Thursday, January 27, 2011

County Lowers Impact Fees


The Sarasota County Commission has cut impact fees in half on building permits issued before Feb. 1, 2013. The vote was 4-1, with Commissioner Jon Thaxton dissenting.

The effect on the Bee Ridge Corridor Improvements is yet to be determined. The work on the Low Impact Road Plan was set to begin in 2014.




Friday, January 21, 2011

Bee Ridge Road Widening could be pushed back


The Sarasota County Commission will consider cutting impact fees collected from builders and developers in the belief that this could stimulate new development.

The Commission will meet at Venice City Hall on Wed., Jan. 26 at 1:30 p.m. to hold a public hearing on the issue.

The Bee Ridge Neighborhoods Committee is concerned that a sharp reduction in impact fees could force a significant delay in the Bee Ridge Corridor improvement plan. The county is considering nearly a 50% reduction in the fees.

Members of the Committee plan to attend the hearing to voice their concerns, and urge anyone interested in seeing Bee Ridge Road East of I-75 become a wider, safer, more beautiful artery to consider attending or writing to the commissioners.

Venice City Hall is at 401 Venice Ave.:



The Commissioners' email addresses are below.

Contact Commissioner Carolyn Mason
cmason@scgov.net

Contact Commissioner Joe Barbetta
jbarbett@scgov.net

Contact Commissioner Christine Robinson
crobinson@scgov.net

Contact Commissioner Nora Patterson
npatters@scgov.net

Contact Commissioner Jon Thaxton
jthaxton@scgov.net


Sheriff's Dept. Report for December


As always, Ted obtained the monthly Sheriff's report and analyzed the data for us. Since we did not have a monthly meeting where this information would be presented, it's posted below. The next scheduled meeting is Thursday, March 10.

The indication that the incidence of burglaries was up for the month (10 reported thefts) is consisted with the Sheriff's report on crime countywide.

As always, volunteers are needed for Citizen's Patrol. Contact Ted at 941 379-0758.

===

Here is the Sheriff's Dept. report for December, 2010. We had a sharp increase in incidents over November. It may have something to do with the Christmas Holidays (school vacations, presents left in cars, etc.).

Here is the data:
  • Total number of incidents: 16
  • Vandalism: 4
  • Burglary: 2
  • Theft: 10
  • Juvenile Disturbances: 0

By times reported:
  • Vandalism: 12 Noon -- 12 Midnight
  • Burglaries: 11:30 a.m. -- 3:00 p.m.
  • Thefts: 6:30 a.m. -- 2:30 p.m.
Incidents by Street:

Vandalism:
  • Friendship Dr. -- 1
  • Middlesex Dr. -- 1
  • Lago St. -- 1
  • Mauna Loa Bv. -- 1
Burglaries:
  • Bikini Way -- 1
  • Palau Dr. -- 1
Thefts:
  • Berkshire Dr. -- 1
  • Friendship Dr. -- 1
  • Honolulu Dr. -- 1
  • Lago St. -- 1
  • Lancaster Dr. -- 2
  • Palau Dr. -- 1
  • Tonga Dr. -- 1
  • Wake Ave. -- 2
Incidents by Date:

Vandalism:

Dec. 3-6 -- 3
Dec. 22 -- 1

Burglary:

Dec. 3 -- 1
Dec. 9 -- 1

Thefts:

Dec. 1 --1
Dec. 26 --1
Dec. 27 --2
Dec. 29 --3
Dec. 30 --2
Dec. 31 --1

By Day of the Week:

Vandalism:

Monday -- 1
Wednesday -- 1
Friday -- 1
Saturday -- 1

Burglaries:

Thursday -- 1
Friday -- 1

Thefts:

Sunday -- 1
Monday -- 2
Wednesday -- 4
Thursday -- 2
Friday -- 1

The significant difference in the December incident pattern compared to previous months is the concentration of activity in the last week of the month. Possible explanations here are Holiday vacations with students home from school, and parcels left on car seats in plain sight.

We have no volunteers so far for patrols in January. I'll have to send out some E-mails and make some phone calls.


Community Connections

DEALRegional Collaboration Initiative Announced
The DEAL, a major regional collaboration initiative was announced today by three of Southwest Florida's biggest players: Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc. (SMR), developer of the award-wining master-planned community of Lakewood Ranch; State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota; Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice, Florida's largest community foundation. (MORE)
Sarasota County SealPublic Notice: Neighborhood Stabilization Program 3
The city of Sarasota's and Sarasota County's Neighborhood Stabilization Program 3 (NSP3) applications have been posted for public review and comment. (MORE)
Smile and say cheese for libraries' 'Snapshot Day'
Sarasota County libraries will participate in "Snapshot: A Day in the Life of Florida Libraries" on Tuesday, Jan. 25. The statewide project will illustrate the importance of libraries for Florida's citizens through collection of statistics, stories and photographs, and also how much fun people are having at their local library. (MORE)
Free community association leadership conference

Sarasota County Neighborhood Services invites residents to attend a free community association leadership conference scheduled 8:30 a. m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota.

The county will have an information table at the event and is partnering with Becker & Poliakoff, which is hosting the conference.

The forum is designed for owners of single-family homes, condominiums, cooperatives and time share units; property managers; and board members of community, homeowners and condominium associations, among others.

New legislation affecting community and homeowners associations, as well as laws regarding construction, foreclosures and fee collections are among the topics to be covered.

For more information or to register online visit www.becker-poliakoff.com/events/ca/ or call Susan Reyes at 941-366-8826.

Attend a free condominium educational seminar
Sarasota County is partnering with the state Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes on a free educational seminar that will cover condominium board member responsibilities and financial reporting. (MORE)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Community Connections This Week


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Government sets schedule for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday
Most Sarasota County government offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 17, in observance of the national holiday that celebrates the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sarasota County SealSarasota County gets 'AAA' general obligation rating from Standard & Poor's
Standard & Poor's Rating Services for the first time has given Sarasota County's general obligation debt a rating of "AAA." Only 66 other counties in the country have achieved S&P's highest rating. (MORE)
Free community association leadership conference

Sarasota County Neighborhood Services invites residents to attend a free community association leadership conference scheduled 8:30 a. m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota.

The county will have an information table at the event and is partnering with Becker & Poliakoff, which is hosting the conference.

The forum is designed for owners of single-family homes, condominiums, cooperatives and time share units; property managers; and board members of community, homeowners and condominium associations, among others.

New legislation affecting community and homeowners associations, as well as laws regarding construction, foreclosures and fee collections are among the topics to be covered.

For more information or to register online visit www.becker-poliakoff.com/events/ca/ or call Susan Reyes at 941-366-8826.

BOBCounty Cattlemen Road offices to close for relocation
Sarasota County government offices located at 1301 Cattlemen Road in Sarasota will close at noon Thursday, Jan. 20, and remain closed Friday, Jan. 21, so the county can relocate and consolidate those operations at 1001 Sarasota Center Blvd. in the Sarasota International Trade Center off Fruitville Road. (MORE)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Community in motion

Curious about what's happening at the Benderson Rowing facility? Or the construction of the Honore, Cattlemen, and Fruitville corridors? Or the Celery Fields park?

For an update on a large set of coordinated planning efforts centered on Fruitville Rd. and I-75, have a look at the Civics 101 blog.

Update: See also Matt Lewis's slides of his presentation.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Community Connections

AppleFree seminar offered on ways to overcome overeating
In The Sarasota County Wellness Coalition is sponsoring a free seminar, "Understanding and Overcoming Overeating and Overweight," on Tuesday, Jan. 18, from 1-3 p.m. at the
Laurel/Nokomis School Media Center, 1900 East Laurel Road, Nokomis.
(MORE)

SCOPE logoAging with Dignity and Independence

Are you an older adult, or do you work, live or interact with older adults? If so, you are invited to share your stories as part of a community initiative to discover what contributes to aging with dignity and independence.

SCOPE, the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee and The Patterson Foundation are looking for your feedback with the goal of developing innovative and technological ways for older adults to age with dignity and independence.


There are two ways to participate:


· Attend a community forum from 2-3:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 10, at North Sarasota Library, 2801 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota
· Visit www.scopexcel.org, and click on the red button to share your story. An online survey for people 65 years and older is also available on this website. Your responses are anonymous.

eBooks logoSarasota County libraries offer eBooks

Sarasota County libraries are now offering free downloadable eBooks through the libraries' website,www.sclibs.net. eBooks are being offered through a partnership with Overdrive, the same company that offers eAudiobooks.

eBooks are available free of charge to valid Sarasota County library card holders. "The explosion of eBooks is not only giving current library customers more options on how to enjoy materials from the library, it's helping introduce new users to their local library," said Sarabeth Kalajian, general manager, Sarasota County library system. The eBook collection includes titles for adults, teens and children, and will continue to grow as usage increases. Sarasota County library eBook titles will work with a wide range of eBook readers compatible with the Adobe EPUB format.

For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 or visit the Sarasota County libraries website, www.sclibs.net. Here's the Starter Page.

"Game Changer" for Foreclosures?


From the Herald Tribune:


Florida expands foreclosure mediation program

Published: Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 7:21 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 7:21 a.m.

TALLAHASSEE - Pre-foreclosure cases are being added to an experimental mortgage foreclosure mediation program that operates in six of Florida's 20 court circuits.

The Collins Center for Public Policy, a Tallahassee think tank, runs the program and announced the expansion Friday.

Government-backed mortgage giant Fannie Mae has directed its loan servicers to participate in the pre-foreclosure mediation.

Program director Ned Pope call it a "game changer" that will save homeowners, lenders and the courts time and money.

The program operates in two circuits covering 10 western Panhandle counties and four circuits serving Miami-Dade, Hardee, Highlands, Polk, DeSoto, Manatee, Sarasota, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Crime Stats for the County


From the Sheriff's Office:

2010 Crime Statistics

Year-end statistics are still being finalized, but there is good news to report. Violent crime is down for 2010, as are nonviolent crimes such as larceny and motor vehicle theft. Burglary, however, is on the rise largely due to the prescription drug problem that is prevalent throughout Sarasota County. Calls for service remain steady at about 90,000 for the year, with some 10,000 arrests being made. The complete report will be posted online soon, so be sure to check under the Public Interest tab for Crime & Accident Statistics and choose Uniform Crime Reporting.