Monday, June 30, 2014

2050 Plan completes round of public hearings

The third and last public meeting focusing on changes to the Sarasota 2050 Plan was held Monday evening at Twin Lakes Park. Approximately 125 people were there to listen and to discuss many ramifications of the proposed changes.

There is still time to get up to speed on this very important issue. The plan will be going through public hearings in July and August and is scheduled to be voted on before the November election.

Some background information is here. Many more documents focusing on parts of the plan are here, on the lower right side of the page. From this page residents can also submit comments or questions that are posted here.

In brief: Many people feel that the changes to the 2050 plan dilute it and essentially open the floodgates to rapid and poorly conceived development east of I-75. They see the primary movers of the changes to be a handful of developers and builders who simply wish to put more of the same sort of housing and commerce in the rural lands to the East that already exist west of I-75.

Is there an alternative to more gated communities, malls, and strip malls in East County? Here's one media viewpoint. What do you think?




Friday, June 20, 2014

Orchard Festival, Free HIV testing, One-Night Rodeo, more


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 pubcom@scgov.net.   
SATURDAYThe festival will be held Saturday, June 21, 8:30 a.m.-noon, at Colonial Oaks Park. It will feature free youth birdhouse-building workshops, fruit tastings, and information on growing fruit trees and the "Growing Fruit Trees and Kids" program.
SATURDAY: The North Port Library will host a free discussion titled "Overview of Parkinson's Disease and the Supportive Role of Neuro Challenge Foundation" Saturday, June 21, 10:30 a.m.-noon.
Free HIV testing will be available to the public at several locations in Sarasota County as part of the 20th Annual National HIV Testing Day observance during the next several weeks.
Free HIV testing will be available to the public at several locations in Sarasota County as part of the 20th Annual National HIV Testing Day observance during the next several weeks.
Health Department and Emergency Management officials will host a free luncheon meeting to update local faith-based organizations on procedures for the upcoming hurricane season on June 25.
Don your Stetson and grab your boots, because local country music sensation One Night Rodeo is bringing its smooth-as-sipping whiskey harmonies mixed with a high-octane, full-throttle show to the Venice Community Center.  
Sarasota County's beach lifeguard operational hours have been extended from 10 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. daily. The extended hours will run through the Labor Day weekend.  
 
About Us
Sarasota County Government 
1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota,
Florida 34236 
 Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities. View the 

Monday, June 16, 2014

East Sarasota 2050 - What is at stake?

The Sarasota 2050 plan offers generous development options in exchange for taxpayer and community protections. But what began as a compromise and is being finagled into a free ride. More here.

What one community leader is saying:
The deal struck with Sarasota 2050 is this: If you want to develop rural land at high density before we need to move the USB, then you pay for the infrastructure and develop in an efficient, environmentally friendly way that creates enough tax revenue to pay for the services the development requires. Now 6 firms want to keep increased density and welch on the rest. This isn't about the free market, this is about a free ride. - Cathy Antunes, vp Sarasota CONA

Find out for yourself:

Sarasota County Public Information Meetings about 2050:


    June 18, 2014 
Robert L. Anderson Administration Center, Commission Chamber,
4000 S.Tamiami Tr., Venice, FL 

June 26, 2014 
County Administration Center, Commission Chamber, 1st Floor,
1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL

June 30, 2014 
Twin Lakes Park, Green Building, 
6700 Clark Rd., Sarasota, FL 

Meeting time for all of the above is 6 pm


Friday, June 13, 2014

Kicking off the expansion of Bee Ridge Rd. July 11, 10 am


Come out to the Fire Station #8 to celebrate the start of the widening of Bee Ridge Road, the single most significant transformation of the area in decades.

The Groundbreaking is at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 11. 

Learn about how the roadwork will proceed, and find out how it will look when done. Plenty of parking available around the Firehouse.

Free refreshments!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Discussions with Developer, signs removed, Sheriff's report, more.

Highlights of the June Quarterly meeting of the Lake Sarasota Community Group (LSCG):

1. Representatives of TerraCap Mgmt Inc. told the LSCG board and members of the community that they could be open to a "Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions" modeled upon that employed at the Publix Plaza at Bee Ridge Extension. A rough draft of a Declaration for the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce will be drawn up and shared with the Community for comment and feedback before further talks are held. The purpose is to identify legally binding constraints that would protect Lake Sarasota residences from noise, glare, and other potential nuisances, as well as produce an appealing upscale commercial center.


2. Plans were made to rescue the Lake Sarasota signs at the entrance at Mauna Loa. The task proved easier than expected, and the signs are now in safe keeping. The concern was that they might be lost once the Bee Ridge road widening begins. If a child reports that they were stolen, please reassure them that all's well.


3. That widening of Bee Ridge is set to begin fairly soon - more on this soon. A question was raised about the landscaping and buffering designed for Bee Ridge along Lake Sarasota, because of concerns about noise from proposed restaurants at the BRPOC. We'll look into it and report back.


4. Sheriff's Report: After a high incidence of break-ins in April, there were no break-ins in May, and only five reported incidents. Ted still reminds everyone to not leave their garage openers in cars parked in the driveway. And folks with numerical keypad openers should keep them clean of wear, or thieves can quickly decipher the code, he added.


5. The current LSCG Treasury balance is $297.46.


6. Former board president Sandy Allen tendered her resignation Thursday. Former former board president Bill Pitt was nominated, unanimously elected, and accepted the job. The Lake Sarasota Board is a wholly volunteer group dedicated to the betterment of this community.


If you wish to be on the email list to see a draft of the Declaration of Covenants being considered, let us know at LakeSarasota@gmail.com. No need to write if you're already receiving our emails.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Help create a neighborhood-friendly Covenant

This evening, June 12, is our quarterly Lake Sarasota Community Group meeting. It begins at 7 pm at Sarasota Alliance Church, on the North side of Bee Ridge Rd., opposite Chaucer, in the meeting rooms behind the church.

Here is the Agenda:
  • Discussion of Neighborhood-Friendly Covenant for the development opposite our front entrance with Representatives of TerraCap.
  • Rescuing the existing Lake Sarasota signs at Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge before the road widening begins.
  • Update on the timing of the Bee Ridge Road Widening.
  • Update on Sheriff's report for Lake Sarasota.
Brief background on the first item:

Ever since the residents of Lake Sarasota were surprised to learn about the plan for a supersized Racetrac gas station at Bee Ridge Rd. and Mauna Loa Blvd. in 2012, some of us have tried to keep an eye on plans for "Bee Ridge Park of Commerce" (BRPOC) to avoid further surprises.



In April, we wrote a letter to the developer asking him to work with us on a set of covenants for the BRPOC. We took as our model an agreement entered into by the developer of the Publix Plaza at Bee Ridge Extension. There, the nearby neighborhoods and the developer signed a legally binding agreement (a "Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions" - attached) that addressed all the potential nuisance issues - lighting, noise, hours of operation, signage, traffic, kinds of businesses (no adult bars, shooting ranges, etc.). 

The agents for the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce did not reply to our April letter. Subsequently their plans were frozen by the County Commission, who directed them to work with neighboring communities to create a win/win solution.

We are asking the developers of the BRPOC for the same sort of agreement that the Publix Plaza worked out in 2004. We note that the BRPOC and Racetrac will be a lot closer to our homes than the Publix Plaza is to the gated communities down there.

We believe we have acted in the best interest of our community's quality of life and property values. Not all agree. If you can, show your support for our effort by coming to Thursday's meeting.

In brief: We are not trying to block the developer's plan. We're simply trying to put in place legal limits to negative impacts -- 24 hour trucks and cars, lights, noise, traffic, fumes, stress on our entrance intersection, etc.

Come out and tell us your ideas.

Thank you.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Discussion with Developer June 12th

Representatives of the developer of the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce say they plan to attend the quarterly meeting of the Lake Sarasota Community Group this Thursday, June 12. They indicate the possibility of working with Lake Sarasota residents on a neighborhood-friendly Covenant regarding the site and business uses.

The meeting begins at 7 pm at Sarasota Alliance Church.

The letter from Mr. Peter Dailey reads in part:

Thank you for inviting us to your  June 12th Lake Sarasota Community Group meeting. We have been authorized by our clients (Terracap Management, Inc.) to attend and look forward to sharing meaningful dialog per matters of concern (this is “Notice” we will attend). 

As requested, please accept the following outline of matters we are prepared to discuss and those we simply cannot: 
  1. We are prepared to discuss the possibility of a “privately initiated” Restrictive Covenant Agreement (to be filed with Sarasota Clerk of Circuit Court) per permitted land uses in both the PCD and CN Zone Districts of BRPOC. 
  2. As to any site plan changes, the BRPOC main infrastructure is fully permitted and built (except for various parcel interiors). Thus, there are no proposed site plan changes to discuss. 
  3. The Race Trac Company owns the Bee Ridge/Mauna Loa NE corner parcel (fee simple). How they develop their facility is now governed by existing PCD zoning and SC land development regulations. We have no authority to discuss or affect matters related to the development of their land.
The reference to a Restrictive Covenant Agreement relates to a request from Lake Sarasota that the developer of the BRPOC work with the neighborhood to avoid potentially harmful or nuisance modes of commerce. The developer, TerraCap Mgmt Inc., failed to win County approval of its plans for the Bee Ridge Park of Commerce. Story here.

Other items on the Agenda include:
  • Rescuing the existing Lake Sarasota signs at Mauna Loa and Bee Ridge before the road widening begins.
  • Update on the timing of the Bee Ridge Road Widening.
  • Update on Sheriff's report for Lake Sarasota.



FDOT meeting regarding changes to I-75

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), District One, is holding a public information meeting regarding design improvements to Interstate 75 (I-75) from north of Fruitville Road to north of University Parkway in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The public meeting is being held from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at the Holiday Inn Lakewood Ranch Osprey Room, 6231 Lake Osprey Drive, Sarasota, Florida 34240. FDOT will hold this meeting to give interested persons the opportunity to view the proposed design, review displays, talk one-on-one with staff, and make comments about the project.
The 3.5 mile design project includes reconstructing the I-75/University Parkway interchange from the existing diamond design to a diverging diamond interchange (DDI) design, the first DDI in Florida to advance to the final design phase. The project also widens I-75, from north of Fruitville Road to north of University Parkway, to an eight-lane highway with three through lanes and one auxiliary lane in each direction. The project also includes widening about one mile of University Parkway from the Cattlemen Road/Cooper Creek Boulevard intersection to the Market Street/Lake Osprey Drive intersection. 

FDOT developed this meeting in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related statutes. FDOT solicits public participation without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability or family status.  People requiring special accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disability Act of 1990 or people that require translation services (free of charge) at the meeting should contact Kevin Ingle at 863-519-2740 or by e-mail to kevin.ingle@dot.state.fl.us at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting. 
For additional information about the project, please contact myself or Kevin Ingle. [More here.]

Thank you,

Nicole E. Mills, P.E.
District Project Management Engineer
Florida Department of Transportation
District One
801 North Broadway, MS 1-29
Bartow, Florida 33830
(863) 519-2277 – desk

Thursday, June 05, 2014

June Public Meetings to Review Changes in 2050 Policy

The 2050 Plan provides a vision of how, when, where, and who will pay for the development of East Sarasota County. Large tracts of land will be developed according to the rules set by the 2050 Plan.



If you wish to have some understanding of 2050 (that is the date to which the County is attempting to plan for), or if you wish to provide your input to County staff and officials, some upcoming events offer an opportunity.

The following public meetings have been scheduled in the ongoing effort to review Sarasota 2050 RMA Policy and implementation regulations. All interested parties are encouraged to attend in order to learn more about proposed changes and provide input.

  • June 18, 2014 – 2050 Phase 3 Information
    6 p.m. Public Meeting
    Robert L. Anderson Administration Center
    Commission Chamber
    4000 South Tamiami Trail, Venice, FL 34293

  • June 26, 2014 – 2050 Phase 3 Information
    6 p.m. Public Meeting
    Sarasota County Administration Center
    Commission Chamber
    1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34236

  • June 30, 2014 – 2050 Phase 3 Information
    6 p.m. Public Meeting
    Twin Lakes Park
    Green Building
    6700 Clark Road, Sarasota, FL 34241

County News and Upates


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 pubcom@scgov.net.   
 
Editor's note: Sarasota County News and Updates will return with more county news onJune 19.
SATURDAY: Sarasota County will hold its annual free community cleanup for the Proctor and Wilkinson area Saturday, June 7.
SATURDAYJoin the celebration of National Trails Day Saturday, June 7, at 10:30 a.m. for a ribbon cutting to officially open the renovated Nokomis Community Park playground.
Volunteer Community Connections will conduct its second annual mock disaster exercise on Wednesday, June 11,  6-7:30 p.m., at North Port Library.  
The black and white photographs of J.B. McCourtney that chronicle more than seven decades of "old Florida" are now on display in the Terrace Building, 101 S. Washington Blvd., Sarasota.    
Parents who are looking for healthy activities for kids this summer can find a great one at the "Kids' Summer Beach Runs" presented by Sarasota County Parks and Recreation and New Balance Sarasota.  
The meetings take place in June and July for those interested in learning more about proposed changes.  
Sarasota County's beach lifeguard operational hours have been extended 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.
 
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.