Friday, December 27, 2013

Home prices up in November, Condos lower

The latest real estate trends for the area, courtesy of Sandy Allen:

Median sale prices for single family homes sold in Sarasota County in November 2013 were up 20.6 percent over last November, a clear sign that recent price appreciation in the single family home market is continuing unabated. Single family home prices were at $187,000 this November compared to only $155,000 last November. The median sale price for single family for the 12 month period ending Nov. 30, 2013 was $181,700, up 23 percent over last year at this time ($147,000). Comparing November to October, prices were up slightly for single family from $185,776 last month.
Total property sales in Sarasota County continued to moderate in November 2013. Overall property sales stood at 760 (531 single family homes and 229 condos), compared to 818 in October 2013 (582 and 236, respectively). In November 2012, 552 single family homes and 278 condos were sold.

"The November 2013 statistics indicate that the local market has leveled off at a high sales rate," said SAR President Roger Piro. Full Release here. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Second Neighborhood Workshop Modifies Rezoning Concept

The agent for the Canadian owner/developer of the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce -- the site opposite the entrance to Lake Sarasota -- offered a more detailed, pared-down version of a plan he presented in February.

The plan now calls for creating a 77,400-square-foot commercial building and two restaurants on land on the north and east sides of the site designated for a Racetrac gas station.

The presentation by Peter Dailey contained a few surprises, and was somewhat different from what appeared on earlier paperwork submitted to the county planning department. This is a summary of key items. A longer analysis will come later.

1. The petition seeks permission to build a single commercial building about 77,400 square feet in size. Earlier, the developer had wanted two separate buildings. The single structure now proposed would have one floor, eliminating a second-story residential floor sought in earlier stages of the plan.

2. The developer seeks to raise a limit to 33,700 square feet for a commercial segment of the building. This would make possible a small grocery, said Dailey. Other stores could include a nail salon, a flower shop, an insurance office, for example, he added.

8.8-acre commercial area proposed for CN rezoning with 77,400-sf
commercial building behind Racetrac
3.  While TerraCap has taken residential out of its proposed plan, Dailey noted that there are other plans in place for residential within the BRPOC to the north of the acreage in question, and also a few hundred condo units on the Western side, near Healthsouth, along with an approved plan for a 6-story hotel. Given the cumulative intensity of traffic from all residences and commercial entities, both existing and proposed, the developer is asking for changes to roads.

4. The proposal does not include, but relies on, three other road-related initiatives:
a) A new right-in, right-out turn 465 feet east of the light at Mauna Loa, allowing entry from and exit to Bee Ridge Rd.  
b) A petition to remove the possibility of extending Mauna Loa Blvd. northward to connect with Palmer Rd. or Fruitville Rd.
c) A proposal to insert an additional cut in the N. Mauna Loa median near an exit from Racetrac to augment the flow of traffic in and out of the shops, restaurant, and gas station on the 8.8 site in question. 

N. Mauna Loa median cut

The reason for these requests is not hard to fathom: the developer's plan needs these changes to enable traffic to more easily enter and exit the complex that would consist of the 77,000-square-foot building, two restaurants, and the Racetrac, while avoiding too intense traffic that could result if Mauna Loa became a larger North-South artery linking Bee Ridge to Palmer and Fruitville.

4. The property would be buffered on Bee Ridge (50 feet), on Mauna Loa North (12 feet), and to the East (100 feet), Dailey said.

The developer intends to take this plan next to the County Planning Commission, and then to the Board of Commissioners, probably in February or March, Dailey said. Issues might include workability of traffic reconfigurations and a question of buffering behind the proposed commercial building. Residents who live north of the BRPOC were told there is currently no plan to buffer the building on its North side.

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Neighborhood Workshop Tonight - Monday, Dec. 16th

UPDATE OF THE UPDATE: This meeting has been rescheduled for Dec. 16th, 6 pm, Sarasota Alliance Church.

[Former UPDATE: This meeting has been postponed by the developer's agent, citing "an advertising glitch." They are seeking to reschedule for mid-December - stay tuned.]

A second Neighborhood Workshop focusing on a request to rezone a portion of the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce (the land for which the Racetrac and other businesses are planned) has been scheduled. It is to be held Monday, Nov. 25th at 6 pn at Sarasota Alliance Church -- the same building where we hold our quarterly Lake Sarasota Community Group meetings.

A previous meeting with Peter M. Dailey, representative of TerraCap, owner of the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce, was held on Feb. 20th, 2013, and was reported here. Video here.

This new proposal is similar -- a request to rezone a portion of the property, some 8.8 acres, to Commercial Neighborhood from PCD. No explanation for why this is sought has been given.

The proposal differs in two key respects:
  1. The developer has dropped any rezoning of a parcel just west of N. Mauna Loa Blvd. which had been included in the earlier petition.
  2. A third floor residential component has been added, which will raise questions of how many units, and what impact this could have on traffic. Also, new residents might also present an impact on area schools and other services.

More about the new petition:

An image of the Notice from Mr. Dailey regarding the Nov. 25th Neighborhood Workshop is below - click to enlarge.

Note that Workshops give neighboring communities a chance get to ask questions and learn what developers wish to build on vacant properties near where they live.

The Lake Sarasota Community Group will discuss what is learned at the workshop at its Dec. 12th meeting, 7 pm at Sarasota Alliance Church.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sarasota County Updates

Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, contact us at   
Sarasota County has expanded its presence into social media with an updated Twitter site. Follow us now for up-to-the-minute updates.
SATURDAY: The 37th annual Sandy Claws Beach Run is scheduled forSaturday, Dec. 14, at Siesta Beach, 948 Beach Road, Sarasota.   
SATURDAY: Join Sarasota County's Viva Florida 500 Time Capsule interment celebration Saturday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m. at Historic Spanish Point, 337 N. Tamiami Trail, Osprey.   
Seats are still available for this year's workshop, which features national experts and local leaders sharing their insights on innovative practices for sustainability.
In a first for Sarasota's Ed Smith Stadium, the Orioles will present world-class skaters in "Ice on the Diamond - A Holiday Celebration," a dazzling, holiday-themed show on a specially engineered ice stage on the ballpark's main field on Friday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m.
Area officials broke ground for the new two-story, 40,000-square-foot facility during a ceremony Monday, Dec. 9.
Commissioner Hines, of District 5, was elected during a public meeting Dec. 5. Commissioner Christine Robinson, District 3, was elected Vice Chair. Commissioner Carolyn J. Mason, District 1, will serve as Pro Tem.
Rainwater harvesting can reduce the use of potable water and yield cost savings on water and wastewater utility bills. Find out how during a workshop at Twin Lakes Park Dec. 21.
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Monday, December 09, 2013

Lake Sarasota Meeting Agenda for Thursday Dec. 12

The Lake Sarasota Community Group meets Thursday Dec. 12 at 7 pm, Sarasota Alliance Church - in the meeting room facility behind the church.

  • Treasurer's report (Ellie)
  • Update on roadwork timing, demolitions, Bee Ridge Rd. utilities, FDOT, Racetrac, Neighborhood Workshop set for Dec. 16 (Tom)
  • Update on Lake Sarasota sign, Community Yard sale, etc. (Sandy)
  • Grants (Ellie)
  • Sheriff's Report for Nov. if available (Ted)
  • New Business 

Photos of the new style Racetrac, likely similar to what Racetrac plans to build opposite th entrance to Lake Sarasota:

Thursday, December 05, 2013

County news and updates for this week

Dear Lake,
Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, contact us at   
Sarasota County has expanded its presence into social media with an updated Twitter site. Follow us now for up-to-the-minute updates.
SATURDAY: The Arts and Crafts Show will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Englewood Sports Complex, 1300 South River Road, Englewood.
The Sarasota County Parks and Recreation sponsored 37th annual Sandy Claws Beach Run is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 14, at Siesta Beach, 948 Beach Road, Sarasota.   
After listening to area officials' recommendations and the community's feedback, Dr. Robert Marbut, the nationally known expert on homelessness, has submitted his final report to area officials.
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