Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Meeting Dec. 13 to discuss new developments

The Lake Sarasota Community Group - a volunteer group for the neighborhood - plans to meet on Thursday, Dec. 13th at 7 pm at Sarasota Alliance Church - the meeting rooms are in the building behind the church, which is at 7221 Bee Ridge Road, across from Chaucer.

Three items up for discussion address potentially significant changes to the area east of  I-75:

1. New Look for Front Entrance

The existing entrance to Lake Sarasota at Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge Rd. will be removed when Bee Ridge is widened, beginning a year from now. County planners working on the project wish to meet with representatives from Lake Sarasota to get a sense of what our community would like to see at that entrance after the project is complete. Walls? Fencing with landscaping? Signage?  
We welcome ideas and want to know your thoughts. If you can't make the meeting, please share your input with us at lakesarasota@gmail.com.

2. New Commerce

Several proposals for a new RaceTrac gas station and convenience store, retail stores, restaurants, a drug store and possibly a hotel are being presented this month to the county's development oversight board. All would be built on the land north of the Lake Sarasota entrance at Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge. 
The proposed developments will impact the intersection at Mauna Loa - there will be heavier traffic, slower traffic signals, as well as the glare, noise etc. from the commercial area. The RaceTrac plans to be larger than current examples we see, as for example on Fruitville Road, and it will be a 24-hour operation. 
As the planning goes forward, the county is likely to seek input from Lake Sarasota at a public meeting. 

3. New SCAT Route Possible

Sarasota County is willing to consider expanding its public bus route to go through more of Lake Sarasota, if it has enough feedback from our residents to think an expanded route would actually serve more users. Do we have enough residents who would benefit from buses to make it worth doing? 
What do you think? Use the poll on the upper right to voice your opinion. If you want to say more, drop us a note at lakesarasota@gmail.com.





Thursday, November 15, 2012

Retail, drugstore, restaurant space proposed

In addition to the super-sized RaceTrac that is proposed at Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge Road, there are plans to build 100,000 square feet of retail space, and a drug store, and a restaurant.

Here's an image filed with the county that marks out the area for these proposals. All are directly north of the front entrance to Lake Sarasota at Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge:


A drugstore, restaurant, RaceTrac and retail shops planned


Monday, November 12, 2012

RaceTrac planning large gas station at Lake Sarasota's Entrance





On Wednesday, November 7 several members of the Lake Sarasota Community Group and the Bee Ridge Neighborhoods Committee met with Tom Hardy, project manager of RaceTrac gas stations for Southwest Florida.


Mr. Hardy confirmed that the privately-owned RaceTrac Corp., which is based in Atlanta, is “rolling out aggressively” in Florida. Over the next few months the company plans to open 30 new gas stations around the state. While most Floridians are familiar with the current RaceTrac format, these 30 stores will use a new design sporting a substantially larger footprint.

An example of the current design is found on Fruitville Rd., just west of I-75. That station has a 5,000-square-foot footprint for its store. The new models will have a 6,000-square-foot floor plan.


New, Larger Format

The new stations will have 24 pumps, open 24 hours a day. The larger structure will enable RaceTrac to offer a broader variety of foods, including hot dogs, sodas, burritos, chicken parmesan, quesadillas, yogurt, a “barista” area, and a window bar that will have outlets for laptops and free WiFi. To serve those who will make use of these services, the plan calls for 35-40 parking spaces, up from 25-30 at the older models.



View Larger Map

RaceTrac has applied to build one of these new, larger stations on the Northeast corner of N. Mauna Loa Blvd. and Bee Ridge Rd. The land site plan is roughly 90,000 square feet (300’ x 300’) -- a bit more than two acres. The current layout calls for drivers to access the service station from N. Mauna Loa Blvd. The company is seeking a cut in the median on North Mauna Loa to enable cars to leave the station and turn left to return to Bee Ridge Rd.

The station’s building will reach a height of 27’ feet and the plan calls for a 60-square-foot monument sign placed on Bee Ridge at North Mauna Loa facing West and East.





Landscaping: Currently a low hedge and a few trees are planned along the swale on Bee Ridge.

Community Input


Community representatives at the meeting expressed the hope that the station would prove a positive convenience for the Lake Sarasota Community, whose 1,600 homes, some of which are on Bee Ridge across from the planned station, are likely to be regular customers of the store and gas station.


The concerns raised by those present can be grouped into three categories:

1. Traffic: Such a large, bright, busy station directly across from the main entrance to Lake Sarasota will impact the primary intersection at the entrance. The station is bound to attract trucks and cars from the highway as well as local customers. To accommodate a heightened volume of traffic going into and out of the station, the signal at Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge will have to be timed to give north-south traffic, which is now minimal, more time. Traffic will be slowed in all directions at the intersection. Expect getting in and out of Lake Sarasota to take longer.

2. Buffering: The glare, noise, and odors from such a large, active presence in a locale that until now has been essentially quiet at night will especially affect Lake Sarasota residents with homes near Bee Ridge and Mauna Loa. Members of both committees stressed to Mr. Hardy the importance of increasing buffering vegetation along Bee Ridge -- a higher hedge, for instance, and more canopy trees. Mr. Hardy, whose background is as an arborist, said he would explore putting in "high rise live oaks" instead of the palm trees which were in the original plan.

3. Excess capacity: Area residents also noted that Bee Ridge Road east of I-75 is quite different from Fruitville Road at the highway. There you can find substantial shopping centers with “big-box” stores, restaurants, banks and supermarkets. Bee Ridge east of the Interstate, on the other hand, offers little other than bedroom communities, churches, and nursing home and healthcare facilities. Does it make sense for RaceTrac to build bigger in this quiet and largely residential part of Sarasota, residents asked, noting that when Publix decided to put a market at Bee Ridge Extension, it chose a smaller footprint. And, it was asked, does the gas station need such a large sign?

Mr. Hardy noted that RaceTrac only builds on roads where it can rely on a minimal volume of 20,000-25,000 cars a day. The station will have the largest sign the zoning code for our area allows, he added.

Mr. Hardy indicated he'd not been aware that the County is moving ahead with plans to widen Bee Ridge Road from the highway to Bent Tree, using a “low-impact development” plan that will give Bee Ridge the character of a parkway with wide buffering on both sides, along with heritage trees, meandering sidewalks, bio-swales, attractive vegetation and fencing. He indicated that RaceTrac will look at the timing, and might consider moving up its construction date to be complete before the road widening begins.

The earliest the County will start on its widening is October, 2013. RaceTrac could be open for business by July 2013, Mr. Hardy said, but the actual construction date has yet to be nailed down.



Sunday, November 11, 2012

October 2012 Crime Report


Here's Ted's breakdown of the October 2012 Sheriff's Dept. Crime report for Lake Sarasota:

Vandalism-2; Burglary-5; Theft-6
By street: 

Bikini             3 (thefts; 6407, 6408-2)
Brentford       1 (burglary at 6920)
Honolulu        1 (burglary at 4105)
Java              1 (vandalism at 7214) 
Lancaster      3 (1 vandalism at 4221, 2 burglaries at 4118, 4272)
Lanai             1 (theft at 4203)
Marlborough  1 (theft at 3916)
Mauna Loa    1 (theft at 7271)
Tarawa          1 (theft at 6585)

By Day of Week                  By Date
Monday - 2                           4 - 1
Tuesday - 3                          7 - 1
Wednesday - 1                    12 - 1
Thursday - 1                        14 - 1
Friday - 2                             15 - 1
Saturday - 1                         22 - 1
Sunday - 2                           23 - 3
                                            24- 1
                                            26 - 1
                                            27 - 1
                                            31 - 1
By Time Reported:
2am    2-4am     4-6am    6-8am    8-10am    10am-
  1            -              2            -             -           1
2pm    2-4pm     4-6pm    6-8pm    8-10pm    10pm-
   1            1            2            1           4             -

Most Likely Occurrence:

By Street  --  Lancaster, Bikini
By Date  --  23;   By Day of Week -- Tuesday
By Time of Day Reported -- 8-10 pm

Compiled by: Ted Cover, Citizens Patrol (Thanks, Ted!)
Lake Sarasota Community Group

For more information about crime stats in Sarasota County, go to Crime Mapping



Thursday, November 08, 2012

Siesta Beach, Tree Workshop, Mobile Health, more

Greetings!

Welcome to the new Sarasota County Community Connections. Contact us if you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, or just let us know how you like the new look, at communityconnections@scgov.net. 
Tree Advisory Committee seeks public input at Nov. 8 workshop
TODAY: The Sarasota Tree Advisory Council will host the first-ever Tree Convocation public workshop from 3-5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota. 
Residents invited to view Siesta Beach Park improvement design on Nov. 13
The design of the Siesta Beach Park improvements will be the subject of a public meeting Tuesday, Nov. 13, at St. Michael the Archangel Church, 5394 Midnight Pass Road on Siesta Key.

There will be no formal presentation at the open-house-style meeting so residents are invited to come anytime during the
5-7 p.m. event hosted by Sarasota County Public Works and Parks and Recreation.
County government office closings for Veterans Day
All Sarasota County government offices, including libraries, recreation centers and the Sarasota County History Center will be closed Monday, Nov. 12, in observance of Veterans Day. 
Veterans Day ceremonies set
Veterans Day ceremonies will be held in Sarasota and Venice on Sunday, Nov. 11. A parade will be featured in Sarasota before the ceremony at Chaplain J.D. Hamel Park. The events are being coordinated by the Sarasota Patriotic Observance Committee and the Venice Area Veterans Council, in coordination with Sarasota County's Veterans Benefits Unit.
Christine Robinson and Charles Hines elected to commission
Christine Robinson and Charles Hines were elected Tuesday to the Sarasota County Commission. Robinson was elected to a four-year term after being appointed by Gov. Rick Scott in 2010 to fill a retirement vacancy. Hines will serve his first term on the Commission. The commissioners will be sworn in during a ceremony at 9 a.m. Nov. 20 in the Commission Chamber. 
Mowing schedule Nov. 5 - 16
Here is the schedule for Sarasota County's roadside mowing and median maintenance program for Nov. 5 - 16, subject to weather conditions. 
Holiday LED light exchange begins
County residents can bring in two strands of incandescent holiday lights to exchange for an equivalent number of energy-efficient LED lights at four locations in November and December.
Light up the Great American Smokeout
The Tobacco Free Partnership of Sarasota County, in collaboration with Tobacco Free Florida, is hosting two local events in conjunction with the 37th annual Great American Smokeout, Thursday, Nov. 15, to encourage people of all ages to be tobacco-free for 24 hours.  
Take a surrey ride on The Legacy Trail
The Surrey Program is offered by Friends of The Legacy Trail to give mobility-challenged residents and visitors a way to enjoy the trail. Rides are free, but registration is required.  
Mobile health services offered at 14 county sites in November
The Sarasota County Health Department's Health In Motion Mobile Medical Unit staff will provide free and low-cost health services at 14 sites around the county during November.
Rain barrels donated to schools
Thirty-one Sarasota County schools with garden programs have received rain barrels from UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County. The beverage distribution company, Redi-2-DrinQ Group, donated 50 barrels to UF/IFAS.
Girls, gadgetry and galvanizing genius
On Saturday, Nov. 17, Sarasota County Libraries and the Venice branch of the American Association of University Women present "Girls, Gadgetry and Galvanizing Genius," a free program designed to encourage girls ages 9-12 to explore careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

September Neighborhood Crime Analysis


The Sheriff's Dept. Crime Report for Sept., 2012 for Lake Sarasota.

Here's Ted's analysis:

The bad news is that crime is up--twelve incidents (three burglaries, eight thefts, and one juvenile disturbance).

The breakdown by street is as follows:
Allan Drive (2 incidents--2 thefts; 3915 and 3920)
Honolulu Drive (1 theft; 4035)
Lancaster Drive (3 incidents--1 burglary, 
                              2 thefts; 4117, 4051, and 4043) 
Marlborough Drive (1 incident--theft; 3123)
Middlesex Place (1 incident-- juvenile disturbance)
Palau Drive (3 incidents--2 burglaries, one theft; 4198, 4193, 4103)
Rangi Drive (1 incident--theft; 7234)

By day of the week the breakdown is as follows:
Mondays--  4 incidents
Tuesdays-- 1 incident
Fridays   --  3 incidents
Saturdays-- 3 incidents
Sundays  -- 1 incident

By date:
Sept. 2  --  1
Sept .7  --  1
Sept. 10 -- 1
Sept. 14 -- 1
Sept. 17 -- 1
Sept. 21 -- 1
Sept. 22 -- 3
Sept. 24 -- 2
Sept. 25 -- 2

The breakdown by time of day reported is:
M-2am        2-4am       4-6am       6-8am     8-10am    10am-N
   0                 0                0                1              2               1
N-2pm        2-4pm       4-6pm       6-8pm     8-10pm    10pm-N
    5                2                1                 0              0                0

The most likely day of the week for a crime incident to occur.:  Monday
  •  Range of dates:  22-24
  •  Time of day:  noon to 2 p.m.
  •  Streets:   Lancaster or Palau
Ted Cover, Citizens Patrol
Lake Sarasota Community Group

Friday, November 02, 2012

RaceTrac at Front Entrance

RaceTrac is proposing a 6,000-square-foot gas station and convenience store at the corner of North Mauna Loa Blvd and Bee Ridge Rd. This is directly opposite the entrance to Lake Sarasota.




Potential impacts include:
  • A much busier intersection at Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge.
  • Light and glare from large signs and station lighting 24-hours a day.
  • Noise of cars and trucks.
  • Odors of gas and oil.
  • Attracting traffic from I-75.
  • Large ugly signs.
  • Urbanizing the look of Bee Ridge and the Medical Park at North Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge..

Members of the Lake Sarasota Community Group are meeting with a representative of RaceTrac next week to explore possible methods of shielding our community from some of these impacts. If you wish to share ideas, please send them to LakeSarasota@gmail.com.

Here is a detailed traffic analysis done for RaceTrac with more info and images.





Thursday, November 01, 2012

Garage Sale Nov. 17th

The November Lake Sarasota Garage Sale will be held on Saturday, November 17th.

Here's a map created by Sandy - and see the note from her after it:





View LS Garage Sale - Nov 2012 in a larger map

 Hi, All, Please bookmark this site. As it changes, your link will be updated. Good Luck!

Send your info to Sandy at SarasotaDreams@gmail.com

 Sandy ~ President Lake Sarasota Community Group

IFAS Garden Workshop, Vets Day, more...

Nov. 1, 2012
Greetings!

Welcome to the new Sarasota County Community Connections. Contact us if you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, or just let us know how you like the new look, at communityconnections@scgov.net. 

Give your garden wings at UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County's Butterfly Workshop
SATURDAY: UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County will host a Butterfly Workshop from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota.

'Fall back Nov. 4,' and change smoke alarms and weather radio batteries
SUNDAY: The end of daylight saving time and the start of local standard time on Nov. 4, when clocks get turned back one hour, serves as a reminder that it is time to change smoke alarms and weather batteries. 

County government office closings for Veterans Day
All Sarasota County government offices, including libraries, recreation centers and the Sarasota County History Center will be closed Monday, Nov. 12, in observance of Veterans Day. 

Mowing schedule through Nov. 9
Here is the schedule for Sarasota County's roadside mowing and median maintenance through Nov. 9, subject to weather.

Veterans Day ceremonies set
Veterans Day ceremonies will be held in Sarasota and Venice on Sunday, Nov. 11. A parade will be featured in Sarasota before the ceremony at Chaplain J.D. Hamel Park. The events are being coordinated by the Sarasota Patriotic Observance Committee and the Venice Area Veterans Council, in coordination with Sarasota County's Veterans Benefits Unit.

Mobile health services offered at 14 county sites in November
The Sarasota County Health Department's Health In Motion Mobile Medical Unit staff will provide free and low-cost health services at 14 sites around the county during November.

More detours to SCAT Routes 7 and 8
Detours required for the city of Sarasota's Orange Avenue stormwater improvements project are expected to extend to Dec. 21.

Rain barrels donated to schools
Thirty-one Sarasota County schools with garden programs have received rain barrels from UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County. The beverage distribution company, Redi-2-DrinQ Group, donated 50 barrels to UF/IFAS.

Girls, gadgetry and galvanizing genius
Sarasota County Libraries and the Venice branch of the American Association of University Women present "Girls, Gadgetry and Galvanizing Genius," a free program designed to encourage girls ages 9-12 to explore careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
Facebook icon  Twitter icon  Flickr icon  YouTube icon