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Longboat Key
Saturday, September 24, 2022

Letters to the Editor week of June 17, 2022

Beach renourishment taxing districts

To: Longboat Key Commission

I received a request for a copy of the Beach Nourishment Taxing District Analysis.  The study was completed in 2014 and was the basis for the realignment of the Gulf Side and Bay Side Districts before the latest nourishment cycle.  Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

Beckyball is the solution

To: Longboat Key Commission

Beckyball is the ideal solution for the dispute between Winding Oaks and the Tennis Gardens.

It is a solution that not only does not cost money but will save a considerable expense, benefit the club members, and not disturb the neighbors.  It is a win-win for all sides.  It might require a bit of additional effort from the club crew, which, in my opinion, is the primary source of objection to Beckyball.  (Other than that, I heard no other objection.)

Beckyball is Pickleball for existing soft courts. No change to the court is required except the addition of one line, the “kitchen line.”

This line can be installed permanently or temporarily before each game. The simplest method is to draw the line with the

A mechanical line sweeper is available at each court, and many other solutions are available.

The rackets are standard Pickleball, and the balls are rubber, low-pressure training tennis balls, or high-bouncing Pickleballs.

All can be found on Amazon or the Pickleball website.

Beckyball is ideal for older players who suffer from joint concerns.  My home has been LBK for 18 years, and I know there are no young players on the island.  On the other hand, I have seen a lot of gorgeous vacant tennis courts in the Tennis Gardens and other clubs.

The people who play Beckyball call it a blessing. The newspaper covered the sport in 2 articles which you can find with plenty of other information about Becykball on the website WWW.BECKYBALL.NET

To summarize: The courts are available at no extra cost and are ideal for older people. What is there not to like? I will be delighted to answer any questions.

Yoram Ariely

Longboat Key

 

Budget Transfer Reporting Requirements

To: Longboat Key Commission

The Charter requires that the Town Manager report certain budgetary transfers each year.  Based on the completed audit for FY21, the Finance Director has identified three transfers that fall within those parameters and are provided for your information in the attached memorandum.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

COVID Update 6-14-22

To: Longboat Key Commission

Commissioners, FYI.  I spoke with Chuck Henry yesterday on the latest COVID numbers on the island.  He has continued to verbally update me each week on the status.

He mentioned that our numbers on the island have been somewhat elevated but have stayed relatively flat over the past month with a peak of 18 back in early May.  This is similar to what he is seeing in the County.

The latest weekly numbers for Longboat Key:

5/8 – 5/14           18 positives

5/15- 5/21           12 positives

5/22- 5/28           8 positives

5/29- 6/4             13 positives

6/5-6/11               5 positives

Here are the latest monthly numbers for Longboat Key:

January               195 (Delta Variant)

February             47 cases

March                  49 cases

April                     66 cases

May                     55 cases

June                      14 cases through June 11

Obviously,  the FDOH numbers only reflect those that seek formal testing versus a private at home test.  He also reported that for the first time the 7 day positivity rate in Sarasota County is less than the 14 day rate and may indicated that this current variant has peaked in our area.

Chuck said many of the new positives are vaccinated and the health impacts have not been severe. He doesn’t current have hospital capacity concerns and he continues to encourage boosters for anyone that has a risk factor including age and to be aware of the anti-viral treatment that is available for those that to contact the virus.  He said that information is available on their FDOH website and the Sarasota County website and the recommendation is to take that treatment early into having COVID related symptoms.

We will continue to monitor the data and keep in touch with the FDOH on any changes.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Bathing Zones Under Longboat Pass Bridge

To: Longboat Key Vice Mayor Maureen Merrigan

I just finished reading the article in the Longboat Key News regarding the intention to designate two bathing zones near the tip of Greer Island.

The Gulf side residents of the North End of Longboat Key commend the Town of Longboat Key for finding a proposed solution to discourage motorized vessels from congregating in this location.  However, we would appreciate equal consideration to have these “bathing zones” extended around the corner to encompass the beach in front of Longbeach Condominiums and Whitney Beach.  Were the Town of Longboat Key not to consider a wider designation for a bathing zone in this vulnerable area, they would merely be exchanging one unruly congregation zone for another.

I am concerned with the amount of irresponsible jet ski activity that I witness on the beaches in these locations that encouraging more motorized vessels to seek mooring on and near these beach areas could make an already perilous situation more perilous.

Please be sure you have thought through all the ramifications to the surrounding areas before you create more problems elsewhere. Thanks for taking these concerns into consideration when making your decision.

Debbie Murphy

Longboat Key

 

Bathing Zones Under Longboat Pass Bridge

To: Debbie Murphy

We did take a look at the north end and mid-key beaches at a prior Commission Meeting and the concern in that area seemed to be related to the jet skis, as you noted below, not adhering to the no wake zone.  So we thought the buoys that LBK North was putting in with the County would help address that issue.   Agree, we will have to keep an eye on the boating activity along the shore line – including how the new bathing zone works over near Lands End.  There is a marine safety group as part of LBK North.  Might want to have your LBK North Rep reach out to them also and/or join that group.

Also please encourage your residents to call police if they see any dangerous activity on the water.  There are several marine patrols in the area (LBK, County Sheriff, FWC) and it is important to get the issues on the record, especially if we want to pursue additional zones.

Maureen Merrigan

Vice Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Bathing Zones Under Longboat Pass Bridge

To: Longboat Key Vice Mayor Maureen Merrigan

Maureen – Thanks for the feedback.  I am copying Jim so he is aware of the marine safety group.

Debbie Murphy

Longboat Key

 

Bathing Zones Under Longboat Pass Bridge

To: LBK North members

Attached is the information regarding the ordinance the Commission is reviewing and voting on this Monday to address the motor boats that are coming ashore in the area we would like to designate for more passive recreation (swimmers, kayaks, paddle boards).  Should be in place by July 4th and have been given assurances that the police are putting in plans to effectively educate the public and enforce as needed.

Keep in mind this area will be modified as the sand there is dredged as part of keeping the cove open to water flow, for navigation to docks, and as part of the ongoing beach management plan. Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns.

Cyndi may want to share with Beach Volunteers. Lucia and Wendi may want to share with the LandsEnd and N. Shore residences accordingly. Pat K – this is good info for the marine safety team also.

Maureen Merrigan

Vice Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Ohana property beach access

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Regarding the Ohana property cutting off beach access.

I haven’t seen this procedure mentioned in the correspondence regarding this issue. In case it hasn’t been considered, here is a summary and link:

If private owner tries to cut off use of beach below the Erosion Control Line there is a procedure, based on 1974 FL Supreme Court case City of Daytona Beach v Tona-Rama, Inc, 294 So.2d 73, at 78. Essentially the town can take the Ohana owners to court and prove that part of the beach has a “prescriptive easement” (use has been ancient, reasonable, without interruption, and free from dispute).

FL statute sec. 163.035 enshrines the court case. Here’s is process:

Town can require public use of beach by

1) Publishing notice of intent to pass an ordinance

2) The notice lists affected private property & uses the public will have

3) A public hearing

4) Town files lawsuit in appropriate court requesting declaration approving public usage

5) Notifying private owner of lawsuit & chance to intervene

6) Court determines the town has proven the uses in the ordinance (i.e., walking the beach & seawall) are “ancient, reasonable, without interruption, and free from dispute.”

If court does not determine use is allowed, the town can:

1) partner with Corps of Engineers to replenish sand. If private owner refuses access, their section of beach will not be replenished, or

2) Declare eminent domain.

It certainly appears the town has a case, since Longboaters were allowed free passage along that part for many, many years before the advent of the current owners and their dog.

Meredith Ellsworth

Longboat Key

 

Free beach access past Ohana

To: Meredith Ellsworth

Thanks for your note.  When this issue first arose last Summer, we retained counsel specializing in easements and eminent domain and explored every avenue the Town might have to restore pedestrian transit across the Ohana property, including those you mention.  None were available except for reaching a consensual agreement with the owners for which they required many millions of dollars and other concessions which the Town was either not willing or not allowed by law to give.  Since then, at least one other beach owner has complained of pedestrian transit over his property and requested that any arrangement we might agree with the Ohana owners be provided to him as well.

We continue to explore possible solutions to this problem, including engineering solutions, but we do not believe the Town has a legal basis for relief.  I know some residents of the North End have been exploring the possibility of a private right of action on behalf of beach walkers that might have a somewhat different legal basis.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Free beach access past Ohana

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Thank you for your prompt reply. To be clear, you have explored the “prescriptive easement” angle? That process did seem to hold the most promise.

Meredith Ellsworth

Longboat Key

 

Free beach access past Ohana

To: Meredith Ellsworth

Yes.  The standards for that are very difficult to meet, and there were long periods of time when there was walkable sand seaward of the Ohana seawall.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Florida League of Mayors

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

I know we don’t belong to this, but I’ve received a dozen invitations to a lunch they are having this Friday in Sarasota and Sarasota Mayor Arroyo encouraged me at last week’s COGS to attend.  Apparently, membership isn’t required for this.  But could you remind me why we haven’t participated and what it would cost to join?  Maybe we should reconsider?  Thanks.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Town Center

To: Longboat Key Commission

I have some input in this regard, which would likely provide an opportunity for substantial savings on unnecessary expenses.

As you know, at the initial meeting to specify the size and scope of the outdoor stage/bandstand, the Commission was provided 3 choices of width, 40, 50, and 60 feet.  The middle width was chosen.

I’ve had occasion to view the site and look at the maps.  It is my opinion that, though it seemed reasonable at the time, 50 feet is much too wide.

It does not fit the site.  It is unnecessarily large for any contemplated function, and is much larger than any comparable facility in the area.

To provide a perspective, the Town Commission meeting room is only 40 feet wide!

And just so you know, having had considerable experience as a performer, even 40 feet is probably still too wide!  You can get lost in it, and lose intimacy/connection with the audience. Those are my thoughts.  Hope they help.

Jim Whitman

Longboat Key

 

Town Center Phase 2 Bids- Current bidding environment

To: Jim Whitman

Thank you for your thoughtful recommendation concerning plans for the Town Center stage. I am certain this issue will be thoroughly discussed at future commission meetings. As always, your observations and suggestions are appreciated.

Penny Gold

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Town Center Phase 2 Bids- Current bidding environment

To: Longboat Key Commission

Bids were due this afternoon for the Phase 2 work at the Town Center.  We knew the bidding environment would be challenging with increased costs of materials, labor, and delays in certain materials.  So, we were not completely surprised to see that pricing come in well above budget.  We did receive bids from two contractors and their base bids before any alternates ranged from just over $2M to almost $2.2M.  The base bid included pricing for the Stage- the Stage pricing from the lowest bidder was over $685K before any finish work for the restrooms.  The bids were just opened this afternoon so we are still reviewing them and will be prepared to discuss options moving forward as part of the upcoming budget workshop on June 20th.

Similarly, our bidding for fence contractors for replacing the chain link fence at the Tennis Center also closed.  We only received one bid and it was double the price estimate and budget ($120K versus $260K). We received comments from the contractor after their bid that chain link material costs have gone up 200% and labor costs have also gone up significantly.  They also indicated delays in receiving materials and completing the work.  Their proposed schedule would have pushed us well into season for the work to be complete.   The staff is still review the bid and options and we will also update the Commission on that project as well at the budget workshop.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Town Center Phase 2 Bids- Current bidding environment

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

Wow – we are not even in the ballpark.

BJ Bishop

Commissioner

Longboat Key

Gulf of Mexico Drive repairs

To: Longboat Key Commission

We mentioned previously that the FDOT would be making some repairs on GMD.  They did the short segment milling and resurfacing repairs in a couple of locations and are now planning to do some follow-up pothole repairs.  The plan to start work on Tuesday evening June 14 with lane closures as necessary between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Pothole Repairs SR 789 Longboat Key

To: Longboat Key Public Works Director Isaac Brownman

Good morning, I wanted to inform you that Midwestern Construction will be starting Tuesday night 6/14/22 making pothole repairs.

The crew is anticipating starting lane closures at 7:00pm and being off of the road by 6:00am. This is the plan however with the afternoon rains this may affect any schedules.

Attached is a spreadsheet showing the locations to be repaired. I am aware that within these limits there is cracking asphalt. The pothole contractor is specific for potholes only.

I have reached out to my Milling and Resurfacing contractor to make repairs to the larger areas.

I will inform you all after a schedule has been confirmed. Please reach out if you have any questions, concerns or complaints, thank you.

Lori Weakley

Contract Coordinator II

Florida Department of Transportation

 

Justice for Tenants

To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown

Hi, My name is Adam, I am calling to demand Special Magistrate Richard Ellis is removed from his position due to his unlawful and unethical treatment of his tenant Alaina Martinez. In response to his tenant requesting a mold report after her son landed in the ICU, Mr. Ellis increased his tenant’s rent $1,000 per month and subsequently terminated her lease due to the mold which was pre-existing to the property; however, the people have evidence showing that there was mold in the house prior to this tenant moving in. It appears that Mr. Ellis paints over the mold between tenants, but doesn’t properly remediate the mold.

In addition, just last week after the @sptenantsunion sent an email to the slumlord outlining their demands to provide safe housing to this tenant, someone claiming to be with the city showed up stating that they received a complaint about some trash cans. The city agency that enforced trash cans is codes compliance, where slumlord Riichard Ellis is a special magistrate. Makes us wonder if he is using the power of his office to further retaliate against his tenant. We demand an investigation by the City Commission and also the removal of Richard Ellis as a special magistrate. The people deserve better than a slumlord hearing their cases.”

Adam Wentworth

Sarasota

Code Enforcement anonymity

To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown

I wanted to add that with the passage of Senate Bill 60 that became law on July 1, 2021, our Code Compliance Division has become mostly proactive rather than reactive when it comes to cases initiated.  In prior years, the  division relied heavily on complaints being made by city residents along with City staff.  Our current percentage of proactive cases has risen to around 75-80% of our total case load.  This means that our code inspectors are out in the neighborhoods taking a closer look at a larger number of properties rather than focusing just on properties that receive complaints.

Lucia Panica

Director of Development Services

City of Sarasota

Flooding on Shade/Alta Vista Neighborhood

To: Sarasota City Engineer Nik Patel

Are you aware of any flooding issues on Shade in the Alta Vista neighborhood other than during torrential downpours? Can we see that all stormwater drainage systems in the area are clear of debris. Thank you.

Marlon Brown

City Manager

City of Sarasota

Flooding on Shade/Alta Vista Neighborhood

To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown

We asked the County yesterday to clean all stormwater drainage systems in the area of Shade in the Alta Vista Neighborhood and have our folks clear the debris on Shade in the Alta Vista neighborhood.

Other than the typical torrential downpours, we are unaware of any flooding issues except 8th St and Apricot Ave. See attachment for the latest correspondence with Kim Livengood regarding property north of 8th Street and west of Apricot Ave. There were flooding issues at this location last year. County inspected and observed earthwork construction underway at 802 Mango Ave without any BMPs to prevent erosion into the ditch. The ditch is privately owned/maintained and is immediately downstream of the stormwater system on 8th street. The operation of the ditch directly impacts drainage at the intersection of 8th Street and Apricot Ave. Ms. Livengood did not provide us with the Easement. Let me know if you have any questions.

Nik Patel

City Engineer, City of Sarasota

 

Flooding on Shade/Alta Vista Neighborhood

To: Larry Silvermintz

Can you please get me details about flooding on Shade in your neighborhood?

Jen Ahearn-Koch

City Commissioner, City of Sarasota

 

Flooding on Shade/Alta Vista Neighborhood

To: Sarasota City Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch

Thank you so much for taking an interest, Commissioner.

In brief, the area around Novus St (the traffic circle) and also around Tami Sola St (by the school parking lots and across from the homes). regularly floods from rain.   

I can email the neighbors asking them to share more of their experience if you like.

Larry Silvermintz

Sarasota

 

Flooding on Shade/Alta Vista Neighborhood

To: Larry Silvermintz

Thanks Larry. I have copied Mr. Brown in this email so he should be able to use the information and details you provided and follow up.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

City Commissioner

City of Sarasota

 

Flooding on Shade/Alta Vista Neighborhood

To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown

Those have been addressed by the County.  Please note that the location below meets level of service per Sarasota County at Novus St and also around Tami Sola.  After the rain event on Saturday, the County observed the water receded within 24 hours.  See attached.

Nik Patel

City Engineer

City of Sarasota

 

Flooding on Shade/Alta Vista Neighborhood

To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown

May I request a short meeting with you and staff to go over this so I have a better understanding of the issues and locations? 15 mins max.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

City Commissioner

City of Sarasota

 

Downtown Sarasota Restaurants

To: Sarasota City Commission

With Covid restrictions lifted, I am requesting that you remove the downtown restaurants’ permission to use the street for extended seating. The barriers they have used are unsightly, and litter is a common problem. Allow shoppers to reclaim the parking they have lost. I believe you have an obligation to look seriously at the restaurants’ advantage over the public nuisance.

Maryann Armour

Sarasota

 

Downtown Sarasota Restaurants

To: Sarasota City Commission

What is the status of the downtown restaurant seating on the streets? I understand the streets were used to provide adequate outdoor seating throughout the pandemic but it appears the restaurants are no longer suffering. The last I heard was that there was a vote to extend seating through the end of 2021. I’d like to understand the city’s plan now and moving forward. The condition is unsightly and not a good representation of our downtown.

Maryann Armour

Sarasota

 

Downtown Sarasota Restaurants

To: Maryann Armour

Thanks for your email concerning downtown outdoor street dining. I have copied the City Manager on this email to respond with the most up to date statistics and information.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

City Commissioner

City of Sarasota

Seizure of Personal Property and its Impact

To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown

I’m writing to all parties in relation to a recent decision at a hearing conducted on May 5 regarding my son, Cory DeFerrari.

My son currently resides on a 38’ Cabin Cruiser outside of the Marina Jack mooring field and also owns another 31’8” Cabin Cruiser at anchor, with his goal of moving the smaller of the two onto a mooring ball.

The 38’ C.C. was obtained from Marina Jack by my son via an auction when I was on vacation with my wife. Cory was not allowed to board or inspect the vessel prior to open bidding. The vessel became subject to auction upon the death of the elderly gentleman who owned it, with apparently no family. Marina Jack’s intent was to remove it from their slips in the marina since it was no longer generating income.

There are several issues I have with this sale by the marina to my son. Number one being that my son has a mental handicap for which he receives Social Security disability benefits. I am his “Payee” and all monies go into a separate account in my name first and then distributed to Cory on a weekly basis to accommodate his needs, in other words an “allowance”. Cory was determined by S.S. Administration of not being competent to handle his money. He texted me to please deposit $600 into his account as he wanted to buy this “great” boat that would improve his living conditions from the small sailboat he was currently living on at the time. I had purchased that boat for him to get him out of a homelessness situation as he was living in his car under the Ringling bridge and various parking lots. Cory had lost his job and apartment after being let go because of his condition which is severe ADHD, depression and other issues. This was before he qualified for S.S. benefits. His lack of concentration and focus makes it near impossible for him to hold a job for any period of time. I know this because I was his sole employer until 2010, basically since high school, with my construction oriented business. Cory could only be given one task at a time which he may or may not have completed before losing interest.

By buying him the sailboat gave him a sense of purpose and the feeling he now has a “home” to be proud of and the responsibility of a “homeowner”, something he never thought he would able to obtain with his issues. It’s his home not just a boat or a pleasure craft or a toy!

Buying the bigger C.C. from the marina was improving his living conditions considerably by having an A/C, full sized bed, kitchen, etc. But the one thing it did not have was a working motor which was not mentioned by the marina thus resulting in Cory having to hire individuals with boats to tow him from the slip to the open bay only after paying the marina slippage fees waiting for his tow, resulting in hundreds of more dollars from his S.S. benefits he had just started to receive.

It was just a matter of time before he got his first visit from SPD Marine Division questioning and informing him that his boat needed an operational engine or engines which obviously was known by others when leaving the marina under tow. The engines were frozen and replacement would be in the tens of thousands… impossible for Cory or myself to fix. Living on a boat at anchor is not easy without electric, running water, and continually subject to bad weather and rough seas when commuting by kayak or canoe to shore. This is not the life he wants but it is the only life he can afford in Sarasota. Cory is not a transient and is part of a family that moved to Sarasota in 1960, he is 41 years old and Sarasota has been his home.

Now moving to the issues with the boats. Officer Skinner and Dixon testified that the two boats were “derelict vessels” with non-functioning engines and claiming they had fouled steering and propulsion issues. Granted the 38’ C.C. his “home” does fit that description thanks mostly to Marina Jack’s sale of a “derelict vessel” to begin with. But the 31’ 8” C.C. has a working motor as was mentioned at the hearing, but had fuel problems at the time which needed a marine mechanic to fix.

Cory was not given ample time to fix three boats (another sailboat was dropped after Cory showed proof it had been fixed at the hearing). Cory finally found a mechanic to come out to his boat (not an easy task) on the Saturday May 7 after the hearing (5/5/22). Together they fixed the fuel problem in 5 hours. Video evidence was sent to Officer Skinner’s phone that same day with Cory asking him to forward it to the magistrate before making his decision which was alluded in the hearing would be early the next week.

In a phone call to me after the receiving of the letters confirming the upcoming seizures and destruction of the boats Off. Skinner indicated “new evidence” could not be submitted. If the decision had not been reached by 5/7/22 when the video was sent to him how could that be construed as “new evidence”?

The other issue deeming the boats as being “derelict vessels” was the video evidence submitted showing the hulls of the boats covered in barnacles. The issue of the barnacles is an easy fix requiring a diver to scrape them off at an approximate cost of $150-$200. Cory had a diver scheduled that same weekend but cancelled on him due to contracting Covid.

During the hearing I asked Off. Skinner if that video evidence would be consistent to almost every other boat at anchor for a considerable period of time to which he didn’t give an answer. Cory had last used the 31’8” C.C. during the offshore races the weekend of 7/4/21 taking it into the Gulf with a friend, making it there and back without a problem.

Why is this not considered a Code Enforcement type issue instead of a potential action to seize and destroy someone’s home? Barnacles growing on the bottom of a boat is like grass growing in someone’s yard…you don’t seize and destroy a home if they fail to cut the grass! You give them a fair amount of time to fix the problems then maybe a fine, not destroy!

Cory was not given a reasonable amount of time to make all the necessary repairs to these boats before the decision. Partly because of his mental condition and lack of money.

The city’s intent is to remove these boats from the water, but Cory was blocked from selling, giving to a salvage company or donating to a charity by a stop sale order imposed by SPD.

Not allowing him to do this and the seizure and destruction thus resulting in fines he can’t nor is obligated to pay to to his disability by federal law makes zero sense. Who wins here? The city creates another homeless situation, has to pay for destruction of the boats and also creates another scenario where Cory may lose his Florida drivers license because of not paying fines that by law he is not obligated to pay.We’re talking about not only leaving him homeless but now without a vehicle to get him to doctor appointments, pharmacy,groceries,shelter,etc.

Cory is currently in contact with H.O.T. (homeless outreach team) headed by Dede Jones and working with Krystal Frazier, but as we know, finding housing for someone with limited funds from a disability disbursement of only $1045 per month won’t be easy in today’s market. He has Medicaid help for prescriptions but it does not cover the full amounts and also an EBT card which recently cut benefits.

In summary, ideally, if a solution could be reached allowing him to give up the boat he is currently living on (38’ Cabin Motorboat) to a salvage company or for a charitable donation to an organization (Boats for Veterans or Heroes on the Water,etc.) and letting him keep the 31’8” Cabin Motorboat to live on legally at a Marina Jack mooring ball, at least until he can obtain suitable housing on land(not a shelter, halfway house or group home) and be able to sell or donate that boat as well when the time comes.

The seizure of his boats are scheduled around the 22nd of June, so obviously this requires some immediate attention and review.

Brian DeFerrari

Sarasota

 

Seizure of Personal Property and its Impact

To: Brian Deferrari

Thank you for your email. As with all issues of a legal nature, I am copying the City Attorney, Mr. Fournier, on this email to respond.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

City Commissioner

City of Sarasota

Limelight Community Garden Problem

To: Sarasota City Development Services Director Lucia Panica

Since September 2021,  we have spent thousands of personal money and hundreds of man hours to transform an overgrown property into the future Limelight Community Garden. For years, roofing companies were illegally dumping on the land. It was so overgrown that homeless people were living there. We were constantly calling the police when we found drug needles because children cut through the land and we were concerned.

Ever since we started clearing it, I feel like we have had a target on our back and I don’t understand why. It took months to get the permit for the fence. And now, we have a stop order from code compliance.

Gardens are allowed in IWL according to the code. So, I don’t understand what needs to be done for us to continue the great work we are doing.

Can you make time to help us understand what we need to do to continue to move forward? I am very flexible Monday – Wednesday.

Kim Livengood

Sarasota

 

Limelight Community Garden Problem

To: Kim Livengood

Kevin started engaging in conversations with you in November 2021 as soon as we heard about the proposed use. The use, as was being advertised, was different than any use in our use tables (and different than a typical community garden) so we requested a narrative from you in order to make sure that it was a permitted use in order to avoid coming across major obstacles in the future. We requested that the narrative be submitted through a Zoning Code Confirmation request so the determination could be put as part of our official records. Kevin worked with you on the narrative from November 2021 to January 2022 but the finalized narrative was never submitted and a determination was never made.  We still need the use narrative in order to make a determination that the use is permitted.  Please submit this request with a Zoning Code Confirmation application through the City Auditor and Clerk’s Office.

Additionally, structures and most improvements on a site require permit approval.  I would suggest we do a site visit to talk about what structures and improvements require an after the fact permit.  We are by no means disagreeing on the impact that you are having on the Limelight District but we just to follow the processes and Codes that are in place.  This is the case for everyone in the City and not just you.

Lucia Panica

Director, Development Services

City of Sarasota

 

Limelight Community Garden Problem

To: Sarasota City Development Services Director Lucia Panica

I have included all Commissioners so that they too can read the original e-mail from Ms. Livengood and your response of what is still needed to proceed. Thank you.

Marlon Brown

City Manager

City of Sarasota

 

Limelight Community Garden Problem

To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown

Thank you for the response, for copying me on the communications, and for explaining the process.

Please continue to copy me on the correspondence. If I can be of any help as Ms Livengood continues through the process, let me know.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

City Commissioner

City of Sarasota

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