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Saturday, September 24, 2022

Letters to the Editor week of June 3, 2022

Whitney Beach

To: Longboat Key Commission

I was at the beach on Memorial Day with a friend who is a 6th generation Floridian around 5 p.m.  We were both appalled, disgusted and shocked at the condition some of the “All Day-ers” left the parking lot and designated garbage area at Whitney Beach.  This is a gorgeous beach and I watched the renovations last year in awe.  I suggest metered parking to eliminate a lot of the people who spend all day piling up and taking over the whole beach throwing parties.  From what I understand, this was not originally designed to be a public beach and this is the overflow crowd from Coquina Beach.  There was a large family who took over the entire seating area on the boardwalk with a BBQ pit, and left behind a dirty diaper in the plants.  It is so unnecessary we should have to even look at these nasty people with no consideration for nature.  I would research Palm Beach, Aspen and other small high-income areas, where parking is $5 an hour in some areas.  The City needs to have a serious meeting with Manatee County to determine the best way forward with metered parking immediately and if tax payers so want the beach available to all of these rude groups, then we should hire a full time cleaning crew as well as patrols to ensure that alcohol is not being abused on the beach.  It is very dangerous to drink in the sun and then drive after a long day out.

Whitney Plaza needs to step up to the place and tow these people out too.  They aren’t coming out here to spend money…we as a community have no use for people who intentionally destroy property.

Christina Vescovo

Longboat Key

 

Editorial piece by Gregory Rusovich

To: Editor

I would hope credibility would be a newspaper’s most cherished asset.  Sarasota City News loses credibility when it prints editorial opinion pieces like Gregory Rusovich’s (May 20, 2022).

He laments high inflation and supposed “historic levels” of illegal immigration, blaming the Biden administration’s “perplexing” economic policies, and lack of a rational approach to immigration. His answer: lower tax rates, fewer regulations, controlled government spending. And, basically, simply close the border. However, such simplistic answers to complex problems are disingenuous and not credible.  They are simply thinly veiled attacks on the Biden administration that are neither achievable in this splintered congress nor an answer, especially in our current situation.

Our current inflation is the expected result of necessary, prudent and appropriate actions taken in response to the COVID emergency. The Government poured money into the economy to help individuals and businesses survive the economic turndown due to the epidemic. What was it supposed to do? Let people starve and the economy collapse? Then, there is the supply side shortages due to the pandemic. Thus, you have too many dollars in the system chasing too few goods, resulting in inflation. Our current situation has nothing to do with too many regulations or high taxes, a favorite right-wing talking point.

Furthermore, massive corporations are enjoying massive net profits fueled by consumers, also contributing to inflation. Gas prices are set by the companies not the government, and oil and gas companies currently hold numerous drilling leases they are not utilizing. The price of gas soars because of the conduct of the gas and oil industry. Tell it like it is: price gouging.

History tells us that inflation will calm as things return to normal when supply chains open up, the Ukrainian war ends, manufacturing returns to normal, and goods become more plentiful.

As to attempted illegal immigration at our southern border, no administration has found an answer consistent with respecting human rights and morals. The distressing situation and conditions in certain Central and South American countries compel people to seek safety and a better life in the U.S.A. The “America First” policies of the last administration have made the situation more dire by failing to help our neighbors.

Finally, Rusovich’s closing salvo of misinformation concerns misinformation itself. The unfortunately named Disinformation Governance Board was not established as a “free speech muzzling entity,” for the purpose of suppressing free speech. It’s self-stated purpose was “to protect National security by disseminating guidance to Department of Homeland Security agencies on combating foreign misinformation, malinformation, and disinformation.  These are highly laudable goals.

I understand that an editorial opinion page prints opinions which by definition are not necessarily based on fact, but readers deserve better than a piece like Rusovich’s purporting to be a fact-based think tank worthy explanation of current issues. It is not. It’s simply another attempted hit piece on the Biden administration based on falsehoods. A credible publication ought to avoid this kind of misinformation. Just my opinion.

Eric  Abramson

Sarasota/Longboat Key

 

Boats docked in canal

To: Longboat Key Commission

I understand a representative from Country Club Shores will be at the Commission Meeting on Monday to present a petition and concern about one of their residents having too large of a boat docked in the canal. They would do that under Public Comments.

I have been advised that several months ago code enforcement and PD both investigated. It was determined that there is no code violation and PD determined that the canal was still navigable. Not aware of any other communication since then until I saw their note this week.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Pre-dredging or digging state

To: Longboat Key Commission

This is a video that I made yesterday to record the pre dredging or pre digging state.

Manatees come each day to visit the Greer Preserve Bay.  You will need to leave the access to the bay open while you are dredging.  You should not block the entrance to the bay from the manatees unless you want to endanger their existence.  See the sand screen in the video from last years photos which totally blocked the entrance.

You are welcome to share this video.

Tom Mayers

Longboat Key

 

Pre-dredging or digging state

To: Tom Mayers

Thanks Tom, will be sure Isaac has this.

BJ Bishop

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Pre-dredging or digging state

To: Longboat Key Commissioner BJ Bishop

Commissioner Bishop, thanks for the email. I haven’t seen this video before.

The staff and consultant will be providing a status on Monday on their environmental permits and plans to do both the shorter-term temporary dredge and the longer term spit management plan dredge and relocation of sand from the spit.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Tropical Weather update

To: Longboat Key Commission

See attached update on Potential Tropical Cyclone (PTC) 1 from the National Weather Service.  It’s current track shows landfall on the west coast of Florida over the weekend. It is currently expected to be at or below tropical storm force winds, but we may experience some heavy rainfall amounts as it crosses the State.

We will share additional updates from the County and the National Weather Service in the morning as the track and intensity for our area becomes a bit clearer.

The public safety and public works staff is monitoring the storm and will take any necessary preparedness efforts before the weekend.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Tropical Weather update

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

At the hurricane meeting we had Bob Harrigan with us for all 3 hours – it was like a personal update every 10 minutes. Fingers crossed the rain numbers don’t hit the big numbers.

BJ Bishop

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Appropriation for Wastewater Line Project

To: Longboat Key Commission

Representative McFarland called to let us know that our $800,000 appropriation request for our Wastewater Line Project is included in the budget the Governor signed this afternoon.  I thanked her again on behalf of the Town for her support all the way through to the final Governor’s signature.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Appropriation for Wastewater Line Project

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

I just had the same conversation with Senator Boyd.  All good.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

State Appropriation Request Approved

To: Honorable Fiona McFarland

Representative Macfarland- Thank you so much for your support and the great news that the funding for our wastewater line has been signed by the Governor. Your work on this issue is greatly appreciated.

BJ Bishop

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Thank you for attending seminar

To: Longboat Key Commission

I simply want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for taking the time to attend the seminar this afternoon.  We had around 100 attendees.  Thank you again as you all make a difference.

Paul B. Dezzi

Fire Chief

Town of Longboat Key

 

Thank you for attending seminar

To: Longboat Key Fire Chief Paul Dezzi

Great program. It is the people who were not there we have to worry about. Hoping this weekend is not too crazy.

BJ Bishop

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

Please add petition regarding private canals and vessels

To: Longboat Key Commission

As a concerned homeowner and the HOA President of Country Club Shores I & II, it is imperative that our residents’ voice be heard concerning our shared private canals, and the permanent tethering of large vessels on the outside of a dock structure, extending significantly past the allowance as stated in the 30-foot or 30 percent ordinance.

After many discussions with impacted homeowners, regarding a large vessel in the canal between Sloop and Ketch Lane in Country Club Shores, we have a signed petition from approximately 80 percent (in process) of the homeowners opposing this method of docking.

We are following the ordinance of 158.099 – “Structures over water” –  if the intent  is that a “dock” includes the area that the boat is moored and the “boatlift” also includes the boat mooring area,  it follows that this ordinance should preclude an owner from permanently mooring a large vessel on the outside of the approved dock structure (we are defining permanent as more than 30 days, but this should  be consistent with current ordinances).  As an example, the vessel in question has been moored in this manner since November 2021.

It is our interpretation of the said ordinance that this situation is already addressed, however the current language does not provide specific guidelines, which essentially prevents enforcement.

Consistent with other ordinances, we believe that temporarily tethering a boat anywhere on a CCS dock is not an issue, as it is similarly not an issue to have a POD storage unit in your driveway, as long as it is temporary (~5 days limit).

Our concerns are heightened as the homeowner is currently selling his home and promoting the fact that an “80-foot vessel/boat” can be permanently moored on the outside of the dock structure.   As you may be aware,  Don and Susie Robinson of 500 Ketch Lane who lodged the original complaint, decided to sell their property, primarily due to the lack of ability to address this situation.  Their view directly down the canal to Sarasota Bay was significantly affected by the vessels and its use as a “condo on water”, leaving TV’s on, and loud music playing through the night.  Three separate agencies were engaged to assist in resolution of the issue, however without specific guidelines, they proved to be ineffective.    

We are all concerned this example will only lead to more issues regarding our shared canal waters and the right of all CCS residents to enjoy our beautiful boating community.

Kathy Callahan

Longboat Key

 

Please add petition regarding private canals and vessels

To: Kathy Callahan

There is time set aside near the beginning of every Commission meeting for members of the public to speak for 3 minutes about any matter not on the regular agenda.  I think it would be useful for someone from your neighborhood to explain the canal issue you have raised at Monday’s meeting.  It would be interesting to learn if the issue exists beyond the Sloop/Ketch canal, if you know.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

Proposed pickle ball courts

To: Longboat Key Commission

I am a resident of Winding Oaks.  I am writing to express my objection to the current proposal to build and light pickle ball courts near our neighborhood.  I commend the town for reopening the Planning & Zoning meeting due to lack of proper procedure in

informing those who would be greatly impacted.

The proposed site is very close to our homes and would negatively affect both our

ability to enjoy our peaceful neighborhood and our property values.  I have walked the site and it appears the LBKC is attempting to “shoehorn” the courts between the tennis courts and the fairway. It is so close to the fairway that nets are proposed to protect pickle ball players. It addition none of the tennis courts in that area have lights that would disturb the neighborhood. Pickle ball is much louder then tennis and quite social resulting in lots of players socializing while waiting to play.  I would think this would be very disruptive to golfers and tennis players.  I urge the LBKC to find a better location for the proposed pickle ball courts.

Barbara Diznoff

Longboat Key

 

Letter of support

To: Longboat Key Commission, Sarasota City Commission

Earlier today, I was contacted by Sally Dionne, who is the District Director for US Congressman Vern Buchanan.  Sally asked me if the SBEP’s Policy Board would be willing to write a letter of support for HR 4946, the “Manatee Protection Act of 2021” BILLS-117hr4946ih.pdf (congress.gov).  The proposed bill would redesignate the West Indian manatee as an endangered species, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.  Relisting would return the manatee’s status to what it was prior to 2017.  The years since its delisting have not been good, as we have lost about 1/3rd of Florida’s east coast manatee population over the last 18 months, mostly by starvation due to the decline of seagrass in the Indian River Lagoon, due to degraded water quality.  Conditions have deteriorated substantially since 2017, and the downgrading of the level of concern over the manatee’s future appears now to have been misplaced optimism.

As we have previously reported to you, the year 2021 saw over 1,000 manatees die, by far the worst year on record.  So far, the first six months of 2022 have seen an additional 550 die, again mostly due to starvation. Redesignating the manatee as endangered will likely help secure resources and provide protections that would help to stabilize the losses, and hopefully help bring about the programs and projects needed to assist the recovery of Florida’s official state marine mammal (as per the Florida Department of State).

The Congressman would like to have a letter of support from our Policy Board in the next few weeks at the latest.  Since our next Policy Board meeting isn’t until September, Don Conn suggested that the quickest way to determine your level of support for the bill would be for me to email all of you, stating my intent to write such a letter of support, and to point out that this designation is consistent with the goals of the SBEP’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan.  If the majority of the Policy Board is in favor of supporting this bill, I would craft a letter consistent (but not identical) to the one from our sister agency, the Tampa Bay Estuary Program TBEP_HR4946_20220601 (constantcontact.com)

If there is unanimous support for the bill, I would note that as well.  If the majority of the Board does not support Vern Buchanan’s bill, no letter will be sent. Please inform me of your support, or lack thereof, over the next few days, if you would be so kind.  Also, to ensure compliance with Sunshine Law guidance, please do not “Reply All” in your email response.

David Tomasko

Executive Director

Sarasota Bay Estuary Program

 

Speed limit reduction and crosswalk

To: Longboat Key Commissioner BJ Bishop

We are Bayport Beach and Tennis residents.  We would like to share our thoughts with you regarding the desire to have a speed limit reduction and crosswalk in front of our complex.  We feel that having a crosswalk would help ensure the safety of crossing Gulf of Mexico drive and we like the idea of having a designated area for traffic speed reduction in both directions in the lead up to the potential cross walk. The resident population at Bayport is a range of young people to seniors who utilize our beach. A reduced speed area and cross walk would help to ensure everyone’s safety. Thanks again very much for taking these measure under consideration. Jon and Nancy Polster

Jonathan Polster

Principal

BruZiv Partners, LLC

 

Speed reduction and crosswalk on Gulf of Mexico at Bayport

To: Jonathan Pollster

Thank you for your email. Did you attend the transportation meeting on this issue earlier this month? Those who were there provided Key information on the maps to help with FDOT’s decision making on this issue for the Town.

BJ Bishop

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

June Property Values

To: Longboat Key Commission

See Preliminary Property Taxable Value estimates from both County Property Appraisers.  As you are aware, each Property Appraiser produces a preliminary estimate by June 1st and Final Values are to be provided by July 1st.  The combined estimate is a 13.5 percent increase.

At the first budget workshop we were expecting an increase of approximately 13% so these numbers are in line with our original forecast.  It is expected that the numbers my change slightly between now and July 1, but are good planning estimates going into our next budget workshop on June 20th.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

School Board meeting

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Mayor, thanks for the email.  I copied a portion of the Florida Statute below.

The intent of the Statute is to have a school board representative keep in the loop on any changes within a local government that may impact residential density.  As I recall this was added back in 2002 to monitor increased density decisions in local governments as increased density can lead to more students and this is one way the State wanted them to be aware early in the planning process.  I have been advised that they have had a representative on Longboat Key before, but it has been a few years and they were not active participants in the meetings like an appointment member.  We would handle it similarly with this appointment.  With our density limitations and referendum process new density is obviously less of an issue here on Longboat Key, so I think that is one reason why the School Board hasn’t always maintained an active representative- even though the Stature requires it.  They are now updating their appointments and have designated a staff member for our Planning & Zoning Board to be consistent with the Florida Statutes.  As a non-voting member they will receive copies of our agenda packets and be able to attend meetings as a non-voting member.

Let me know if you need any additional information.

163.3174 ocal planning agency.—

(1) he governing body of each local government, individually or in combination as provided in s. 163.3171, shall designate and by ordinance establish a “local planning agency,” unless the agency is otherwise established by law. Notwithstanding any special act to the contrary, all local planning agencies or equivalent agencies that first review rezoning and comprehensive plan amendments in each municipality and county shall include a representative of the school district appointed by the school board as a nonvoting member of the local planning agency or equivalent agency to attend those meetings at which the agency considers comprehensive plan amendments and rezonings that would, if approved, increase residential density on the property that is the subject of the application.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

Sarasota County School Board meeting

To: Longboat Key Commission

In my recent discussions with the Sarasota County School Board staff and potential partnership with Sarasota County and the Community Center/Library project they requested use of our Chamber for their June 21st Board Meeting.  They advised that they have some work scheduled for their board room so they are looking for a place to hold their meeting that evening.  They also are scheduling other board meetings in various locations around the County and wanted to do one on Longboat Key.

We have made arrangements for them to hold their June 21st meeting here at Town Hall at 6pm.  They will reimburse the Town for any expenses to support the meeting and they have set aside a few minutes at the beginning of the meeting for us to welcome them to Longboat Key.

I have confirmed with the Mayor his availability to welcome them to Longboat Key and I have prepared a few slides highlighting Longboat Key and a couple of our major initiatives including the Town Center that we will present to them at the beginning of their meeting.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

FYI bill signed related to condo safety

To: Longboat Key Commission

The Governor signed an insurance reform bill last night as well as the condo inspection legislation.  We have shared the proposed condo legislation previously with the Condo Fed and will review and help get the word on the inspection requirements.  The new law includes language regarding condominium reserves as well.

Commissioner Dominick shared a Board of Realtors also attached that has some good general information in it regarding both bills.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Proposed Pickle Ball Courts at LBK Club

To: Longboat Key Planning and Zoning Director Allen Parsons

We own a home on Winding Oaks Drive and are also members of the LBK Club. We strongly oppose the proposed location of the new pickle ball courts at the LBK Club.

Winding Oaks residents were not consulted during the Club’s planning process despite our close proximity to the proposed site. We were also not notified about the proposal until after the Town Planning and Zoning Board meeting.

Our home is in close proximity to the proposed courts. The noise and light pollution will adversely impact our enjoyment of our home.

There are no natural or artificial barriers between our homes and the proposed courts. The sound will travel over the water and it is well known that pickle ball games generate sounds levels that are significantly louder than EPA noise pollution limits.

The Planning and Zoning Board should reject this proposal and insist that the new pickle ball courts be located far away from residential areas, such as at the old tennis courts closer to the LBKC Resort. Thank you.

Peter and Kathie Viner

Longboat Key

 

Proposed pickleball courts at LBK Club

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

My husband and I reside at Winding Oaks Dr. This is directly across from the newly proposed pickleball courts at the Longboat Key Club. We are very concerned about the noise level this will create at our residence. My husband and I played pickleball for several years, so I know first-hand what the sound is like. And if the courts will be lighted, that too will be a distraction and increase the length of play to completely interfere with the quiet enjoyment of our property morning, noon and night. The 56 residences in Winding Oaks will be negatively impacted if this proposal is approved.  It will also create difficulty for the homes closest to Harbourside Drive in the Bayou neighborhood and Sabal Cove.

I do not understand why it is illegal for contractors to perform noisy work after 5 p.m. and never on Sundays or holidays on the island, but this noise nuisance might be approved?  Where is the logic in that?

I might suggest that given the extensive acreage that is owned by the Longboat Key Club they might find a better location that would not impact the peaceful use of homes in a residential neighborhood.

Finally, the fact that our management company AMI received notice of the Planning & Zoning meeting after it occurred shows a lack of respect and consideration for all residents and makes me highly suspicious of the motives of the management and ownership of the Longboat Key Club.

Charlotte B. Cooper

Longboat Key

 

Proposed pickleball courts

To: Charlotte Cooper

Thanks for your note.  Because of the problem with the original mailing, the LBKC has asked that the pickleball matter be reheard by the Planning and Zoning Board at its June 21 meeting at 9:15 a.m. in Town Hall.  After that, the matter will be heard by the Town Commission twice in the Fall.

Since this is a quasi-judicial issue and not a legislative one, we are not permitted to discuss it with parties in interest outside of the hearings, but I hope the Club, your neighborhood and interested pickleballers can try to come to an agreement before the June 21 P and Z meeting.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

Crosswalks GMD

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

We are Bayport residents and are fortunate to live on the Gulf side with beautiful views of the Gulf/ocean. With that privilege comes the downside of the traffic on Gulf of Mexico Drive.  When our grandchildren are visiting, we all cross Gulf of Mexico Drive to get to the beach, usually carting a wagon, beach toys and holding hands w the kids so we can “make a run for it” between traffic.  We are so grateful when some stop/slow to allow us to cross safely.  Since we are in the section where it appears clear/no buildings on the opposite side, traffic tends to ramp up speed as they see the “open” area.  A reduction of speed limit might help us, but more marked crosswalks would definitely improve our safety!  Thank you for considering this as an improved safety feature for 100’s of us crossing Gulf of Mexico Drive regularly!

Nancy & Dennis Spinazze

Longboat Key

 

Crosswalks GMD

To: Nancy & Dennis Spinazze

Thanks for your note.  Safety is a key element of the plan to improve the entire Gulf of Mexico Drive corridor, and pedestrian crossings play an important role in improving safety.  As GMD is a State road, we are actively negotiating with the Florida DOT to build appropriate crossings at the right locations, consistent with maintaining the flow of traffic, even if it means relocating existing crosswalks to areas like Bayport.  Please stay tuned.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

GMD crosswalks

To: Nancy & Dennis Spinazze

Thank you for your email regarding crosswalks near the Bayport community.  I drive by there several times a day and am very aware of the need for properly positioned crosswalks.  This is an issue that is being actively addressed by the town and FDOT.  I’m sure Bayport and other nearby communities will be kept in the loop for any next steps.

Debra Williams

Vice Mayor

Longboat Key

 

St. Armands Circle Park / Harding Circle National Registered Historic District

To: Sarasota City Commission

Staff has completed the analysis of the subject location for possible vertical uses. Please see the attached detailed analysis completed by Ms. Wallace and contributing staff. In a nutshell, developing any vertical activity use within the space is problematic given its historic designation, the principal use of the space as stormwater capacity, its location in a flood zone, and underground utilities. This information will be shared with the parties interested in utilizing the space for differing vertical activities. Thank you.

Marlon Brown

City Manager

City of Sarasota

St. Armands Circle Park / Harding Circle National Registered Historic District

To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown

Please find a memo addressing inquiries to the potential development of St. Armands Circle Park which is located within the Harding Circle National Registered Historic District.  The memo has been compiled and reviewed by several departments and divisions, including Planning and Historic Preservation, Public Works and Engineering, and Parks and Recreation.

The memo serves as a baseline document for the associated items and steps required for any potential development of St. Armands Circle Park whether proposed by outside entities or as part of an internal assessment.

Regarding the streetscape RFQ proposed by Public Works, a study may be included; however, no development of St. Armands Circle Park is recommended until the streetscape project is complete due to federal funding / local funding overlap and the triggering of 4(f) requirements on the project timeline. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Mary Davis Wallace

Senior Planner

Lead, Office of Public Art

City of Sarasota Florida

 

Illegal enforcement issue

To: Sarasota City Mayor Erik Arroyo

Please see the letter regarding an issue of your city police department’s enforcement of an illegal ordinance.

Due to your marine police officer having put a time limit on the issue, your earliest attention to this issue is requested. To help resolve this as expeditiously as possible, I have copied your Chief of Police, City Attorney and Marine Patrol officer on this letter. Thank you for your assistance in resolving this matter.

W. J. Moran

President

CRNNA

 

Illegal enforcement issue

To: W.J. Moran

Thank you for writing this message, as it is vital for our commission to do its job with the thoughts of our residents in mind. Please continue to write and express your insight whenever possible.

Due to the high volume of e-mails received on a daily basis, we will forward your message to the appropriate department to address any concerns you may have and respond to your message.

If you would like to schedule a phone conversation, virtual, or in-person meeting with me, please write an e-mail to Christina.Wollenberg@sarasotafl.gov so that she can add you to my calendar at her earliest convenience.  Again, your message is greatly appreciated and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Erik J. Arroyo

Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

Illegal enforcement issue

To: W.J. Moran

I have read your letter of Sunday, May 29, 2022 regarding a vessel that was anchored just north of the Siesta Key bridge.  The City is aware of Sec. 327.60 Florida Statutes and the statutory pre-emption that applies to preclude local governments from regulating the mooring or anchorage of most vessels, specifically those vessels operated by “cruisers” engaged in navigation.  The City’s ordinance, specifically Section 10-50, does not apply to those vessels, but only applies to (1) vessels that meet the definition of “live aboard vessel” found in the City’s ordinance, which was taken directly from the state statute; (2) commercial vessels (excluding fishing vessels) and (3) floating structures.  Consequently, if the vessel in question does not fall into one of these three categories, Section 10-50 would not apply and this section would not give the City the authority to require that the vessel be moored or anchored inside a designated mooring field or marina.

My understanding, based on what I have been told, is that the marine patrol officers have some cause to believe that this vessel is actually a live aboard vessel that is not engaged in navigation.  I was told that, contrary to your understanding, the occupant of the vessel was not actually told that he had to move the vessel within a specified time.  Rather, he was informed of the possibly applicable City Code provisions and advised that if, after further investigation, it was determined that the vessel was a live aboard, that he could be required to move it.  It is my understanding that the vessel owner/occupant has not received a citation for violation of the ordinance and has not been given a specified time to move the vessel.  He was only told that if the vessel was his permanent domicile and not engaged in navigation that he could be cited in the future.  If you have information to the contrary of what I have just told you, please share it with me, so that the situation can be clarified.

To summarize, as of right now, the owner/occupant of this vessel has not been cited and has not been told to move the vessel within a specified period of time.  The Marine Patrol unit is aware that if they cite this individual in the future that the City will have to prove that the vessel was, in fact, a live aboard vessel within the scope of the definition found in the ordinance. I hope the above addresses your concerns.

Robert M. Fournier

City Attorney

City of Sarasota

Rosemary District

To: Sarasota City Commissioner Jen Ahern-Koch

I’m a resident at McCown Towers and I have a question regarding the property directly behind the Annex on 5th Street and Blvd. of the Arts.

I see that the property is being prepped for construction and I’m hoping you can tell me what will be built there.  I assume it will be condos, and my concern is the height of the building.  I understand the initial maximum height requirement for the Rosemary District has been voted down and that this new building building will be tall, maybe 11 stories…is that correct?

I attend the SHA Board meetings regularly and I shall introduce myself to you at the June 1st meeting.

Lois Betterton

Sarasota

 

Rosemary District

To: Lois Betterton

Thanks for the email concerning the property on 4th and Cocoanut.

This project first came to my attention about five plus years ago so my memory might be a little foggy on the details but I do believe it was proposed to be retail on the bottom facing Cocoanut with a cafe and then condos for the rest. It is my understanding it was going to be four or five stories.

I have copied the City Manager and Staff on this email though so they can respond with accurate and updated details on the project (and copy me as well please as I have been getting some inquires).

Thanks so much and I look forward to meeting you on June 1 but I don’t seem to have the SHA meeting on my schedule… but will look into it.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

City Commissioner

City of Sarasota

Banyan Tree

To: Sarasota City Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch

ITI passed the Banyan tree on the corner of 4th and Cocoanut and was dismayed to see this tree was being cut down.  This waas on May 28th about 4pm..

I was hoping this tree could be saved.  Did the developer get a permit to do this?  A sad sight.

Judyth Klug

Sarasota

 

Banyan Tree

To: Judyth Klug

Yes, it is my understanding they have the necessary permits for the tree removals.

This project was initiated before the new tree ordinance but I am not sure the updated tree ordinance could have saved these trees.

I have copied the City Manager on this email to respond with additional details per the trees receiving a permit for removal. Their canopy is amazing, I wish they could have been preserved. Their removal is sad sight indeed!

Jen Ahearn-Koch

City Commissioner

City of Sarasota

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