Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Looking Ahead

A note from our Neighborhood Coordinator, Debbie Marks:

Good afternoon everyone - just a reminder of the January 9, 2007 meeting, 6:30 p.m. at the Sarasota Baptist Church, 7091 Proctor Road. We'll be finalizing the plans for the community garage sale on January 20th. If you have not registered to participate in the garage sale, please do so with Dawn Steele ( so that we may show you on the map we will be handing out at the entrance.
Also, if anyone is available to help move some landscape bricks, please let me know. We're trying to get them moved this week.
Happy New Year and hope to see you on Jan. 9.

Debbie Marks
Sarasota County Government
Senior Planner, Neighborhood Services
1660 Ringling Boulevard, 4th Floor
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 861-5865

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A brief belated update

Delayed by holiday lunacy, here are highlights from the final Community Group meeting of Dec. 12th:

There's a good chance the front entrance at Mauna Loa will be reconfigured in the coming year, as a result of the creation of a new turn lane at the intersection with Bee Ridge there.

Laura announced plans for a sign made of better material for that entrance - with County funds, Debbie said we might be able to order two signs. The foliage on the sign has been changed from a palm tree to cattails, both as truer to our ecological niche and more aesthetically pleasing.

Citizens Patrol will hold another training session for new recruits on Jan. 30th, 6:30 p.m., at Sarasota Baptist Church. The session should only last about 45 minutes, says organizer George Morgan.

There was some preliminary discussion of a plan to make some improvements to Lakeview Park - that's the park next to the Dog Park. Clearing brush, fixing the pump, improving the boatramp, locking the gate to keep out vehicular traffic at night were among the suggestions. Here's what it apparently once looked like:

Also there's an idea to create a butterfly garden on some unused land inside the subdivision, possibly on a lot between Lancaster and Westminster.

Susan announced the first three winners of the Yard of the Month award, and the signs are up on the yards. She welcomes donations for gifts to winners.

Residents on Jarvis and Lago will be interested in the results of a Jan. 9th County Commission meeting that will address installation of a water line along those roads. These are the last homes in the subdivision to be connecting to the county's water system.

Next General Meeting: Jan. 9th, 6:30 p.m., Sarasota Baptist.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Be Part of the Giant Neighborhood Yard Sale

On Jan. 20th, 2007, Lake Sarasota will hold a community-wide Yard Sale, and all neighbors are welcome to join in. The sale, which will run from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the 20th, will be listed in the newspaper and advertised to the entire county.

In addition, we'll be creating a map of Lake Sarasota listing and showing every house that is participating in the yard sale. To be on the map, email your name and address to Dawn no later than Jan. 10th.

Whether you do participate in the yard sale, plan to come out on the 20th for free refreshments and a chance to meet your neighbors and learn more about the community.

If you need to use snail mail, the Lake Sarasota Community Group address is:

Lake Sarasota
PO Box 21983
Sarasota, FL 34276

Monday, December 11, 2006

Citizen Patrol - next training session

From Laura:

Hello to all,
We have the room at Sarasota Baptist church reserved for Jan. 30 @ 6:30 - 8:00 for the next training session.

And the room for our general meetings is confirmed for the entire year for every second Tuesday of each month @ 6:30.

Thank You :)

General Meeting Tomorrow

The next Community Group General Meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 12 in Room 100 of Sarasota Baptist, at Proctor and Hand. Stay current with updates on our initiatives and help us plan for the Winter Neighborhood Garage Sale set for Jan. 20.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Citizens Patrol Training Thursday

Those who have volunteered for Citizens Patrol will have a brief training session tomorrow -- Thursday, Nov. 30th at 6:30. It will be in our regular room at Sarasota Baptist Church - Room 100.

George Morgan is still looking for a few people who can give a couple of hours every other month to looking after the neighborhood. Vandalism drops by 30% in areas with active patrols. Email or call him: 377-4437

Also: The next Community Group General Meeting will be Dec. 12 at Sarasota Baptist, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Contact Info for LSCG

The Lake Sarasota Community Group now has a postbox and an email address:

PO BOX 21983

And make a note: Next general meeting of the Lake Sarasota Community Group is Tuesday, Dec. 12, 6:30 p.m. at Sarasota Baptist Church, Proctor and Hand Rds.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Residents invited to help plan for the next decade

The county is reaching out to residents, asking them to provide input about where it should put its tax dollars. Neighborhood associations along Bee Ridge Road are asking their residents to attend one of the meetings listed below, and to fill out the forms that will be available (they're in the libraries also) with the request that the county give priority to the widening of Bee Ridge, and to making it a Corridor project. Doing so will enable residents to have more say in what can be developed along the road.

Here's the county press release:
SARASOTA COUNTY (MONDAY, NOVEMBER 06, 2006) - The public is invited to a series of meetings to help develop a project list for the next phase of the penny sales tax for unincorporated Sarasota County.

On Nov. 6, 2007, Sarasota County officials plan to place on the ballot a referendum asking residents to continue the penny sales tax from 2010 through 2019. At the same time, voters will be asked to approve a list of projects that will be constructed with the revenues generated from the tax.

Since the surtax was extended for 10 years in 1997, the penny sales tax has provided funding for badly needed roads, new libraries, new parks and new fire stations, among many other projects throughout the county. Those facilities came from a project list created and approved by residents. The next list of projects will come from the lists developed by people during the upcoming meetings.

All of the meetings begin at 6 p.m. on the following dates:

* Nov. 14, Englewood Sports Complex, 1300 S. River Road, Englewood.
* Nov. 16, Jacaranda Public Library, 4143 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice.
* Nov. 28, Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota.
* Nov. 30, Fruitville Public Library, 100 Coburn road, Sarasota.
* Dec. 5, Commission Chamber, Sarasota County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.
* Dec. 7, North Sarasota Public Library, 2801 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota.

Residents who cannot attend one of the public meetings may offer suggestions by completing a citizen infrastructure survey located at a neighborhood public library or by visiting The deadline to submit project ideas is Dec. 8.

For more information about the penny sales tax meetings, call the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

November Activities and Upcoming Events

The November 14th General Meeting offered news and updates on several fronts, and set dates for some future events.

Laura Mathis began by offering a mission statement for the Community Group: "The Lake Sarasota group's purpose is to enhance the beauty, safety and sense of community in a positive way through working together in positive roles."

  • Volunteers are needed on Sunday, Dec. 7th at 9 a.m. to finish landscaping the Westminster Entrance. The letters are up, the wall is painted. Bring gloves, long sleeve shirts, and a truck if you have one -- the work will involve moving some bricks (that used to be at the Mauna Loa Entrance) into place. The Beautification Committee also seeks a volunteer to water and keep the Westminster entrance clean.

  • A sign for the Mauna Loa entrance, paid for by the County with a generous additional donation from Mickey Schweitzer, should be ready by the end of the year. Here's a sketch of what it will look like:

  • Citizens Patrol: George Morgan plans to schedule a class for the week after Thanksgiving for the 30 or so volunteers. He's still looking for people who can give a couple of hours every other month to looking after the neighborhood. Vandalism drops by 30% in areas with active patrols, he added. Email or call him: 377-4437
  • Mauna Loa should have two more stop signs by January. Signs were approved at Luwana and at Lago Way by the county's Traffic Advisory Council. The Board of Commissioners still has final say, and could add one or more locations, says Debbie Marks.
  • A petition has begun to tell the county that residents of Lake Sarasota wish Bee Ridge Road to be properly widened before permitting further residential or commercial development on Bee Ridge Road at Mauna Loa. See this and this for background on proposals that could impact our traffic and general quality of life.
  • The Yard of the Month Program is set to start in December -- look for more info in your mailbox.
  • Mark your calendar for Jan. 20 -- that's when the Neighborhood is planning a Lake Sarasota-wide Garage Sale, complete with maps, refreshments, raffles and more. Organizer Dawn Steele needs helpers -- contact her at 377-4710.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Lake Sarasota Community Meeting

The next general meeting of the Lake Sarasota Community Group will be at Sarasota Baptist on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 6:30 p.m.

Issues for discussion will include Beautification, Winter festival plans, traffic calming, developments east of I-75 with potential impact on Lake Sarasota property and quality of life.

Mauna Loa traffic calming: Monday Meeting

The Sarasota County Traffic Advisory Committee meets Monday, Nov. 13, at 1:15 p.m., in the Board Chambers of the Sarasota County Administration Building, 1616 Ringling Blvd.

The meeting will address proposed traffic controls for certain intersections on Mauna Loa Blvd. -- specifically, stop signs.

More info: 861-5000.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Strong opinions on proposed apartments

Residents of Lake Sarasota and other areas adjacent to a 39-acre parcel on the Mauna Loa Extension expressed their opposition to a plan that calls for putting 15 three-story buildings on the land, with 22 rental units per building.

Stephen Rees, attorney for the developer who is seeking rezoning to residential multifamily (nine units per acre) from the county, outlined the plan Tuesday evening at a neighborhood workshop.

Among the concerns voiced:

"You're going to kill my property value," one Lake Sarasota resident said, after Rees explained that some undetermined portion of the apartments might fall under the "affordable housing" designation.

"'Affordable' gives you latitude and gives us nothing," said a woman who lives on McKown Rd., which runs north of the project.

Residents along McKown spoke about noise, light, and the abrupt juxtaposition of the apartments to their five-acre estates, some of which include horses, barns and stables.

Residents of Lake Sarasota talked about traffic intensity on Bee Ridge Road, and also about impacts on roads within Lake Sarasota that could become conduits between Bee Ridge and Proctor Road. Bee Ridge traffic is already so intense that the road fails to meet county standards, according to Joe O'Hara of the Bee Ridge Neighborhoods Committee.

Rees said a consultant is doing a traffic study. He also indicated that both the primary and secondary entrances to the apartments would open onto the Mauna Loa extension.

O'Hara stated that his group, which represents neighborhood associations along Bee Ridge east of I-75, wants to see the county dedicate tax monies to widen and landscape the Bee Ridge Corridor before it would support further development along the road.

Rees noted that the county might be more readily persuaded to devote dollars to the Bee Ridge Corridor if projects like his client's apartments supported it.

Which leads to a chicken-and-egg predicament: Bee Ridge Corridor improvement might benefit from the support of developers, but developers say neighborhoods first need to support their plans.

Many of the 40 or so residents at the workshop asked Rees to consider scaling back the complex -- reducing the density, and the height, of the structures. Rees said his client will be looking for ways to find common ground for compromise. If his client does consider any changes to the proposal, residents and those who attended the workshop will be notified, he added.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Apartment Complex Workshop Tuesday Hampton Inn

Below are the most recent Sarasota County land use maps for the Ansin parcels, which would be the site of the 330-unit apartment complex proposed for property on Mauna Loa north of Bee Ridge Road -- directly opposite Lake Sarasota's entrance.

A county Workshop on this proposed development will be held this Tuesday evening at the Hampton Inn, 5995 Cattleridge Rd., in the Roosevelt Room. It begins at 6p.m. It is imperative we have a strong showing for the first session.

Hopefully we will be able to learn what other potential plans might be coming down the pipe for this property and neighboring parcels. Click on the images for a larger size:

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mauna Loa Traffic Calming Update

The Sarasota County Traffic Advisory Committee will hold a meeting on Monday, Nov. 13, at 1:15 p.m.

The meeting will address proposed traffic controls for certain intersections on Mauna Loa Blvd. -- specifically, stop signs.

The meeting will be in the Board Chambers of the Sarasota County Administration Building, 1616 Ringling Blvd. More info: 861-5000.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Clark Road Workshop: Update

The county workshop on the plan to connect Clark Road to the Landfill south of it was over-attended by a large number of interested persons Monday evening. So much so that at least one quarter of the crowd was asked to leave to avoid breaking fire regulations before the workshop got underway.

Why was it so well attended? One man standing in line to get in nailed it when he said, "Anytime something threatens to lower my property value by double digits, I'm there."

Another workshop will be announced, a mailing will go out, and those who were unable to get in tonight will have a chance to hear and to comment. No action will be taken by the county before that third workshop will be held (there was one last week in South County).

One odd note: This is purely speculative, and might never happen. But....according to some of the people at the workshop, the maps indicated that the Bee Ridge Extension would form part of a linkage extending from Bee Ridge to Clark to the Landfill. A further extension north of Bee Ridge could create a "landfill conduit" extending from Fruitville Rd. to the Landfill, and on south from there.

That would make Bee Ridge Extension vulnerable to the sort of hard truck traffic that people on Clark are concerned about. But are people in those communities getting the notices of the Clark Road Landfill Road Workshop? Lake Sarasota residents certainly did not. Yet all these roads form a living traffic network. What happens to one part impinges on the whole. Who is being notified, and who isn't, and why?

Meeting on Clark Road access road Monday night

A neighborhood workshop will be held this evening (Monday, Oct. 30th) to discuss a proposed plan to allow access to the county landfill from Clark Road, which is north of the Landfill.

You can read more about the proposal and how some in the community feel about it by going to

Tonight's meeting is from 6:30 - 8 p.m. at Twin Lakes Park.

(Next week, on Tuesday, November 7, there will be a workshop to discuss the proposed Apartment Complex for 330 apartments on a tract of land opposite the main entrance to Lake Sarasota. That meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Hampton Inn, Roosevelt Room.)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Two East Sarasota Developments with Potential Impacts

Sarasota County east of I-75 is ripe for development, which will mean changes in roads, density, commercial space, housing and population that could affect property values and the quality of life for all those living along or between Bee Ridge and Clark Roads.

Here a just two of several projects and proposals for the area:

1. From Joe O'Hara, chairman of the Bee Ridge Neighborhoods Committee:
In Saturday's mail I received a notice of a Neighborhood Workshop that I am not sure all of you may have gotten.

It is a meeting to discuss a re-zoning petition within or behind the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce. The entry to the project appears to be from Mauna Loa Blvd--although I can not tell from the plans attached. The meeting will be to discuss the application which will seek to change 36 acres within the Park or immediately adjacent-- from OUE to RMF-2.

The application proposes to build 330 apartments on the 36 acres.

The location of the Workshop is Hampton Inn, 5995 Cattleman 6pm on Tues. 11/7. Please get this out to your residence as quickly as possible. It is imperative we have a strong showing for the first session.

If -- in fact -- the entry is Mauna Loa or any other road accessing Bee Ridge, we MUST prevent this until the County makes an absolute commitment to fund and complete Bee Ridge expansion.

A strong showing will help this objective.

Joe O'Hara
2. County's Proposal to connect Landfill to Clark Road:
Sarasota County wants to make an access road from the Knights Trail Landfill to Clark Road. This road would enter Clark Road near the entrance to Saddle Creek (see map below). Sixteen years ago the county reached an agreement with Saddle Creek stating that the access road to Knights Trail Landfill would only be used for emergency purposes.
The above description is taken from a website entitled Click to go to the site for more information. If you are interested, there's a meeting on Monday, October 30 at Twin Lakes Park at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the proposal.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Updates from Oct 10th General Meeting

The Lake Sarasota Community Group met Tuesday evening. Here are some highlights:

The Beautification Committee plans to attach letters to the Westminster Wall on Saturday morning, around 7:30 a.m. This entrance will be basically finished except for some landscaping.

A new sign for the Mauna Loa entrance was on display, featuring the name of the subdivision, a palm tree and a lake. Here's the idea:

Thanks to Debbie Marks, the County has agreed to pay for the sign.

A grant is "all but assured" to fund a Yard-of-the-Month program. Any home that's improved its appearance can be nominated, and winners will be plucked from a hat. The program should begin in November - more on this to come.

Traffic Calming: A county traffic advisory board meets Nov. 13th -- Debbie Marks will let us know if proposed stop signs for Mauna Loa and Jarvis will be on the agenda of that meeting.

Diane McDonald is happy to receive baked goods or small plants, etc., to go into the Welcome Wagon packages for new owners. She's already delivered a dozen or so welcomes.

Code Enforcement:
  • If a vehicle is on county property and doesn't belong there, that's a matter for the Sheriff. Contact Deputies Scott Baker or B. Pollock of the department, 316-1201.
  • If a vehicle is on private property and presents a problem, contact Charlie Marchione at Code Enforcement, 232-5317.
George Morgan is working hard to set up a Citizens Patrol. He would like to get 40 participants - he already has 24. Neighborhoods with patrols see a 30% drop in vandalism within four to six weeks of beginning the patrols, said Morgan. With 40 people involved, it won't take more than two hours a month from anyone's schedule - Friday and Saturday evenings most likely. Email George if you can volunteer a little time. He'd like to get the Patrol up and running by Thanksgiving, he said.

Sheriff Dept. Lt. Thorpe will begin providing monthly crime stats for the area to the Group.

A group of people volunteered to help plan a Fall Festival for the Neighborhood. More about that at the next general meeting.

The next general meeting will be at Sarasota Baptist on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Entrance Sign Featured at Tuesday General Meeting

Come see the proposed design for the new Mauna Loa entrance sign for Lake Sarasota at the next General Meeting of Lake Sarasota's Community Group: Tuesday, Oct. 10, 6:30 p.m. at Sarasota Baptist Church, 7091 Proctor Road.

In addition to updates on traffic calming efforts, beautification, and other ongoing concerns, a representative of the County's Code Enforcement operation will be on hand to review code issues.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Special Home Alarm Offer

A special home alarm offer is available to residents of Lake Sarasota. You'll find details in message 21 in the Lake Sarasota Newsgroup.

If you haven't already joined the group, it's quite simple: First, create a Yahoo account -- they're free -- then join the group here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


The first edition of the Lake Sarasota Community Newsletter will go out to all residents soon, thanks to Realtor Mickey Schweitzer, who will include it in his regular monthly mailing. If you can't wait, it's available online at our LakeSarasotagroup site on Yahoo. Look under Files.

The text of a flier about the Yard of the Month Program, which is planned to begin in November, has also been also posted to the group files.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Special Beautification Meeting

The Beautification Committee will meet Wednesday evening, Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Laura's house. A contractor will be there to discuss details of a new Mauna Loa entrance to the neighborhood. Those interested, call 377-4710.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Update: Sept. 12th General Meeting

Among the items discussed at the September meeting were these:

  • Traffic Calming: The County is expected to take action on Oct. 9th on the proposed stop signs along Mauna Loa.
  • Citizens Patrol: George Morgan is seeking people with a couple of hours of free time every other month to participate in a citizens patrol. If you are interested, call George at 377-4437 or email him at
  • The next Beautification Committee meeting is Oct. 5. If you are interested, contact Tisha.
  • A "Yard of the Month" program is planned to begin in November, pending a grant approval from the County.
  • The group voted to join CONA - The Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations.
  • The Beautification Committee is working on a design for the Mauna Loa entrance sign. Debbie Marks said the County will pay for the permit for the sign.
  • A Fall Festival is being planned to help raise neighborhood awareness - no date set yet.
  • The next General Meeting is on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Sarasota Baptist. A representative of the County's Code Enforcement operation will be on hand to review code issues.

Lake Sarasota Community Group

A newsgroup has been set up on Yahoo for the use of residents of Lake Sarasota. Go here to join:

Click to join lakesarasotagroup

Update on the Bee Ridge Corridor

The Bee Ridge Neighborhoods Committee (BRNC) consists of
representatives of all of the homeowner associations whose properties
lie along Bee Ridge Rd. east of I-75: Bent Tree Village, Bent Tree II, Laurel Lakes, Laurel Meadows, The Hammocks, Laurel Oak, Heritage Oak, Misty Creek, Gator Creek and Lake Sarasota.

The committee has been monitoring county planning regarding several projects for the area:
  • a proposed Publix shopping center at Bee Ridge and Bee Ridge extension;
  • development of park facilities at Rothenberg Park;
  • a nearly 1500-unit affordable housing project proposed for Iona and Palmer;
  • an FPL solar panel project at Rothenberg Park;
  • road plans - including designating Bee Ridge a corridor, which would coordinate its widening with landscaping features such as berms and sidewalks;
  • public transportation along Bee Ridge;
  • the one-cent sales tax and other funding issues;
  • other potential commercial development and roadwork.
The committee in its current form has been meeting for a few months, and has posted summaries of its meetings here.

The reports are brief but contain much information. Anyone interested in the widening, landscaping and development along Bee Ridge Rd. east of the highway will find the committee's reports of interest. It next meets on Oct. 20th, and Lake Sarasota will be represented.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

September General Meeting This Tuesday

The next general Lake Sarasota Community Group meeting will be on September 12th at the Sarasota Baptist Church, 7091 Proctor Road, at 6:30 p.m. Committees are still forming. Come for updates on beautification, the Yard of the Month selection process, traffic calming, the Bee Ridge expansion, Community Patrol, and more.

In addition, Realtor Mickey Schweitzer will be on hand to discuss trends and issues and to make a special announcement.

Helping Hands

Members of the Beautification Committee removed about 100 blocks standing at the entrance to Lake Sarasota Saturday in preparation for a re-do of the entrance. A new sign is being designed, and will be accompanied by new landscaping -- set back from Bee Ridge Rd., to avoid bruising from (and to) vehicles.

Friday, September 08, 2006

A few helping hands

This saturday, Sept. 9 at 7 a.m., join Tisha, Judy, Peter, and Mark in dismantling the blocks at the Mauna Loa entrance to Lake Sarasota. These members of the Beautification Committee will be storing the blocks while working on a design for a new sign at the entrance to the neighborhood. It shouldn't take more than an hour - the more hands, the more quickly it will go. Info: 377-4710.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Welcome Wagon

A note from Lake Sarasota resident Diane McDonald:
I am looking forward to welcoming the new neighbors of Lake Sarasota. I want to get started and know that there maybe some others that would like to work with me. I am going to go around to the businesses in the area to see if they may donate gifts for a basket presentation. I also am interested in getting some of the Lake Sarasota "Bakers" in the area to donate fresh muffins, cakes, brownies, etc. In the past 3 months there have been 18 new families. I'm anxious to get started. Thank you for your support, Diane.
If you would like to work with Diane, contact her via email ( or by phone: 308-3885.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Lake Sarasota Meets the Candidates

About 50 neighborhood residents turned out Tuesday evening to meet the candidates for the County Commission District 2 seat, Casey Pilon, John Lewis, and Joe Barbetta.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Bring Your Questions

Candidates for District 2 Sarasota County Commission Seat will be on hand at a Meet the Candidates Forum, Tuesday, Aug. 29th, at Sarasota Baptist Church, 7091 Proctor Rd., across from Lakeview Elementary.

Meet the people who are vying to represent your district: John Lewis, Joe Barbetta, and Casey Pilon.

The event runs from 6:30 - 8 p.m. in the church auditorium, and light refreshments will be served. Bring your questions for the candidates.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Local Updates

  • Work on the Westminster Entrance to Lake Sarasota is almost complete, according to the Beautification Committee, which received donations of mulch and plant material. Trees are also planned for the entrance. The committee is looking for volunteers, and always welcomes contributions. To become involved, call Dawn at 377-4710, or email Tisha.

  • The county will be conducting a traffic study on Mauna Loa in the next few weeks, to determine the level of traffic, number of accidents, moving violations and other safety data. Based on that information, a decision about stop signs in Lake Sarasota will be made.
  • The next general Neighborhood Group meeting will be on September 12th. Realtor Micky Schweitzer will be on hand to discuss trends and issues.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Highlights of August 8th General Meeting

Tuesday's General Meeting at Sarasota Baptist was well attended. Some highlights:

  • Volunteers are invited to join the Yard of the Month committee. The committee will seek a grant to buy signs to place in yards that are awarded the Yard of the Month designation. Thanks to one resident, the committee now has several prizes to award, including a free haircut and free hair products.
  • The Beautification Committee meets at 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday, Aug. 15th, at 6571 Friendship to organize landscaping the Westminster entrance gate. The wall has already been painted, and the volunteers urge all to drive by and see the improvements. They plan to mulch and plant, as well as to add lettering to the wall. It will read: "Lake Sarasota - East Gate." All interested parties are welcome. Call Debbie if you have any questions.
  • David Johnson was made chair of the Traffic Committee, and is seeking volunteers to join him. A request for several stop signs has been submitted to the County and the committee is awaiting action.
  • A permit to create a new, improved front entrance to Lake Sarasota on Mauna Loa is underway.
  • Debbie Marks and a few residents have begun going door to door to gather responses to a neighborhood survey. It's designed to gather a sense the primary concerns of Lake Sarasota residents.
  • The next General Meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12th, at Sarasota Baptist Church, 7091 Proctor Road. All residents of Lake Sarasota are urged to attend.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Next General Meeting: Update

The next general meeting for Lake Sarasota residents is set for Tuesday, August 8th, at Sarasota Baptist Church,
7091 Proctor Road. It starts at 6:30 p.m.

The Beautification Committee will have an update, and the group will begin setting up other sub-committees for the neighborhood. Nominations will also be taken for a voluntary board to oversee the activities. If you would like to volunteer for one of the positions or know of someone who would be good at that, please let me know and plan to attend Tuesday's meeting. Some of the sub-committees being discussed are as follows:

Traffic Committee
Citizen's Patrol/Neighborhood Watch Committee
County Liaison Committee
Peer to Peer Code Enforcement Committee
Yard of the Month Committee

Other suggestions are welcome. Please join us!


Meanwhile, here are a few links to timely hurricane info:

Weather Underground

Dr. Jeff Masters' Wunder Blog

Hurricane and Storm Tracking


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Saturday, Aug. 5 at the Westminster Wall

Good morning everyone. Dawn and I will be meeting at the Westminister wall Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. to give it a second coat and possible landscaping. If you have a couple of hours, please come and join us. If you have any questions, please let me know.



Debbie Marks
Senior Planner
Neighborhood Services
1660 Ringling Boulevard
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 861-5865

Friday, July 28, 2006

Tomorrow's the day

Good morning everyone. We will be working on the walls at Westminister and Bee Ridge again in the morning - preparing them for the paint. Please come out and help with the project. We will be there from 7:00 until 10:00 a.m. We could really use the help - hope to see you there. If you have high school students in need of the community hours - this would be a great opportunity.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Saturday Beautification

This Saturday, July 29, volunteers will be helping paint and complete the improvements to the Westminster Drive entrance beginning at 7 a.m. Meet at the entrance, bring a trowel if you have one. With eight people, the job should be finished by 10 a.m. Contact Peter for more info by email or phone: 377-2723.

The next general meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 8th, at 6:30 at Sarasota Baptist.

In Brief:
- Residents are signing a Petition to ask the County to place stop signs at several designated intersections along Mauna Loa.

- Debbie Marks and several residents will begin a door-to-door community survey later this week. Debbie indicated her plan is to begin on Thursday at the Mauna Loa entrance. The aim is to gather feedback on traffic calming and other issues, and to raise neighborhood awareness of efforts by Lake Sarasota homeowners to address issues that matter to the community.

Monday, July 24, 2006

UPDATE! - Meeting Tuesday July 25

What: Lake Sarasota Neighborhood Meeting

New Time and Place:

When: July 25, 2006 at 6:30 PM

Where: Sarasota Baptist Church

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Issues and initiatives

Last night's general meeting, held at Sarasota Baptist Church, addressed a number of issues:

- The group agreed to apply for a Beautification Grant.

- A "Yard of the Month" initiative will recognize one attractive yard per month. All are encouraged to submit candidates.

- Peer-to-Peer Code Enforcement was discussed as a means of upgrading messy properties.

- Debbie Marks and residents will conduct a door-to-door neighborhood survey soon, getting input from residents on traffic calming and other issues.

- The group agreed to look for locations, especially along Mauna Loa, where stop signs might be useful.

- The issue of the Bee Ridge Corridor was introduced. Several residents described the intersection at Bee Ridge and Mauna Loa as unsafe and below par. The County apparently has plans to upgrade Bee Ridge east of I-75, but has not communicated its plan to Lake Sarasota because the community has no formal association.

- It was suggested that County Commission candidates be invited to attend a Lake Sarasota Neighborhood meeting prior to the election.

- It's possible to get a tree from the County for your yard for $50. All you have to do is promise to water it, said Debbie Marks.

- Sarasota Baptist has offered our association use of its meeting facilities on Proctor Rd. for regular use on the second Tuesday of every month. The group agreed to set that as its main meeting for each month. It will continue to meet at other times either at the Pavilion or at the Church as opportunities permit.

- Next General Meeting: July 25th, 6:30 p.m. Place to be announced.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tonight's meeting: Location Change

From Debbie:

Good afternoon everyone. One of your neighbors, Laura Mathis has been able to secure a meeting place for us at the Sarasota Baptist Church (SBC), 7091 Proctor Road, located just south of the park and schools. I realize this is short notice, but we will be moving the meeting tonight from the park pavilion to the auditorium at SBC. It is in the 'main' big building thru the main doors under the overhang. The guard on duty will be Wade Meyer. Signs will be posted at the park for those I can not reach by email. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Next General Meeting (Update)

Here's an update from Debbie about the next general meeting:
July 11, 2006, 6:30 p.m. will be our next regular meeting. We will still be at the pavilion in Lakeview Park for this meeting and hopefully by our next regular meeting in August we will have made arrangements with one of the nearby Churches. We will be discussing the various beautification projects which have been completed and talking about what project to undertake next. Please join us.

Also, the Beautification Committee will be working on the walls at Westminister and Bee Ridge again this Saturday morning (July 8), preparing and painting them. If you have a few minutes, please stop by and help out. We'll be there from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m.

Donations are also being taken to cover the cost of materials for the wall. If you'd like to donate, please contact Dawn Steele at 377-4710 or bring the donation to the meeting on July 11.

Hope to see you all there. Thanks!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Clean-Up July 1

An email from Neighborhood Coordinator Debbie Marks:

Good morning everyone. All but three of the medians got cleaned up last weekend. If you are available tomorrow morning - Sat. July 1, 7 - 10 a.m., please join your neighbors to finish the job.
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Beauties of Lake Sarasota

Interested in helping keep Lake Sarasota beautiful? A group of people dedicated to doing just that meets this evening, June 27, at 6:30 p.m. at the Pavilion on the Lake.

We'll be discussing the repair and painting work of the walls at Westminister and Bee Ridge Rd.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Mauna Loa Clean-Up Saturday June 24

From Debbie:

Reminder: tomorrow - Saturday, June 24, from 7 - 10:00 a.m. there will be a clean-up of the medians on Mauna Loa. We'll be trimming trees, picking up trash, etc., Please join us if you're available. If you have chain saws (gas powered) or other trimming equipment, please bring that with you.

Also, the beautification committee will meet on Tuesday, June 27th at 6:30 p.m. at the pavilion in Lakeview Park. We'll be discussing the repair and painting work of the walls at Westminister and Bee Ridge. Our next regular meeting will be on June 11th and I'll forward you the meeting place at a later date.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Beautification, Security, and more updates

Tonight's general neighborhood meeting was well attended, including some first-time residents and landlords. There was a good deal to report:

  • Deputy Scott Baker of the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office took questions about late night noise, speeding, public nuisances, and trespassing. The general dispatch number for the Sheriff is (941) 316-1201. Both Deputy Baker and Deputy Pollack can be reached by email if you have any law enforcement questions and concerns:
  • The Beautification Commitee reported that it cleaned up the area around the entrance at Westminster and Bee Ridge on Saturday. Peter estimated that it will cost about $100 to repair the walls at that entrance. For more information, or to join the Beautification Committee, email Peter at
  • The Committee and any other interested neighbors will be meeting on Saturday, June 24, from 7 to 10 a.m. to clean up the median along Mauna Loa. If you can, bring a rake and gloves, and mark them as belonging to you. The Committee is in possession of a rake left behind by someone last week.
  • Neighborhood Coordinator Debbie Marks is inviting residents to join her in canvassing all 1,800 homes in Lake Sarasota. The object is to build awareness of the community and to promote participation in it. Contact Debbie if you can join her for the homes near you.
  • The Beautification Committee will meet next Tuesday, June 27, at the Pavilion at 6:30 p.m.
  • The next General association meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 11, at the Pavilion at 6:30 p.m. On the Agenda: Fundraising.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Saturday Clean-Up

The Beautification Committee met Tuesday evening at the Westminster and Bee Ridge walls. The committee decided to meet there again on Saturday morning between 7 and 10:30 a.m. to clean up the area, remove debris, trim back trees and shrubs and begin preparing the walls for painting and lettering. If you are available Saturday morning, please bring your gardening tools and gloves and join us. Debbie is trying to get gloves and bags from Keep Sarasota Beautiful.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


From Debbie:

The Beautification Committee is scheduled to meet at the walls at Westminster & Bee Ridge tonight at 6:30 p.m. If by chance it is raining, we will re-group there next Tuesday evening.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ongoing activities and upcoming events

The June 6th meeting was well attended. The group discussed community policing, beautification, traffic calming, and the recent Clean-Up. It was agreed to try to find an indoor location for general meetings, possibly at one of the nearby churches. And Debbie Marks will be inviting residents to join her in going door-to-door to meet residents and generate broader interest and support in revitalizing Lake Sarasota.

Coming up:
  • Tuesday, June 13: 6:30 p.m. Beautification Committee meeting at the Westminster site of the proposed Lake Sarasota entrance sign.
  • Tuesday June 20: 6:30 p.m. General meeting.
  • Saturday June 24: 7:30 a.m. Neighborhood effort to clean-up along Mauna Loa.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Update on June 6th meeting

An email from Sarasota County Neighborhood Organizer Debbie Marks:

Good morning all! This is your friendly reminder of our next meeting, 6:30 p.m. at Lakeview Park pavilion. We will be discussing the following items:

  • clean up day for the Mauna Loa Boulevard medians;
  • voting on the new entryway signs;
  • possible fund raisers;
  • surveying the neighborhood; and- future meeting locations.

Please plan to attend and bring a neighbor, we really need to increase our participation.
If you have any pull with a nearby church, please contact them to see if they would offer us a room for Tuesday evening meetings. Maybe if we had an air-conditioned room that we could depend on for the meetings and not have to be concerned with the chance of rain or the heat, we would have more people attend.

Special thanks to Dan and Judy Johnson and Robert and Dawn Steele for making the neighborhood meetings sign in the second median more permanent. Hopefully this help generate more participation.

One last note, some of you may have seen the Sheriff's Mounted Patrol in the neighborhood over the past couple of weeks. They are making lots of money off the speeders. Please pass the word to your friends and neighbors that they are in the area - we won't know exactly when they might show up, so obeying the 25 mph speed limit would be a good idea. Deputy Chris Laster will be at our meeting on Tuesday night to talk more about their program.

Thanks, have a great weekend and see you all on Tuesday!


Friday, May 26, 2006

Neighborhood Activist to Speak

An email from Jane Grogg to Lake Sarasota residents:

Dear Lake Sarasota Residents & Property Owners,

Hopefully you've already seen one of the many announcements about next week's presentation by John McKnight, an expert on neighborhood association building. I am hoping you might attend and help encourage others in Lake Sarasota to attend one of his two sessions to both learn about his experiences and to discuss how your neighborhoods might advance to a greater level of association development.

McKnight often talks about the significance of counting on what talents you have within your neighborhood to make a difference, much like what you're creating in Lake Sarasota. His messages are inspirational and real examples of what can be done to accomplish great things in neighborhoods. I highly encourage Lake Sarasota citizens and other neighborhood representatives to attend, as these principles are the foundation to building great neighborhoods.

Please select from one of the two following sessions and RSVP to SCOPE at 365-8751:
  • Tuesday, May 30 at 6:30 p.m. - Manatee Community College South Campus, Selby Community Room in the Professional Development Center/Building 800, located at 8000 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice; or
  • Wednesday, May 31 at 6:30 p.m. - Selby Library, 1331 First Street, Sarasota.
We hope you will take advantage of this great opportunity and meet other neighborhood leaders from around the community.

Thank you,

Jane H. Grogg
Neighborhood Services
Sarasota County Government
(941) 861-5000

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Traffic calming discussed

At this evening's meeting, traffic calming measures were discussed along with other issues. A flyer seeking neighborhood input on a range of issues will be mailed out to every home in Lake Sarasota.

  • Next Tuesday, May 30, the Beautification Committee will meet at the Pavilion in the park at 6:30 p.m. to talk about the entryway signage. Anyone interested is welcome.
  • The next general meeting for the neighborhood will be held in two weeks, on Tuesday, June 6, at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Welcome to the Lake Sarasota Blog

This blog is for the use of the neighborhood of Lake Sarasota, in Sarasota, Florida. Two brief announcements about upcoming events:

  • On Saturday, May 20, there will be a neighborhood clean-up, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Dumpsters will be set up at the Dog Park and behind the fire station, and Habitat for Humanity will be on hand to collect furniture and home improvement items that can be resold.
  • On Tuesday, May 23, there will be a neighborhood meeting at Lakeview Park at 6:30 p.m. to follow up on the last meeting's discussion of traffic calming.