Thursday, July 13, 2017

Bee Ridge Project Wins Award

It's official: Sarasota County staff has learned that the Bee Ridge Improvement Project has been selected for the Florida Association of County Engineers and Road Superintendents (FACERS) Award for 2017 Team Project of the Year.

Projects from all over the State were considered. Bee Ridge won first place in the competition.

The criteria used to evaluate the project were Engineering design, Environmental safeguards, Landscaping, Overall appearance, and Community involvement.

The Bee Ridge Neighborhoods Committee worked with County for more than a decade to bring this project to fruition. Led by Joe O'Hara of Laurel Oaks, the Committee formed a working relationship with a terrific set of road engineers and project managers led by Robert Fakhri. 

A hearty congratulations to all.

Bee Ridge Groundbreaking July 2014

Friday, June 09, 2017

Plans for Fall Fest, Garage Sale, and Cleanup

The Lake Sarasota Group (LSCG) set dates for two fall events at its quarterly meeting Thursday:

  • The next Community Garage Sale is set for November 11.
  • Nov. 18th is reserved for the Fall Festival Block Party. More about that to come.
Also, a reminder that this Saturday, June 10th, is our annual Lake Sarasota Cleanup - main dumpster will be situated next to the Firehouse on Toro. A secondary dumpster will be next to the dog park on Hand Rd.

The LSCG set two meeting dates: Sept. 14 will be the next quarterly meeting, and Nov. 9th is a special meeting for fall events.

The Group also got an update on the strong popular resistance to a developer's proposal to put a large industrial waste processing facility on public lands at the Celery Fields. CONA Sarasota will look at next steps and look at the larger question of county stewardship of public lands on Monday, June 12, at 7 pm. Details here.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Community Meeting this Thursday at 7

Residents of Lake Sarasota meet this Thursday at Alliance Church at 7 pm.

All are welcome to this community meeting. On the agenda:
— Plans for a fall garage sale and community picnic
— An update on the status of the Celery Fields
— A potential project to take care of neighbors in need
The meeting is at Sarasota Alliance Church, opposite Chaucer, in the conference rooms behind the church.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

East County neighborhoods are connected

Do you have children attending Tatum Ridge Elementary?

Hearing on the siting of a Waste Processing Plant at the Celery Fields - this will affect traffic throughout our entire road system.

June 1st Planning Commission, 5 pm

Grants for Neighborhoods

Dear Neighbor,

Let's talk about grants, baby. Has your neighborhood received one? We're ramping up for Cycle 30 - that's right, THIRTY! The Neighborhood Initiative Grant Program has been offering two cycles per year for fifteen years. There have been over $1.25 million in funds awarded to homeowners associations, condominium associations, mobile home associations, and ad hoc neighborhood partnerships; encompassing projects that address neighborhood character, leadership, safety, environment and health.

If you would like to learn more about this matching grant program, the coming month is full of opportunities. On May 30, we will host a Grant Share-shop featuring the completed Pine Run Association project (Cycle 26) that removed invasive plant species from natural habitat area. The Share-shop will be presented at Gulf Gate Library from 4:00pm - 5:00pm.
Grant Workshops, which are mandatory for establishing applicant eligibility, will run May 31 through June 19. RSVP for a Workshop to

Our current round of grant applications will be presented to the Board of County Commissioners for their approval on June 7. And, if your heart is drawn to helping improvements happen for neighborhoods around the county, consider applying to be a member of our Neighborhood Initiative Grant Advisory Committee (we currently have an opening).

Quick Links

Sarasota County is working to update its Trails Master Plan, and residents are invited to be part of the process through a series of public meetings and an online survey. Read more on their webpage...

The six-month period from June 1 through November 30 marks the time when most tropical storms form. Do you have a plan? How about a survival kit? Consider stopping in to the Hurricane Expo on May 12 and May 13 for an introduction to best practices. Sarasota County UF/IFAS Extension Services & Sustainability is offering a "Hurricane Preparedness" class on May 17. Coinciding with the rainy season, they're also offering a class on handling the onslaught of mosquitos. For a look at more of their classes, visit their upcoming events page.

Sarasota County Emergency Services is in the process of updating the methodology for determining fire assessments, and is inviting the community to learn about the proposed changes to the fire assessment program. Fire assessments are charges imposed against real property to fund the fire services provided to citizens. One meeting date remains - Tuesday, May 16 at Gulf Gate Library, 6:00pm.

Take some time on Saturday, May 20 to get to know a neighbor many residents in Sarasota County share - Phillippi Creek. "Reclaiming Phillippi Creek" will be an event for the whole family, with exciting activities for children and educational presentations for adults. Learn more about this free event on the registration page.

Summer programming at Sarasota County libraries is about to begin - did you know their programs don't focus just on children and teens? This summer's theme is "Build a Better World," and activities can be found in every library June 1 through August 5. Also consider participating in the Artists in Libraries series, which is available through a partnership with the Arts & Cultural Alliance and the Library Foundation. Read the media release for more information.

Neighbors Ask:

Our neighborhood would like to replace/enhance the landscaping that runs along our boundary, but we're not sure who we need to talk to or what questions to ask.

Your project may involve discussions with multiple departments. First, determine who owns the property. It's possible that what you thought belonged to the neighborhood actually falls within a city or county Right-of-Way (ROW). If that's the case, you'll likely need a permit to do work in that area. Second, understand any landscape buffer/screening requirements that might be in place for your neighborhood. Third, we encourage your neighborhood to go "Florida-Friendly" with its new landscaping design. The UF/IFAS Sarasota County Extension Services & Sustainability is an excellent resource for Florida-Friendly landscaping know-how. If you are in unincorporated Sarasota County, we'd recommend contacting 941-861-5000 as a one-stop shop for assistance with these questions. And need we mention - consider applying for a neighborhood grant?

Until we Connect again,
Your Neighborhood Services Team

Jane Grogg, Manager
Miranda Lansdale, Community Outreach Specialist
Megan Lui, Planner
Katie White, Planner

Friday, April 28, 2017

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
Sarasota County recently earned the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association.
Sarasota County has a countywide recreational burn ban effective immediately due to the dry weather conditions and an increased chance of wildfires. 
Come celebrate Arbor Day by learning all about our community's coastal trees on Saturday, April 29, at Lemon Bay Park, 570 Bay Park Blvd., Englewood.
Sarasota County, the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program and local partners invite the public to attend the third annual Seagrass Survey on Saturday, April 29, at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron next to Ken Thompson Park.
As summer approaches and trips to the beach become more frequent, Sarasota County is reminding all visitors and residents to share the shore with our native wildlife.
Have some fun in the sun and show off your sand sculpting skills as Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources hosts the 45th annual Amateur Sand Sculpture Contest on Siesta Beach on Saturday, May 6.
Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources is taking part in the "Meet Me at the Park" initiative, a national contest that could earn Sarasota County a $20,000 grant to improve local parks.
Keep Sarasota County Beautiful recently received a 2017 Cigarette Litter Prevention Program Grant of $5,000 from the national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful to combat cigarette litter in our community.
Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner offers information to voters to help ensure that the upcoming elections for the cities of North Port and Sarasota run smoothly. 
About Us
Sarasota County Government 
1660 Ringling Blvd., 
Sarasota, Florida 34236 
TTY: 7-1-1 or 1-800-955-8771

Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities. View the complete policy at

Sunday, April 02, 2017

CONA: Surplus Lands at the Celery Fields - Monday April 10, 7 pm

Monday, April 10, 2017

7:00 p.m.

surplus lands and
community treasures 
- crucial decisions -
a town hall examination 
    ​On Monday, April 10, 2017 please join CONA for a town hall
examination of our surplus lands policies and zoning processes that are putting lands considered community treasures in danger, perhaps irreversibly. Such crucial decisions require public participation.    
  The current offer to sell public lands adjacent to the Celery Fields for a construction waste processing facility has drawn the focus of adjacent neighborhoods, environmental groups, conservationists, and many concerned individuals. The issues will be examined to determine what should drive decisions about public lands and how policies may be changed to assure protection of our community treasures while making appropriate decisions about development and preservation.  

social 6:30 p.m. - meeting 7:00 p.m.
at the Sarasota Garden Club

neighbors helping neighbors since 1961

Please share with anyone who cares for quality in Sarasota County - 

Thank you -

Saturday, April 01, 2017

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
If you have not yet paid your 2016 property taxes, don't let the Friday, March 31 deadline pass or you will face an additional charge.
Big trucks and two egg hunts are in store for kids at the 21st annual Big Truck Day EGGstravaganza, sponsored by Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources.
Venice Library, 260 N. Nokomis Ave., will be closed Friday, April 7, while the City of Venice performs maintenance on the building.
Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources is taking part in the "Meet Me at the Park" initiative, a national contest that could earn Sarasota County a $20,000 grant to improve local parks.
If you're facing an outstanding overdue fine that's been keeping you away from the library, take advantage of Amnesty Week at any Sarasota County Library by returning those overdue items without penalty.
The Sarasota County recognizes the value in measuring health outcomes using a variety of  data tools.
The Sarasota County elections office has begun sending out vote-by-mail (absentee) ballots for the May 9 municipal elections.
The county is seeking the public's input as it creates a Unified Development Code that updates and brings together the land development and zoning regulations, which control the development of all properties in unincorporated Sarasota County.
Summer is right around the corner, and Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources has plenty of summer camp options this year to keep kids entertained and engaged.
The Sarasota County Department of Health staff will provide no-cost health screenings and referrals for general health and wellness during April. 
About Us
Sarasota County Government 
1660 Ringling Blvd., 
Sarasota, Florida 34236 
TTY: 7-1-1 or 1-800-955-8771

Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities. View the complete policy at