Showing posts from December, 2012

Lake Sarasota's Fantasy Beginnings

Lake Sarasota began as Sunshine Springs and Gardens, a kind of fairie world complete with water-skiing aqua-belles and aqua-beaux, and, yes, an aqua-elephant. There were swan boats, exotic plants, arching bridges, water-curtains and picnics. Here's a slide-show from that time, with thanks to Laura Blackman (better known to many as Laura Mathis), the former president of the Lake Sarasota Community Group:

More about the attraction from the 50's and "Florida's largest man-made lake" here.

Update on Signs and Meetings

Several Lake Sarasota residents met with county road managers and zoning and real estate specialists Tuesday to discuss the design, placement, costs, and maintenance of new Mauna Loa entrance signs.

The meeting was preliminary. In outline, Lake Sarasota folks indicated that the community would be agreeable to the removal of old walls and signage at Westminster and possibly at Wake (the wall there is apparently on a private easement), if some signage can be placed either at the Aberdeen Roundabout, or at the eastern end of Lake Sarasota to inform drivers coming from the East that they within the precincts of the Lake Sarasota community.

Those present from the County agreed in principal to pay for a monument-style sign at Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge Road, so long as Lake Sarasota assumes responsibility for maintenance of it, and to explore what kind of signage might be suitable, and where, for those approaching from the East.

Details all remain to be worked out as the planning for the widen…

Styles of Entrance Signs

A few sample entrance signs found via a Google search:

There's no assurance any of these will be affordable, feasible, or what we want. But if you did want to express a preference, the poll to the upper right will afford that opportunity for a few days.

Large turnout says "NO" to Developers

An unusually large number of Lake Sarasotans turned out Thursday evening to the quarterly Community Group meeting, and they made their feelings regarding a proposal for intensified development loud and clear: A straw vote was unanimously opposed to any enlargement of the "Park of Commerce" directly across from the main entrance to the neighborhood.

The group was also largely supportive of focusing on working with county planners to create a well-designed front entrance as Bee Ridge Road is widened. On a third topic, there was vocal opposition to expanding SCAT bus routes through Lake Sarasota, but some supported the idea. Most said they'd want to see clear evidence that buses would be needed and used by the community before agreeing to an expansion.

The meeting drew so many people that it was moved to a larger hall offered by Sarasota Alliance Church in the same building to accommodate everyone. 

The proposed enlargement of the commercial plan at the Park of Commerce site f…

Neighborhood Meeting to Address Front Entrance, Development, SCAT

The upcoming Lake Sarasota neighborhood meeting this Thursday, Dec. 13, is set to discuss these items:

The style of entrance we'd like after Bee Ridge Road is widened. A possible expansion of SCAT routes through the neighorhood A recent proposal to make the real estate development directly opposite our entrance on Bee Ridge Road larger and more intense.

On this last item, I attended the development review meeting this past Thursday about enlarging the commercial development. Here's a very brief recap:

TERRACAP’s Proposed Rezoning

A private group of Canadian investors (Terracap, a Canadian group that bought the land from Horton in 2011) is now asking the county to expand their original agreement, which was made in 1997, and which allowed for four (4) acres of commercial space on the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce (zoned PCD), opposite the front entrance to Lake Sarasota at Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge.They wish to rezone it to Commercial Neighborhood (CN) and develop a full  ten (10) acres.

Speculators buying up homes for rentals

According to one of our resident real estate folks, this group of speculators has purchased the home at the entrance of Lake Sarasota - on the right on Mauna Loa as one is exiting Lake Sarasota onto Bee Ridge:

The Blackstone Group and its partners have bought another 39 rental homes in Sarasota and Manatee counties. (Shutterstock photo) By  Published: Monday, December 3, 2012 at 1:01 p.m. Last Modified: Monday, December 3, 2012 at 1:01 p.m. During the past three weeks, the Blackstone Group and its partners have bought another 39 rental homes in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The company and its subsidiaries paid $3.5 million, or an average of $117,300 per house, for 31 houses in Sarasota. Blackstone and its partners paid another $1.65 million, or an average of $207,000 per house, for eight properties in Manatee, records show. That brings the total number of houses purchased in the two counties by Blackstone and its partners to 76 since the beginning of October. All the b…