Thursday, August 28, 2014

After meeting with TerraCap, Wait and See: UPDATE

UPDATE: Late this afternoon, the attorney for TerraCap confirmed that the firm, which owns the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce, has asked the County to postpone a rezoning hearing previously set for Sept. 10th. The reason is to allow time to work on a mutually beneficial agreement between TerraCap and the Lake Sarasota. See below for details of the neighborhood's reasons for seeking such an agreement.

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At a meeting yesterday with TerraCap and a land-use attorney it has retained, representatives from Lake Sarasota and the Bee Ridge Neighborhood Committee laid out neighborhood concerns related to the prospective development of the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce (BRPOC). The meeting was the first with corporate officers for TerraCap, which owns the land. Earlier discussions with its local agents had stalled.



Key points of our presentation:

- The 50-acre plot of land lies directly opposite the front entrance to Lake Sarasota, at an already difficult intersection that sees frequent traffic accidents and is now undergoing widening.

- A giant Racetrac gas station will begin construction within a few weeks on the northeast corner of Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge. TerraCap has no control over this project -- Racetrac owns the two-acre parcel and has received approvals for it -- but the concerns having to do with noise, traffic, and potential degradation of property values stem from planning having been done without the knowledge of residents who will have to put up with it.



- The land was originally intended for large clean employers, such as HealthSouth, Ridgelake, and METI. However, the former owner of the BRPOC and its agents worked persistently to persuade the County to change this land use to commercial and industrial zoning.

- The BRPOC is a cul de sac -- as such all traffic entering via the Mauna Loa intersection will leave the same way. If busy commercial ventures -- e.g. drugstores, convenience stores, gas stations, fast food -- are put in, the pressure upon the intersection will sharply increase. So too will the noise and nighttime activity.

On Wednesday, the corporate officer from TerraCap, Wayne Humphries, who met with us indicated his company -- a large Canadian property management and development firm -- will carefully review the information we presented.

We are thus in a wait-and-see mode. However, if a September 10th hearing goes ahead on a rezoning application filed by TerraCap, we will file a report reiterating our concerns and desire for a voluntary protective Covenant to the County Board of Commissioners.

Stay tuned.

Labor Day Update - Concerts, Plant sale, Bandana, more


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 government offices, including libraries, recreation centers and Historical Resources will be closedMonday, Sept. 1, for the Labor Day holiday.  
Effective Monday, Sept. 1, Liberty Pass, which provides unlimited monthly rides on Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT), will only be available through participating social service providers.
The run will be held at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 1, on Dearborn Street in Englewood.
Registration for Sarasota County's first Indoor Community Yard Sale begins Tuesday, Sept. 2. The sale will be held at Laurel Park on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 8 a.m. to noon. A total of 20 resident vendor spots are available at $10 per space. 
Join the outdoor Rockin' Tailgate Gate Party with Bandana at the Englewood Sports Complex, Saturday, Sept. 6, at 3 p.m.
A public hearing will be held Tuesday, Sept. 9, to address Sarasota County's sign code as it pertains to electronic message center signs. These are signs that contain changeable copy in a digital display and are typically seen in front of businesses. 
Sarasota County Libraries' One Book One Community program and its community partners have narrowed down the list of possible titles for the 2015 One Book. The group is also unveiling a new logo in recognition of the 12th year of promoting this program.
Residents can benefit from the county's sustainability expertise by attending a free 30-minute Energy Upgrade workshop that will provide information, tips and materials to help them identify opportunities to save money, energy and water in their home. 
Sarasota County Extension Master Gardeners will host the 10th Annual Plant Sale and EdFest, Saturday, Oct. 11, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Sarasota County Extension Office of the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) at Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota.  
Sarasota County will host its third annual Youth Fall Fishing Tournament, Saturday, Sept. 20, at 8:30 a.m. at Manasota Beach in Englewood. The event is for children ages 14 and younger.
Sign up now for the ninth annual Sustainable Communities Workshop Oct. 29, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Event and Conference Center in Sarasota.
About Us
Sarasota County Government 
1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota,
Florida 34236 

Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities. View the complete policy at https://www.scgov.net/ADA/Pages/default.aspx.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Stalled negotiations on Covenant: UPDATE

Members of the Board and other interested residents of Lake Sarasota will meet today with representatives of TerraCap in a final effort to negotiate a neighborhood-friendly agreement addressing the concerns regarding safety, tranquility, and property values. The results will be reported here.

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A conversation about a legally binding Covenant between Lake Sarasota residents and agents for TerraCap Mgmt. has not progressed since a June 12 meeting.

The community has concerns about traffic, nuisance noise and odors, and damage to property values that could arise from mishandled development of the commercial land opposite the front entrance of the Lake S. community at Mauna Loa Blvd. and Bee Ridge Road.


Agents for TerraCap, the Canadian owner of the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce who sold the front property to Racetrac, were approached in April about a Covenant, but ignored the Community's overture. After the developer's latest rezoning plan failed to receive County approval -- in part, Commissioners said, because they refused to work with the Community -- one meeting was held, raising hopes that some binding Covenant could be worked out.

Hopes faded after TerraCap did not address or offer to negotiate a Covenant outline presented by the Community after the sole June meeting. On August 13, Lake Sarasota wrote to request that the developers meet to negotiate in person. So far that request has not received a reply. The Community's letter seeking the meeting is below.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

July, 2014 Lake Sarasota Crime Report.


 
There were a total of eight incidents, up from three in June.  I attribute this to school vacation time--young people with time on their hands and mischief on their minds.
 
There were two incidents of vandalism, two burglaries, three thefts, and two juvenile disturbances.  Vandalism and juvenile disturbances are more typical of young people than career criminals.  Therefore, four incidents are more typical of criminal behavior, and actual crime increased by one.
 
The two vandalism incidents occurred at the following times and locations:
 
            7/2    Reported 3:29 p.m.  4114 Westminster
            7/8    Reported 4:01 p.m.  3934 Wake
 
The burglaries occurred at the following times and locations:
 
            7/15  Reported 11:40 p.m.    4172 Lancaster
            7/30  Reported 10:49 a.m.    6484 Tarawa
 
The three thefts occurred at the following times and locations:
 
            7/2    Reported 10:57 a.m.    4079 Hina    (Bldg)
            7/24   Reported 3:12 p.m.     6366 Bikini  (Other)
            7/26   Reported 8:53 p.m.    7000 Brentford (Other)
 
There was one juvenile disturbance occurring at the following time and location:
 
            7/31   Reported 6:31 p.m.    3983 Coleridge
 
Seven of the eight incidents occurred in the center and east portions of Lake Sarasota.  One incident, a burglary, occurred in the western portion, on Tarawa.
 
Ted Cover

Citizens Patrol

Thursday, August 21, 2014

One Night Rodeo, Pioneer Days, Plant Sale scheduled, more



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.   
SATURDAY: The local country music sensation, One Night Rodeo, is bringing its full-throttle sounds and high-octane show back to the Venice Community Center on Saturday, Aug. 23, at 7:30 p.m.
Effective Monday, Sept. 1, Liberty Pass, which provides unlimited monthly rides on Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT), will only be available through participating social service providers.
The run will be held at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 1, on Dearborn Street in Englewood.
Join the outdoor Rockin' Tailgate Gate Party with Bandana at the Englewood Sports Complex, Saturday, Sept. 6, at 3 p.m.
A public hearing will be held Tuesday, Sept. 9, to address Sarasota County's sign code as it pertains to electronic message center signs. These are signs that contain changeable copy in a digital display and are typically seen in front of businesses. 
Registration for Sarasota County's first Indoor Community Yard Sale begins Tuesday, Sept. 2. The sale will be held at Laurel Park on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 8 a.m. to noon. A total of 20 resident vendor spots are available at $10 per space. 
Sarasota County Extension Master Gardeners will host the 10th Annual Plant Sale and EdFest, Saturday, Oct. 11, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Sarasota County Extension Office of the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) at Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota.  
Two Sarasota County employees are helping federal authorities battle raging wildfires in northern California. Cesar Rodriguez-Palacios and Raymond Vinson are both part of the county's "eco-burn" team, which plans and conducts prescribed burns on county-managed lands. 
Sarasota County will host its third annual Youth Fall Fishing Tournament, Saturday, Sept. 20, at 8:30 a.m. at Manasota Beach in Englewood. The event is for children ages 14 and younger.
Sign up now for the ninth annual Sustainable Communities Workshop Oct. 29, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Event and Conference Center in Sarasota.
Sarasota County Government values the participation and input of its residents in the decision-making process. To further that goal, the county has more than 30 citizen advisory boards, councils and committees, with members appointed by the County Commission.
 
About Us
Sarasota County Government 
1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota,
Florida 34236 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Comments submitted to Sarasota County regarding the 2050 Comprehensive Overlay

This is one perspective on the County's ambitious plans to change the 2050 Comprehensive Plan for the rural areas of Sarasota - mostly East of the highway. The comments have been submitted to the County planning department. If others have comments that they wish to share, they can send them to LakeSarasota at gmail dot com and we'll post them.
An important public hearing about these changes to 2050 is set for Wed. Aug. 27th, 5 pm at the County Commission, Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.

August 19, 2014


Anyone who looks back at how Sarasota County’s 2050 Comprehensive Overlay was developed has to be impressed by both its inclusiveness and its methodical approach. The county took years to work with residents, developers and commercial interests to produce a vision for East Sarasota County looking out to 2050. It hired the distinguished Urban Land Institute to provide a broad perspective and in-depth analysis.


The result didn’t please everybody, but it brought order to the contentious question of how to plan for future growth and development of our large rural areas. Certain priorities were clear thanks to the plan. This basic starting point did not come cheap -- it took time, patience, hard work, and cost $2 million in taxpayers’ dollars. We residents felt we had a share in it.


The county now proposes to make changes to 2050 -- changes which have once again stirred old arguments. Some say this initiative comes at the instigation of a few large developers who have their eye on five substantial parcels amounting to 17% of the total land mass east of I-75.


As others have noted, if a complex agreement worked out at great expense is to be changed, it would seem reasonable to revise it in accord with the methodology used to create it. Bring back the consultants (or hire even better ones) and work through the process of revision in the open, publicly shared manner used so effectively before.


This has not been the case. The changes have been authored “in-house” and have provoked strong criticism from some of the most articulate and informed citizens of Sarasota County.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sustainable Communities, Advisory Openings, more in 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.   
Fitch Ratings upgraded Sarasota County's utility system revenue bond rating this month to "AA+" from "AA" based on an improving local economy.
In anticipation for the Sarasota Down Payment Assistance Program's opening Tuesday, Sept. 2, the Sarasota Office of Housing and Community Development is hosting a workshop Thursday, Aug. 21, at 9:30 a.m. at 1565 1st St., City Hall Annex, Sarasota. 
Sarasota County will hold its ninth annual Sustainable Communities Workshop Oct. 29, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Event and Conference Center, 4740 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota. Registration is open to the public, and advanced registration is encouraged.
Sarasota County Government values the participation and input of its residents in the decision-making process. To further that goal, the county has more than 30 citizen advisory boards, councils and committees, with members appointed by the County Commission. The following committees have open positions:
  • Bicycle Pedestrian Trail Advisory Committee (BPTAC): 9 vacancies (5 at large, plus Longboat Key, City of North Port, City of Sarasota, School Board representatives)
  • Building Code Board of Adjustments and Appeals: 4 vacancies
  • Citizens Advisory Committee for Public Transportation: 4 vacancies
  • General Contractors Licensing & Examining Board: 6 vacancies (engineer; general contractor; residential contractor; 3 at large)
  • Health Facilities Authority & Industrial Development Revenue Bond Citizens Advisory Committee: 2 vacancies
  • Mechanical Contractors Licensing & Examining Board: 5 vacancies (architect; master electrician; trade alternate; 2 at large
  • Waterways Advisory Council: 2 vacancies
For a complete description of committees and how you can serve, visitwww.scgov.net (keyword Advisory Council).
Visit and like the page now to stay on top of new service announcements.
 
About Us
Sarasota County Government 
1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota,
Florida 34236 

 Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities. View the complete policy at https://www.scgov.net/ADA/Pages/default.aspx.
Got a question about Sarasota County Government?
Call the Contact Center,
941-861-5000.
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