Sunday, March 30, 2014

Rezoning the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce PCD vs. CN

On Thurs. April 3, a request to rezone a portion of the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce from PCD to CN will be heard by the Planning Commission. See here for details.

Below are descriptions of what is permitted under each designation. Are there any uses we as nearby residents would prefer not to see across from our front entrance? Have a look, let us know.

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PCD vs. CN by level of permission (Sarasota Cty Code Appendix 5)

Info taken from the Municode for Sarasota County

4.7. - Commercial and Industrial District Intent Statements.

4.7.1.
Commercial Neighborhood District (CN).

a.

The CN District permits small-scale, neighborhood-oriented commercial facilities. Their proper development and use shall be facilitated through design techniques and sufficient buffering (as set out in Article 7), which provide for walkable, pedestrian-friendly uses compatible with nearby residential uses. The district is not intended for use by major or large-scale commercial, sales, service or automotive-oriented activities. The primary uses include retail sale of food, drugs, hardware, and similar items and the provision of personal services. Offices and other similar uses are encouraged. Uses in this district are intended to be located within convenient traveling distance from one or several neighborhoods which they will serve. This district allows residential use, including upper story residential dwelling units, in order to promote live-work and mixed use opportunities.

b.

The CN District is generally used to implement the Comprehensive Plan within those areas of Sarasota County shown as Regional, Community, Village I, Village II, or Neighborhood Commercial Center, or Commercial Corridor on the Future Land Use Map.

c.

When rezoning to the CN District the applicant for rezoning may request that the Development Concept Plan submitted with the rezoning application be binding. Under such circumstances, if the rezoning is approved, the Development Concept Plan shall be binding.

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4.8.3.

Planned Commerce Development District (PCD).

a.

The PCD District provides an area for coordinated mixed use developments which include industrial, commercial, office, educational, civic, institutional, residential and service uses within a planned development with appropriate perimeter buffering and open space. This district provides a mechanism to attract major employers to Sarasota County, in locations where the service needs of employees and customers are accommodated. This district allows for significant contribution to the economic base of Sarasota County and provides for housing opportunities near employment centers. The variety of land uses available in this district will allow flexibility to respond to market demands and the needs of tenants, which provides for a variety of physically and functionally integrated land uses.

b.

Generally, land uses include manufacturing, wholesaling and warehousing, construction services, transportation services, limited retail trade and service, office, educational, civic, institutional, and residential uses in support of employment activities in the district. This district allows residential use, including upper story residential dwelling units, in order to promote live-work and mixed use opportunities. When rezoning to the PCD District, Development Concept Plans are binding.

c.

Developments at this scale are often also subject to a Development of Regional Impact or Critical Area Plan. The PCD District is generally used to implement the Comprehensive Plan within those areas of Sarasota County designated as Major Employment Center (MEC) and/or Major Employment Center/Interstate Regional Office Park (MEC/IROP) on the Future Land Use Map.

Click on "Read More" to see what is permitted under CN and what is permitted under PCD:


Sunday, March 23, 2014

A list of Florida attractions

Here's a list of places to enjoy around our area and farther afield, but all in Florida. If you have any to add that aren't here, or discover something needing updating, drop us a note or leave a comment - thanks.
MANATEE
Anna Maria Island Historical Museum: 402 Pine Ave., Anna Maria
Learn about its rich history, complete with settlers, characters, the original city jail and tour the cottage that sat on the CIty Pier and fell into the Bay.
Summer hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday May 1-October 31. Admission is free. Information: 941-778-0492.
earn about its rich history; complete with settlers, characters, the original city jail and tour the cottage that sat on the City Pier and fell into the Bay
Open Tuesday- Saturday
10-4:00 pm
November-May
10-1:00 pm
June-October
Braden Castle Village: One Office Drive, 27th Street East and Manatee Avenue, Bradenton
The castle was once the heart of a rambling sugar plantation built by Joseph Addison Braden and his brother Hector in the 1840s. The ruins can still be seen in Braden Castle Park. Admission: free. Information: 941-746-7700.
Bunker Hill Vineyard and Winery: 8905 Bunker Hill Road, Duette
Bunker Hill Vineyard and Winery, a "green" environmentally responsible winery offers tours and tastings 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. The vineyard grows seven varieties of muscadine grapes, which produce 10 different labeled "handcrafted" red, white and rose wines, including sparkling reds and whites. Vineyard weddings are performed upon request. Information: 941-776-0418.
Cypress House Military Museum: Palmetto Historical Park, 515 10th Ave. W., Palmetto


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hearing on Rezoning set for April 3, 6:30 pm


The Planning Commission will review TerraCap and Peter Dailey's request to rezone the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce from PCD to CN, and to create a right-in/right-out turn on Bee Ridge so cars heading West can enter 460 feet East of the Mauna Loa intersection.




Friday, March 14, 2014

March LSCG Meeting Notes

The Lake Sarasota Community Group meeting of 3.13.14 took place at Sarasota Alliance Church. Here's a brief summary:

1. Tax Attorney Mary King presented some tips on what to do if you're audited by the IRS, and gave out a copy of each of her books: Resolve IRS Problems, and Protect and Defend.

2. The Board will ask the Treasurer to renew the LSCG's 501(c)3 status and its CONA membership. The Group also noted that the Treasury is running low and some means of replenishing it need to be found. This will be an agenda item for the next meeting, set for June 12th.

3. The Garage Sale is set for March 29th. So far some 35 homes are on the Neighborhood Garage Sale Map.



Sandy has asked for volunteer to help distribute the maps on the day of the sale. To get on the map, or to help hand them out anytime between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., contact her at Sarasotadreams@gmail.com.

4.  A letter to the County Commission expressing a desire that the County proceed cautiously with any plans to connect Mauna Loa Blvd. to roads heading north (via Spine Rd., for example) all the way to University Parkway. The impact of cumulative development in the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce will already put pressure on our entrance intersection. The letter calls for a new, comprehensive traffic study. A copy of the letter is here.

Residents who wish to support the idea of a comprehensive traffic study (in view of (1) the widening of Bee Ridge, (2) the expansion of development at the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce including Racetrac, hotel, drugstore, restaurants, condos and offices, and (3) potential north-south road alignments) can express the hope that the County will carefully examine impacts, do the traffic study, and avoid negative impacts upon Lake Sarasota and communities south of Bee Ridge Road in letters or emails to the County Commissioners. Always write to all five. Names and contact info here.

Potential North-South Corridor via Spine Rd.


5. The widening of Bee Ridge Rd. is expected to begin in May. It was agreed that a group of us will plan to meet at the front entrance at Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge in late April to rescue the wooden neighborhood signs (they will be stored until the roadwork is complete) and some of the plantings around them.

Also, a prototype of what the new entrance sign will look like was shared. Those interested will help finalize design details (color, font, etc.) and if a meeting with the County is needed, one will be scheduled.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Meeting this Thursday, March 13

The Lake Sarasota Community Group holds its quarterly meeting Thursday March 13, at 7 p.m. at Sarasota Alliance Church. The meeting rooms are in the office space behind the Church.

The agenda:

1. Speaker: Tax Attorney Mary King

2. Treasury (Ellie)

3. a - Update: Bee Ridge Rd.
    b - Update: Entrance Sign
    c - Spine Road Action Item: Letter to County Commission (Tom)

4. Garage Sale. (Sandy)

5. Sheriff's Report (Ted)

6. Other business

Spine Road and N/S Corridor



Sarasota County Updates: Arts and Crafts, Domestic Partnerships, more


Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, contact us at communityconnections@scgov.net.   
TODAY: Sarasota County's Domestic Partnership Registry will begin accepting registrations Thursday, March 13.
SATURDAY: Sarasota County Parks and Recreation will host the annual Spring Arts and Crafts Show Saturday, March 15, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., at the Englewood Sports Complex.
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has raised its long-term rating on Sarasota County's limited ad valorem tax bonds from "BBB+" to "A-."  
Join forces with friends and neighbors for the 2014 Great American Cleanup, 8 a.m.-noon, Saturday, March 22, at sites throughout Sarasota County. In case of rain, the cleanup will be Saturday, March 29.  
Sarasota County Development Services and Code Enforcement will hold its annual free community cleanup for Englewood area residencesSaturday, March 22, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Sarasota County libraries and the American Association of Retired Persons are offering free assistance with the preparation of 2013 tax returns through April 15
To enhance the safety of clients, employees  and others who visit the William L. Little Health and Human Services Center, (Sarasota County Health Department), construction has begun on a pedestrian crosswalk and ADA access ramp at the School Avenue entrance to the building.
Sarasota County officials are working with the nonprofit Society of St. Andrew to help restock local food banks with fresh, locally grown oranges.
Sarasota County is encouraging property owners, both year-round and seasonal, to sign up for the free CodeRED alert notification system. The system provides phone and text message alerts about important issues in their neighborhood. 
About Us
Sarasota County Government 
1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, Florida 34236 

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Sarasota County Updates: Daylight Savings, Arts & Crafts, more


Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, contact us at communityconnections@scgov.net.   

SUNDAY: Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 9, which is a great time to check batteries in smoke alarms and weather radios.
To enhance the safety of clients, employees  and others who visit the William L. Little Health and Human Services Center, (Sarasota County Health Department), construction has begun on a pedestrian crosswalk and ADA access ramp at the School Avenue entrance to the building.
A dental assistant who dresses up as "The Tooth Fairy" can make a child's first experience of going to the dentist a positive one - even for parents. In recognition of their contributions, Sarasota County joins communities across the state and nation in observing Dental Assistant Recognition Week, March 2-8.  
Sarasota County Parks and Recreation will host the annual Spring Arts and Crafts Show Saturday, March 15, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., at the Englewood Sports Complex.
The Clerk of the Circuit Court is warning citizens about a telephone scam that warns a warrant has been issued for arrest due to failure to report for jury duty.
Sarasota County officials are working with the nonprofit Society of St. Andrew to help restock local food banks with fresh, locally grown oranges.
Keep Sarasota County Beautiful has received the Keep America Beautiful President's Circle Award for exemplary performance. 
Sarasota County is encouraging property owners, both year-round and seasonal, to sign up for the free CodeRED alert notification system. The system provides phone and text message alerts about important issues in their neighborhood. 
Sarasota County libraries and the American Association of Retired Persons are offering free assistance with the preparation of 2013 tax returns throughApril 15
Sarasota County Parks and Recreation, in conjunction with the Siesta Key Beach Ambassadors, offers a four-week series of free community education seminars about county beaches and habitats during March at Siesta Beach Park.
Join forces with friends and neighbors for the 2014 Great American Cleanup,8 a.m.-noon, Saturday, March 22, at sites throughout Sarasota County. In case of rain, the cleanup will be Saturday, March 29.  
About Us
Sarasota County Government 
1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, Florida 34236 

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Mauna Loa Blvd. could become part of major north-south Artery


A future road alignment plan coming up before the County Commission on March 18th could have major repercussions on Lake Sarasota.

Basically, county planners wish to justify the eventual creation of a north/south artery that would connect Mauna Loa Blvd. with Fruitville Rd. via a road that right now only exists on future maps, called Spine Rd.

The planners' reasoning and details are in a Board Memo available via this link. 

Spine Rd. will be the subject of discussion at the Board of County Commissioners sometime during the afternoon session on March 18th. The session begins at 1:30, but will have other items. Public input will be possible.

Here is the basic scenario as we understand it:

The developers of the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce (TerraCap BR and agent Peter M. Dailey and Richard Fischer) wish to remove Spine Rd. from the future plans, presumably because it will save them money to do so. 

The planners wish to retain Spine Rd. because they see the need for a north-south artery for traffic moving between North County (Fruitville) and Clark Rd. (Overview map of area.)

This artery would include our main street, Mauna Loa Blvd.

If you believe the neighborhood has too much bus and truck traffic coming along our main Boulevard now, what will it be like when Fruitville, Palmer, Webber, Bee Ridge, Proctor and Clark Rds. will all feed traffic onto Mauna Loa? 

Please share your thoughts on this, and if you can, plan to support community actions - which might include public input at the county hearing on March 18th, emails to the Commissioners, a petition, etc. The Lake Sarasota Community Group meets Thursday March 13th at Sarasota Alliance Church, 7 pm.

Thank you for your support.


Spine Rd. shown but not how it will link to Mauna Loa

Only a portion of Spine Rd. shown here


Monday, March 03, 2014

A letter to the editor

This recent letter to the editor of the local paper is circulating widely. It states a position with regard to development East of I-75 clearly. Not all might agree with Mr. Kaercher (not a person known to us by any personal or other relation), but his words at least serve as a starting point for a serious discussion of the 2050 plan. The plan is complex and not easily decidable in any absolute way. It raises a host of issues. What do you think?

Growth mismanagement
After three years as a permanent Venice resident I finally get it. I was naive enough to believe I'd actually found a small-town, old-Florida, relatively crime-free place to live out my golden years. I've come to understand that I was horribly wrong.It is now obvious to me that the "movers and shakers" (politicians and those who pay for their elections) who control Sarasota County and, to a degree, Venice, equate more houses, more strip malls, more traffic congestion, and more people with "progress." The controlled growth pendulum has swung back in favor of making the fast buck, and to blazes with the water quality, environment, wildlife,and quality of life for those of us who live and vote here. 
The gutting of the 2050 Plan, which was put in place by a wiser County Commission to prevent what is now happening east of I-75, is a symptom of the runaway growth. 
Who will pay for the new schools, police, firefighters, first responders, street lights and other infrastructure after the open spaces are bulldozed and turned into identical, water guzzling, fertilizer spreading "gated communities"? Not the developers. We -- taxpayers -- will. It's not right or fair. 
I think I'm going to start looking around again, for another small-town, old-Florida kind of place. Maybe there's still somewhere in Florida where developers haven't already bought up all the green space and scheduled the bulldozers. 
Rob Kaercher
Venice

Update: See also this article from the 3.5.14 Herald Tribune:

Clark Road developers get more leeway for project near interstate