Monday, August 29, 2016

Next Neighborhood Meeting Tues. Sept. 6 - UPDATE

The next meeting of the Lake Sarasota Community Group (all-volunteer, anyone who can make it is welcome) will be Tuesday, Sept. 6, (instead of the usual Thursday time) from 7 - 8:30 pm.

As Joy says:
Meet to talk about Lake Sarasota — the community, roadwork, beautification, security, etc. We'll also be talking about plans for our upcoming fall festival! The meeting is at Sarasota Alliance Church, opposite Chaucer, in the conference rooms behind the church.



A number of people expressed interest in helping produce a fun neighborhood party. This is the meeting to attend if you want to be involved!

Also on the agenda:

Replacing the flag and rope. We hope to fund this and get knowledgeable residents to help choose a new flag (material, size, vendor, etc.) and put it up.

Flooding. This week might see heavy rains from the tropical depression that is on its way. We want to document where our streets and yards flood - get photos and addresses - and share with the County. Please keep this in mind for this week's rains.


Forecast as of 7 pm Monday, Aug. 29. Click here for updates.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Report potholes, storm drains, directly to the county

Have a pothole to report? A traffic light not working? Storm drains not draining?

Sarasota County has new ways to get in touch with the county to report problems and see follow-up action:



Sarasota County has launched two new digital tools that will provide citizens with additional ways to engage with their government.

First, the county has partnered with SeeClickFix on a new platform that will allow the public to report quality-of-life issues and request county services.
With the free SeeClickFix mobile app and web tools, Sarasota County citizens will now be able to provide county staff with pictures, videos, specific descriptions and a real-time location with their reports or requests. Citizens can report non-emergency issues, from traffic hazards like potholes to inoperable traffic signals, as well as view and comment on problems submitted by their neighbors. They can even create their own "watch areas" to receive notifications about all the issues reported in their community, enabling them to follow the progress of all service requests, not just the ones they report. 

See these links

Contact the Call Center

Besides the phone (941 861-5000), you can now email or request service by filling out a form at the link.

Apparently there's a way to follow the County's response time to a service request, using See Click Fix.



Friday, August 19, 2016

Fence installation along Coleridge; Wake Ave. to reopen soon


2016 Neighborhoods Conference Early Registration Discount

This October, the Florida Neighborhoods Conference will bring communities and concerned citizens from all around Florida to Sarasota County for three days of workshops and exchange of ideas.

In 2008, some from Sarasota attended the last conference and came away impressed with the quality of the leaders and the knowledge shared about housing, organizing, working with government, methods for communication and networking.

A list of workshops is here.

Discount for those who sign up before Sept. 2.

The time has finally arrived - registration for the 2016 Florida Neighborhoods Conference, hosted October 13-15 by Sarasota County in Venice, Florida - is now open!  Register before September 2 and receive the "early bird" discount rate of $50.  Basic registration includes a suite of neighborhood-oriented workshops, a continental breakfast, keynote lunch, anniversary celebration, awards breakfast, and your choice of tours.  Did we mention you get all that for only $50??!
          If you are looking for ways to show your neighborhood a little love, you don't want to miss this fantastic opportunity!  Check out the Conference Guide, then

     
     Please also check out the volunteer and sponsorship opportunities posted on the Neighborhood Services webpage.



Thursday, August 11, 2016

New Park Site, Change in Polling Places - County Updates



Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback relating to this newsletter, contact us atcommunications@scgov.net
Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources would like you to share your thoughts and ideas at a community workshop on the future neighborhood park.
Sarasota County has hired Christopher J. Louria to become director of the Human Resources Department.
Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent announces changes in polling locations effective Aug. 30.
Sarasota County will host the 20th annual Florida Neighborhoods Conference on Oct. 13-15 at the Venice Community Center, 326 Nokomis Ave. S., Venice.
Sarasota County's department of health and numerous partners have joined in promoting breastfeeding during August.
Save the date: Sarasota County Master Gardeners will hold their 11th annual plant sale on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota.
 
About Us
Sarasota County Government 
1660 Ringling Blvd., 
Sarasota, Florida 34236 
TTY: 7-1-1 or 1-800-955-8771

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Wake Ave. to close beginning Monday


Third Mowing Meeting and other County Updates




Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback relating to this newsletter, contact us at communications@scgov.net


Sarasota County is proposing changes to the mowing level of service in residential areas within the county's urban service boundary, and is hosting a third public workshop at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 9, at the Nokomis Community Center.
For the second consecutive year, Sarasota County's Procurement department has been honored for "Achievement of Excellence in Procurement" by the National Procurement Institute.
Sarasota County's department of health and numerous partners have joined in promoting breastfeeding during August.
Save the date: Sarasota County Master Gardeners will hold their 11th annual plant sale on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota.
Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) has partnered with Q'Straint to host an open house presentation and demonstration of Quantum, the transportation industry's first fully automatic rear-facing 
securement system.
Historical Resources is bringing history to the digital age with their new Instagram account. 
 
About Us
Sarasota County Government 
1660 Ringling Blvd., 
Sarasota, Florida 34236 

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

County contemplates changes in chicken keeping

Sarasota County will host public workshops on backyard chicken keeping Aug. 2 in Sarasota and Aug. 3 in Venice.


SARASOTA COUNTY - Sarasota County is considering a change to the regulations in its code affecting backyard chicken keeping in residential zones and will host two public workshops on the topic.

Two workshops are planned to review the proposed code and gather input ahead of public hearings before the Sarasota County Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners, as follows:
  • Public workshop 1: 6 p.m. Aug. 2,
    County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., First Floor Commission Chambers, Sarasota 
  • Public workshop 2: 6 p.m. Aug. 3,
    R.L. Anderson Administration Center, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, Commission Chambers, Venice
  • Planning Commission public hearing: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 18, 
    County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., First Floor Commission Chambers, Sarasota
  • Board of County Commissioners, first public hearing: Sept. 20 (time TBD), 
    County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., First Floor Commission Chambers, Sarasota
  • Board of County Commissioners, second public hearing: 5:01 p.m. Oct. 10, 
    R.L. Anderson Administration Center, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, Commission Chambers, Venice
The proposed amendment to the code only affects unincorporated portions of Sarasota County, or areas outside of the city limits of Sarasota, Venice, North Port and the Town of Longboat Key. 
 
The code currently allows the keeping of chickens in Open Use Agriculture (OUA), Open Use Rural (OUR), Open Use Estate (OUE), and in limited situations, Residential Estate (RE) zoning districts.The proposed code would add the keeping of chickens in all RE and Residential Single-Family (RSF) zoning districts, unless otherwise prohibited. 
 
The proposed code will likely contain standards affecting the number of chickens per property, setbacks of coops from property lines, prohibiting the keeping of roosters and potential other standards to be discussed. An additional consideration is being proposed to delay the implementation of backyard chicken keeping in RE and RSF zoning districts to allow homeowner associations with deed restrictions to consider initiating a prohibition of chickens that would supersede this allowance, if they so choose. The proposed code changes can be viewed online atwww.scgov.net/planningservices.
 
 

For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000 or email planner@scgov.net.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Letter to Sarasota County Neighborhood Services Re: Mowing


Latest update:
At today's meeting at Frutiville Library, Spencer Anderson of Public Works stated that four of the five Lake Sarasota locations listed by Public Works were not relevant and would be removed from the list. (The four were: Luzon Way, Hand Road, Lago St. and Mauna Loa Blvd.) 
The fifth location is one bit of turf near the end of Jarvis Rd. at 6268 Molokai. The County had been paying a contractor to mow it, and will cease, if the Commission approves the plan. A public hearing is Aug. 24, and anyone may speak. If approved, the new plan with fewer rights of way mowed by county contractors (especially in Sarasota Springs) will begin Oct. 1.

Update: Some clarification this afteroon from Public Works:
The target for our effort is the small amount of space between private properties and their adjacent local or residential roadways.  I've attached a draft exhibit illustrating these areas. In general most residents already maintain these areas, as is done in Lake Sarasota, but we do have a wide distribution of individual properties which do not which has led to the County employing contractors to perform very inefficient mowing services at a reasonably high cost.  The County would continue to maintain all collectors and arterials, medians within roadways where they exist, and right-of-way adjacent to undeveloped properties.  There will also be a proposed exception provision for significantly unusual conditions within the right-of-way that may be considered unreasonable for the adjacent property owner to maintain. 
We were also told that the medians on Mauna Loa would continue to be maintained by the County. 

A further update in response to a few more questions, accompanied by a map file.
I've attached a file with maps of the roads within Lake Sarasota outlining specific areas currently maintained by the county's mowing contracts.  Aside from one small area of right-of-way along Jarvis Road (see note on map), I do not anticipate your community will see any change to the level of service currently provided as the areas we currently maintain are either 1) adjacent to County property (Lago and Hand), 2) undeveloped right-of-way (Jarvis and Luzon), 3) a median (Mauna Loa-South), or 4) does not fit to the intended purpose (Mauna Loa-North).  
Hopefully this information further assists with your questions.  Honestly, I appreciate the inquiry as it shows we need to further refine our draft list of assets (roads, ponds, etc.) potentially affected by the proposed change.  The current published list is an initial review of assets by name which appear to be subject to the proposed change.  Further review is needed to ensure none of the assets are simple areas we would continue to maintain as you have brought to our attention.  
Again, thank you for the dialogue and please let me know if I can be of further assistance.




This morning we received last-minute notice via email from Sarasota County Neighborhood Services of a meeting to be held today. It seems the county will consider turning over mowing responsibilities to neighborhoods, as a cost-saving measure.

One news story, published today, is here.

We are seeking more information. Here's a letter we've just sent to Neighborhood Services:

Hello Miranda, Jane and Megan, 
Perhaps you've sent previous notices of meetings about making mowing the responsibility of communities. Today is the first we've heard about this, and the only meeting scheduled in North Sarasota takes place today, at Fruitville Library (see references below). 
Although your notice does not list potentially affected streets, we note that Mauna Loa Blvd. in Lake Sarasota is on the list published by Public Works. 
It's our sense that  
  1. The information is last-minute and incomplete, yet could affect the wallets of our homeowners. 
  2. We now must attend this meeting in order to understand what is being proposed.  
Perhaps you might offer some indication in advance of how this new arrangement would work. Would communities be required to find their own mowing contractors and make contracts? What about communities like ours that have no formal HOA? 
This is all rather sudden, and raises large questions that make it necessary to bring this to your attention. 
Please advise as we hope to get word to our community ASAP. 
Thank you.  

References: 
WTSP News Story
Mowing Notification with map
County Proposal - overview
Streets proposed for removal 


Friday, July 22, 2016

Have questions about gardening? Food? Pests?

Lake Sarasota residents with questions about plantings, gardens, bug control, mulching, growing food, native species, etc. may find a useful resource in IFAS Sarasota, the local branch of the state's extension service that offers a library and consultations to residents for agricultural and gardening needs.

From their site:

UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County is a partnership between Sarasota County, theUniversity of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), and theUSDA. Our mission is to translate research into community initiatives, classes, and volunteer opportunities related to our three program areas: food systems, water and environmental resources, and youth and community resource development. Part of the national Extension system founded in 1914, we provide practical education to build a better future. View a timeline of our history.
AddressUF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County
Twin Lakes Park, Green Building
6700 Clark Road
Sarasota, FL 34241
Phone941-861-9900
Emailsarasota@ifas.ufl.edu
Office Hours8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday

Bee Ridge Update: Saturday work east of Wake

Crews to work Saturday, July 23, east of Wake Avenue.