Friday, May 30, 2014

County Updates - Lifeguard hours, Do-it-yourself energy checks, More

Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, contact us at pubcom@scgov.net.   
Sarasota County will hold its annual free community cleanup for Proctor and Wilkinson area residences Saturday, June 7.
The meetings will take place in June and July for those interested in learning more about proposed changes.  
In honor of "World No Tobacco Day" on May 31, Sarasota County's Tobacco Free Partnership is commemorating the important progress made in the fight against tobacco while also shedding light on the latest facts released this year about tobacco use and its deadly consequences. 
Sarasota County's Beach Lifeguard operational hours will be extended on all guarded beaches beginning Saturday, May 24, from 10 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. daily. The extended hours will run through the Labor Day weekend.  
Sarasota County's website now has "one-click" access for citizens to ask questions, make requests, and provide comments about the county, its services and programs.
Sarasota County is offering energy and water use audit kits for checkout at Sarasota County libraries. 
Sarasota County's draft Post-Disaster Redevelopment Plan proposes best practices for redeveloping the community following a major disaster.Review the county's draft Post-Disaster Redevelopment Plan here.
About Us
Sarasota County Government 
1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota,
Florida 34236 
 Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities. View the complete policy at https://www.scgov.net/ADA/Pages/default.aspx.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bee Ridge Widening Contract Approved.

Sarasota County approved a construction contract for Bee Ridge Road on Tuesday May 20th. Work should begin between 45 and 60 days from that date. It's not yet determined where on Bee Ridge the work will start.

Here's the latest we have on the plans.



ADOPTED/APPROVED     
57.
A.
Public hearing to consider a proposed Resolution, Budget Amendment No. B2014-037, amending the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget to appropriate funding to Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Project No. 75830 - Bee Ridge Road East, for the improvements associated with Bee Ridge Road from Mauna Loa Boulevard to Iona Road, in the amount of $375,333.00;
B.
(Not a public hearing.) The Board considered a proposed Contract with Westra Construction Corporation, for construction of the Bee Ridge Road Improvements (from Mauna Loa Boulevard to Iona Road), in the amount of $22,019,093.83;
C.
(Not a public hearing.) The Board considered a proposed Contract with CDM Smith, Inc., for Construction Engineering and Inspection Services for the Bee Ridge Road Improvements (from Mauna Loa Boulevard to Iona Road), in the amount of $1,999,142.25;
D.
(Not a public hearing.) The Board considered a proposed Contract, Amendment No. 3 to Contract No. 2011-529 with Cardno TBE, for post-design services for the Bee Ridge Road Improvements (from Mauna Loa Boulevard to Iona Road), in the amount of $199,813.32.

Also, FDOT plans to add pedestrian islands at several points along Bee Ridge Rd. east of I-75 to alleviate dangers to pedestrians trying to cross.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Updates from the County

Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback on the system, contact us at pubcom@scgov.net.   
America's veterans, past and present, as well as first responders, will be honored by thousands of Sarasota County residents on Memorial Day,Monday, May 26, at parades and ceremonies in Sarasota and Venice.
Most Sarasota County government offices, including libraries, recreation centers, chemical collection centers and the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County, will be closed in observance of the holiday. 
Sarasota County's website now has "one-click" access to information for community members to ask questions, make requests and provide comments about the county, its services and programs.
Prepare yourself for hurricane season during a meeting with local county and emergency responders Tuesday, May 27, 6-8 p.m. at the John Chidsey Bayfront Community Center in Sarasota.
Sarasota County wants your input on a proposal to allow the rental and use of stand-up paddleboards at county-owned beaches. Take our online survey at www.scgov.net, keyword search Paddleboard. The online survey will be available until May 26.  
A community forum will cap off the celebration of World Environment Day in Sarasota County, long known for the sustainable practices of its residents, government, organizations and businesses. The event takes place Thursday, June 5, 10:30 a.m. - noon, at Mote Marine Laboratory.
Find out at one of four free workshops that show you how to prepare your home and even save on windstorm premiums.
Sarasota County is now offering energy and water use audit kits for checkout at Sarasota County libraries. 
Sarasota County's draft Post-disaster Redevelopment Plan proposes best practices for redeveloping the community following a major disaster.Review the county's draft Post-Disaster Redevelopment Plan here.
 
About Us
Sarasota County Government 
1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota,
Florida 34236 
 Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities. View the complete policy at https://www.scgov.net/ADA/Pages/default.aspx.
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Hurricane Preparedness



A good disaster preparedness plan provides a margin of safety protecting you, your family and your neighbors. Having a disaster plan improves your communities’ ability to recover.

County Preparedness Info here.



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bee Ridge Park of Commerce Re-Zoning Continued

The Sarasota County Commission Wednesday voted to continue the rezoning petition brought by the developers of the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce.

The Commission voted unanimously (5-0) to postpone consideration of the proposed plan for the BRPOC, situated opposite the entrance to Lake Sarasota at Mauna Loa Blvd. and Bee Ridge Rd.

The Commissioners cited several reasons for not approving the petition:  For one thing, the proposal for an 77,000-square-foot building lacked clear definition of how it would be used.

"You could do something more imaginative and appealing," said Commission Nora Patterson, adding that with some creative work, it could prove to be a community asset.

For another, the request for an extra median cut in North Mauna Loa Blvd. opposite the planned Racetrac Gas Station raised public safety concerns because of its proximity to the signal at Bee Ridge and Mauna Loa Blvd.

A third issue mentioned by three of the five Commissioners was that the developer, TerraCap Management LLC and its agents, Peter Dailey and Richard Fischer, never met with neighborhood residents despite efforts from residents to open a dialogue regarding certain potential uses they found objectionable.

"I would like to see you work with them and hear their concerns and work at resolving them so this can work for everybody," said Commissioner Carolyn Mason.

"I have a bad taste in my mouth, Mr. Dailey," said Commissioner Christine Robinson. "I think it can be fixed -- the variables are troubling. I don’t see compatibility at this point."

More than one Commissioner cited a 2004 Covenant worked out for the Publix shopping plaza at Bee Ridge and Bee Ridge Extension as a model for a win/win agreement between the developer and residents. That Covenant clearly ruled out certain kinds of business uses, such as adult entertainment and taverns. It also set clear standards for signage and other elements of the plaza.

In contrast, TerraCap sought to increase its allotted signage for the BRPOC from 200 square feet to 800 square feet, plus an additional 15-foot sign.

The developer was given six months to revise its proposal, and to work with residents, with the aim of returning in October or November of this year with a plan that is clearer and more compatible with the neighborhood's wishes.

A by-product of the Commission's decision is that construction of the planned Racetrac gas station is likely to be postponed. The petroleum company was hoping to get a right-in, right-out turn lane from Bee Ridge approved, but it was part of the overall proposal that was continued with the rest of the proposed rezoning package.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Uptick in burglaries, thefts of garage door openers

Ted sends along the April crime report:

The April 2014 Sheriff's Dept. crime report shows a sharp increase in criminal activity compared to previous months. I've been afraid that something like this would happen.

There were a total of 13 incidents in April, compared to five or less over previous months. There were two acts of vandalism, five burglaries, and six thefts (auto and building).

The two acts of vandalism occurred at 4129 Wake (Sat. Apr. 19, reported 9:54 p.m.) and 6809 Jarvis Road (Tues. Apr. 29, reported 5:33 p.m.).

Four burglaries occurred Wed. Apr. 9 at the following addresses: 7226 Rangi (reported 2:49 p.m.), 4222 Palau (reported 4:34 p.m.), 3957 Palau (reported 5:09 p.m.), and 4085 Hina (reported 7:00 p.m.). A fifth burglary occurred Fri. Apr. 18 at 4163 Palau (reported 5:04 p.m.).

Two thefts occurred Sun. Apr. 6 at the following addresses: 4006 Hina (reported 12:20 p.m.) and at 4100 Westminster (reported 12:19 p.m.). Tues. Apr. 15 a theft occurred at 4192 Lancaster (reported 7:35 a.m.). Thurs. Apr. 17 a theft occurred at 7312 Mauna Loa (reported 2:08 p.m.). Another theft occurred Sunday Apr. 20 (Easter Sunday) at 7108 Rangi (reported 4:19 p.m.). Fri. Apr. 25 a theft occurred at 6918 Friendship (reported 11:26 p.m.).

The four burglaries in a row that occurred Apr. 9 in close proximity appear to have been committed by one person. Also, they appear to have been carried out in daylight, while the residents were away at work or on errands.

The 13 incidents were spread throughout the month, with the exception of four on one day (Apr. 9). They were also spread throughout the week. This is different from previous months, when incidents were concentrated at the beginning and end of the month. All 13 appear to have occurred during daylight hours, judging form the reporting times. All occurred in the central part of Lake Sarasota. The most number of incidents occurred on Palau Drive (4 total), followed by Rangi and Hina (two each).

A new practice that showed up this past month was for the criminal to break into cars to steal garage door openers for use later in burglarizing the house where the car was parked. I advise our residents not to leave their garage door openers in their cars, taking them into the house. If anyone notices a garage door opener stolen from their cars, after reporting the theft to the Sheriff's Dept., and having the code changed on the door opener itself, or keeping the garage door opener turned off except when actually using it.

The May report will determine if there is an increase in criminal activity in Lake Sarasota.

Ted Cover
Citizens Patrol
Lake Sarasota Community Group

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hearing May 21st will determine parameters of commercial uses at our doorstep

The public hearing for Rezoning Petition 13-26 is coming up at 9 a.m., Wednesday, May 21 before the County Commissioners at the Administration Building on Ringling Blvd.

The petition is to rezone about 8 acres of the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce to Commercial Neighborhood. Residents of Lake Sarasota with the support of the Bee Ridge Neighborhoods Committee have attempted to work with the developer, Terracap, and its agents to create a scope of acceptable commercial uses.

On April 3, the Planning Commission directed the developer to work with the neighborhoods' concerns, but they have ignored all efforts to communicate and to seek a win/win formula for the new development.

More details here and here.

If you think neighborhoods have a right to play a role in development that impacts them, you can call or write to the County Commissioners asking for fairness. For example, residents can ask that the Commissioners enter a stipulation that would minimize the prospect of certain kinds of nuisance business uses, including bars and restaurants with outside areas, clubs, and lodges, etc. One example of such a letter can be found here.

When residents communicate concern through calls, letters, and email to their elected officials, it can make a substantial difference. County Commissioners need to know how we feel in order to take neighborhood needs into account.

The tranquility, safety and property values of the neighborhood through the combined impact of greater traffic,  a more dangerous intersection at Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge with a giant 24-hour Racetrac gas station, restaurants, and other possibilities, including even a shooting range in the 33 acres of the PCD section -- this warrants attention and action before it's too late.

The contact info for the Commissioners is below.




Contact info for Sarasota Commissioners



Commissioner Carolyn J. Mason
1660 Ringling Blvd.
Sarasota, FL  34236
941-861-5344




Commissioner Joseph A. Barbetta
1660 Ringling Blvd.
Sarasota, FL  34236
941-861-5344




Commissioner Christine Robinson
1660 Ringling Blvd.
Sarasota, FL  34236
941-861-5344




Commissioner Nora Patterson
1660 Ringling Blvd.
Sarasota, FL  34236
941-861-5344




Commissioner Charles D. Hines, Esq.
1660 Ringling Blvd.
Sarasota, FL  34236

941-861-5344​

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Home repair loans available. Seniors get free vaccines... more from 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 pubcom@scgov.net.   
On Monday, May 5, Sarasota County Area Transit will move one of the six pick-up points it offers for veterans' transportation to Bay Pines Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in Bay Pines and James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in Tampa.
Sarasota County's new Post-disaster Redevelopment Plan proposes best practices for redeveloping the community following a major disaster.
The Sarasota Office of Housing and Community Development is offering zero-percent deferred loans for home repairs on owner-occupied homes throughout Sarasota County.
Local public health and school officials urge high school seniors to get their immunizations updated before they graduate in early June. The vaccines are available for free at the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County (DOH-Sarasota) clinics in Sarasota and North Port.

About Us
Sarasota County Government 
1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota,
Florida 34236