anna Maria
Learn about its rich history, complete with settlers, characters, the original city jail and tour the cottage that sat on the CIty Pier and fell into the Bay.
Summer hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday May 1-October 31. Admission is free. Information: 941-778-0492.
earn about its rich history; complete with settlers, characters, the original city jail and tour the cottage that sat on the City Pier and fell into the Bay
Open Tuesday- Saturday
10-4:00 pm
November-May
10-1:00 pm
June-October
Braden Castle Village: One Office Drive, 27th Street East and Manatee Avenue, Bradenton
The castle was once the heart of a rambling sugar plantation built by Joseph Addison Braden and his brother Hector in the 1840s. The ruins can still be seen in Braden Castle Park. Admission: free. Information: 941-746-7700.
Bunker Hill Vineyard and Winery: 8905 Bunker Hill Road, Duette
Bunker Hill Vineyard and Winery, a "green" environmentally responsible winery offers tours and tastings 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. The vineyard grows seven varieties of muscadine grapes, which produce 10 different labeled "handcrafted" red, white and rose wines, including sparkling reds and whites. Vineyard weddings are performed upon request. Information: 941-776-0418.
Cypress House Military Museum: Palmetto Historical Park, 515 10th Ave. W., Palmetto


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hearing on Rezoning set for April 3, 6:30 pm


The Planning Commission will review TerraCap and Peter Dailey's request to rezone the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce from PCD to CN, and to create a right-in/right-out turn on Bee Ridge so cars heading West can enter 460 feet East of the Mauna Loa intersection.




Friday, March 14, 2014

March LSCG Meeting Notes

The Lake Sarasota Community Group meeting of 3.13.14 took place at Sarasota Alliance Church. Here's a brief summary:

1. Tax Attorney Mary King presented some tips on what to do if you're audited by the IRS, and gave out a copy of each of her books: Resolve IRS Problems, and Protect and Defend.

2. The Board will ask the Treasurer to renew the LSCG's 501(c)3 status and its CONA membership. The Group also noted that the Treasury is running low and some means of replenishing it need to be found. This will be an agenda item for the next meeting, set for June 12th.

3. The Garage Sale is set for March 29th. So far some 35 homes are on the Neighborhood Garage Sale Map.



Sandy has asked for volunteer to help distribute the maps on the day of the sale. To get on the map, or to help hand them out anytime between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., contact her at Sarasotadreams@gmail.com.

4.  A letter to the County Commission expressing a desire that the County proceed cautiously with any plans to connect Mauna Loa Blvd. to roads heading north (via Spine Rd., for example) all the way to University Parkway. The impact of cumulative development in the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce will already put pressure on our entrance intersection. The letter calls for a new, comprehensive traffic study. A copy of the letter is here.

Residents who wish to support the idea of a comprehensive traffic study (in view of (1) the widening of Bee Ridge, (2) the expansion of development at the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce including Racetrac, hotel, drugstore, restaurants, condos and offices, and (3) potential north-south road alignments) can express the hope that the County will carefully examine impacts, do the traffic study, and avoid negative impacts upon Lake Sarasota and communities south of Bee Ridge Road in letters or emails to the County Commissioners. Always write to all five. Names and contact info here.

Potential North-South Corridor via Spine Rd.


5. The widening of Bee Ridge Rd. is expected to begin in May. It was agreed that a group of us will plan to meet at the front entrance at Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge in late April to rescue the wooden neighborhood signs (they will be stored until the roadwork is complete) and some of the plantings around them.

Also, a prototype of what the new entrance sign will look like was shared. Those interested will help finalize design details (color, font, etc.) and if a meeting with the County is needed, one will be scheduled.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Meeting this Thursday, March 13

The Lake Sarasota Community Group holds its quarterly meeting Thursday March 13, at 7 p.m. at Sarasota Alliance Church. The meeting rooms are in the office space behind the Church.

The agenda:

1. Speaker: Tax Attorney Mary King

2. Treasury (Ellie)

3. a - Update: Bee Ridge Rd.
    b - Update: Entrance Sign
    c - Spine Road Action Item: Letter to County Commission (Tom)

4. Garage Sale. (Sandy)

5. Sheriff's Report (Ted)

6. Other business

Spine Road and N/S Corridor