Thursday, February 04, 2016

Community meeting Thursday Feb. 11

The Lake Sarasota Community will hold a regular meeting on Thurs. February 11, 2016 - all residents are welcome. As usual, the meeting will be in one of the conference rooms behind Sarasota Alliance Church, 7 pm to 8:30 pm.

  1. Front entrance sign - questions, comments.
  2. Update on Bee Ridge roadwork and FDOT's I-75 plan
  3. Summary of Sheriff and Code Enforcement recommendations 
Action items
  • LSCG: Renew 501 status? 
    • If yes, then
  • Elect Officers

Bee Ridge roadwork West of I-75 to last until Summer 2017

via the Herald Tribune:

About the roadwork on Bee Ridge West of I-75:


Bee Ridge roadwork set

Published: Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 10:02 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 10:02 p.m.
SARASOTA - Road improvement work along Bee Ridge Road from South Osprey Avenue to Dunn Drive is slated to start Monday, the Florida Department of Transportation said.



For more information about the project contact the FDOT at 863-519-2828; or visit
The construction work will fix drainage areas along Bee Ridge where stormwater caused dips in the road, near intersections and business driveways. The project will also add 11 pedestrian refuge islands to allow safe space and increased visibility for people attempting to cross Bee Ridge.
The work requires the closure of one lane in both directions of the seven-lane thoroughfare from Osprey to Bond Place, while other temporary lane closures are expected to complete drainage work at side streets at night, according to FDOT.
Motorists and pedestrians are asked to use caution during the $17 million project, which is expected to last until the summer of 2017.
While the delay will hamper traffic during the peak business season, FDOT spokesman Robin Stublen said construction will address two major failures along Bee Ridge, which was originally built by Sarasota County.
“They did the construction, the drainage work and what have you. A good many years ago, Sarasota asked us to take over Bee Ridge Road and we made it into State Road 758” connecting Interstate 75 to U.S. 41, Stublen said. “Along the way we found in the past few years there were some failures in some of the drainage areas …”
Stublen said the drainage issues are limited to stormwater pipes and culverts along the side of the road that have caused the road to buckle in spots. The project also addresses safety issues along the road where at least three people were killed in pedestrian vs. vehicle collisions from 2007 to 2012, according to FDOT project manager Justin Reck.
According to FDOT, Sarasota County is among the top 10 in the state for pedestrian deaths and injuries.
“The placing of the pedestrian refuge islands was based on the fatalities of pedestrians, the crashes involving pedestrians, the volume of pedestrians crossing specific locations, and then the transit stops coordinating with the Sarasota County Area Transit,” Reck said. “Then we also took into consideration the businesses and the impacts of their access to Bee Ridge. We held a public hearing and we opened it up to citizens; they came and made their comments; businesses came and made their comments. We took that and incorporated it into the design and accommodated as best as we could.”
The pedestrian refuge islands are legal, unmarked crossing areas that will supplement existing crosswalks and legal crossings at side streets. The islands will have warning signs for motorists but will not be marked for pedestrian traffic.
Mitch Goldberg, co-owner of Goldmark Auto Group, said he only received one week's notice of the project and wasn't able to prepare for the effects to his business.
“We believe the state should have had an obligation to give us longer notice than one week to tell us that they are going to interrupt our business for prime season almost two years,” Goldberg said. “The issue is if they would have told us about disturbing our business maybe I would have made other arrangements for my season, which I did not.
“I have so much merchandise geared for Christmastime. What do retailers do? They buy merchandise for their season. What we did is we bought plenty of merchandise for our season knowing the business that we do — now what?”
Stublen said FDOT has gone “above and beyond” to notify businesses and residents through phone calls and informational flyers.
“We want everyone to know what to expect and we are doing everything we can to lessen that inconvenience,” he said. “We are going to what I consider very good methods to make sure people can get to businesses. Even though an entrance — if it's only one entrance and it may be closed — we are going to make an alternative entrance. We have signs that are going to be for all the businesses along the way.
“At the end it will be milled, resurfaced, everything will be nice and smooth.”
The state held an informational meeting on the plans at Trinity United Methodist Church Tuesday evening. For more information about the project contact the FDOT at 863-519-2828; or visit

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Monday, January 11, 2016

County Comprehensive Plan - info sessions

Sarasota County's Comprehensive Plan sets the goals and aims of the county across a wide range of our daily lives, from water to transportation to housing and development. Here's a chance to inform learn about it, and then to tell the County what you think before it's approved.

Comp Plan Draft Release
The draft Comprehensive Plan will be released online on
Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A 30 day review period will follow the release of the draft document. There are a four ways to get involved.
1. Draft Release Information Sessions
Come find out how the Comprehensive Plan has changed. At the orientation session, staff will help you navigate the new structure and point out some highlights of the Plan. This meeting is aimed at helping you review the document on your own more effectively. Both sessions have the same content.

Wednesday, January 20
6 pmWoodmere Park 3951 Woodmere Park Blvd.Venice, FL 34293

Thursday, January 21
6 pmCounty Administration Building1660 Ringling, 2nd Floor Conference RoomSarasota, FL 34236
2. Chapter Executive Summaries
Can't make the information sessions? Check out the short synopsis of what's changed for each chapter to help you navigate the new Plan.
Available Online: January 192016 
3. Deep Dives
Schedule 1:1 time with staff and Subject Matter Experts to go over the goals, objectives or policy language specific to your interests.  Groups and individuals are invited to reserve a time block during a "Deep Dive" day. This opportunity is available through reservation only; call 861-5000 or email to secure your appointment.

County Administration Building
1660 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota
  • Monday, January 25 reservations available 8am - 5pm
  • Tuesday, January 26 reservations available 1pm - 8pm
  • Monday, February 8 reservations available 8am - 5pm
  • Tuesday, February 9 reservations available 1pm - 8pm

RL Anderson Building
4000 S Tamiami Trail, Venice
  • Monday, February 1 reservations available 9am - 4:30pm
  • Tuesday, February 2 reservations available 1pm - 7:30pm
  • Tuesday, February 16 reservations available 1pm - 7:30pm
  • Wednesday February 17 reservations available 9am - 4pm
4. Public Hearings
Planning Commission Hearings in April, 2016 
Board of County Commissioners Hearings in June and October, 2016
Thank you for your role in shaping 
a better Sarasota County.
Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities. View the complete policy at


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Thursday, January 07, 2016

Year of the Neighborhood

Flu shots, Barefuoot Beach Bazaar, Advisory Council Volunteers

Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback relating to this newsletter, contact us
With the arrival of cooler weather, the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County (DOH-Sarasota) reminds people to get their annual
flu vaccine.
A new customer service desk is officially open at the Sarasota County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, as part of ongoing efforts to better serve visitors.
Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources' Barefoot Beach Bazaar arts and crafts shows are back at Nokomis Beach for the 2016 season.
Sarasota County Government invites the public to volunteer for one of its many advisory council opportunities, including the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program Affordable Housing
Advisory Committee.
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
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Sarasota County Trends

Sarasota is more populous and older than it was 5 years ago:

Courtesy of the Sarasota County Office of Neighborhood Services

Monday, December 14, 2015

More on Bee Ridge timing

A detailed update on the Bee Ridge Rd. project came from the Bee Ridge Neighborhoods Committee, a volunteer group representing some 14 communities impacted by the Bee Ridge Rd. improvements. The information was shared at the Dec. 10th Lake Sarasota Community Group meeting, and is in addition to the latest official report from Sarasota County:

  • The new completion date for the project as a whole is now June 2016 (original date was April), mainly because of unusual amounts of rain.
  • The traffic signals at Mauna Loa are currently under control of the contractor, and they are being monitored to cope with changes in traffic levels due to returning snowbirds and seasonal fluctuation.
  • The Mauna Loa intersection is considered "very difficult" and will require ramping. The south lanes need to be resurfaced and elevated to match the northern lanes of Bee Ridge. Asphalt plants go offline this time of year, however, so the timing of the southern lane elevation has been moved to begin later, most likely around the middle of January.
  • Approximately 60 days before completion, training will be offered to drivers to learn the ins and outs of roundabouts. There will be four roundabouts on Bee Ridge; they will be larger than those on Honore, each with two lanes -- instruction is advisable.

  • An ambitious plan for a new interchange at Bee Ridge and I-75 goes on display at a public meeting today, Dec. 15th -- click here for details. That project calls for widening I-75, widening Bee Ridge under I-75, a "diverging diamond" interchange, and so forth. The actual timing is not close - no money in the current 5-year plan, except for the state to buy right of way.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Thursday, December 10, 2015

FDOT Plan for I-75 at Bee Ridge

The release below from FDOT offers a brief overview of the plan for Bee Ridge Road and I-75, with major changes, and widened roads and highway. Note there is a public information gathering on Tuesday Dec. 15th - details below.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District One is preparing design plans for future widening of approximately 3.8 miles of Interstate 75 (I-75) from south of Bee Ridge Road to south of Fruitville Road and reconstruction of the I-75/Bee Ridge Road interchange in Sarasota County, Florida.
In December 2011, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved a preferred alternative from the Project Development and Environmental (PD&E) study of I-75 from south of SR 681 to north of University Parkway in Sarasota and Manatee counties. As part of the PD&E study, two public hearings were held in 2009. At the I-75/Bee Ridge Road interchange, the preferred alternative maintained the existing partial cloverleaf interchange but added turn lanes on the northbound and southbound I-75 off-ramps. Bee Ridge Road would be widened from four to six lanes in each direction and turn lanes would be added at the Bee Ridge Road/Cattlemen Road intersection.

During the design phase, traffic simulations were performed that indicated that the preferred alternative for I-75/Bee Ridge Road would result in excessive delay and queuing. A modified design proposal was developed to address this issue. The modified design plan includes reconstruction of I-75 at Bee Ridge Road interchange from the existing diamond configuration to a hybrid diverging diamond interchange (DDI) and southbound diversion ramp. FDOT also proposes rebuilding the Bee Ridge Road at Cattlemen Road intersection to a continuous flow intersection (CFI). The hybrid DDI, southbound diversion ramp, and CFI work in conjunction to accommodate the traffic at I-75/Bee Ridge Road interchange and the Bee Ridge Road/Cattlemen Road intersection, which are in very close proximity to each other.
The hybrid DDI shifts eastbound traffic to the left to allow for improved access to northbound I-75. The southbound diversion ramp eliminates a weaving issue between the I-75/ Bee Ridge Road interchange and the Bee Ridge/Cattlemen Road intersection. It also improves access to commercial and residential areas on Cattlemen Road. The CFI diverts the westbound and eastbound traffic to the left prior to the intersection. This reduces the number of phases for the signals and improves delay times.
The proposed design plans continue to include widening I-75 from south of Bee Ridge Road to south of Fruitville Road to an eight-lane highway. Bridges over Palmer Boulevard and Phillipi Creek would be widened and the I-75 bridges over Bee Ridge Road would be replaced. One mile of Bee Ridge Road from west of Bee Ridge Road/Maxfield Drive intersection to west of Bee Ridge Road/Mauna Loa Boulevard intersection would be widened.
A future ultimate I-75 design project would widen the interstate from eight lanes to twelve lanes. The ultimate project includes two express lanes, three general use lanes, and one auxiliary lane in each direction within the project limits. Ultimate improvements are planned to extend acceptable level of service for I-75 well beyond 2050. Construction is not currently funded in FDOT’s five-year work program. Additional Info here.

Public Meeting Project Schedule

FDOT will hold a public meeting to review the proposed modifications to the approved PD&E study preferred alternative and to receive public comment:

Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2015 Time: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Location: Realtor Association of Sarasota & Manatee
2320 Cattlemen Road Sarasota, Florida 34232

Contact Us
If you have any questions about the I-75 design project, please contact FDOT Project Manager Kevin Ingle, P.E. at:
Kevin Ingle, P.E. FDOT Project Manager 801 N. Broadway Ave, Bartow, Florida 33831 863-519-2740
Design: Summer 2013 to Summer 2017 Public Meeting: December 15, 2015 ROW Acquisition: Partial funding 2016 Construction: Unfunded

Project Website
FDOT solicits public participation without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, or family status. Persons who require special accommodations under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) or persons who require translation services (free of charge) should contact Jamie Schley at 863-519-2573 or by e-mail to at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting. If you are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the agency using the Florida Relay Service, 1-800-955-8771 (TDD) or 1-800-955-8770 (voice).
Additional information can be found on the project website:

County Update

Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback relating to this newsletter, contact us at
The Board of County Commissioners selected Alan Maio, District 4, as chairman and Paul Caragiulo, District 2, as vice chairman for 2016 during a public meeting Friday. Charles Hines, District 5, will serve as Pro Tem.
Sarasota County commissioners honored 13 elementary school artists whose illustrations appear in the 2016 "Branch Out - Plant a Tree!" calendar, an effort of Sarasota County's Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Team (NEST).
Six Sarasota County public libraries will be closed Friday, Dec. 11, for staff development as library employees attend a full-day training session.
The wildly popular Sandy Claws Beach Run returns Saturday, Dec. 12, for its 39th year on Siesta Beach.
Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources announces the return of its annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Show from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m, Saturday, Dec, 12, at the Englewood Sports Complex.
Community members are invited to share their thoughts on the future of Sarasota County's parks, preserves and reserves in a public meeting held at Woodmere Park on Dec. 16.
Sarasota County needs enthusiastic, friendly volunteers to help staff our new Welcome Center at 1660 Ringling Blvd.
Also, this weekend only: Atomic Holiday Bazaar at Sarasota Municipal Auditorium downtown, Sat - Sun.