Thursday, February 8, 2018

Two programs at CONA, DEP Chief cites Celery Fields, Reviving Vision

On Monday Feb. 12, CONA Sarasota will offer two programs - one on Benderson's controversial Siesta Promenade project, the other on reviving our vision in Sarasota - perhaps because it's virtually forgotten?

Siesta Promenade 

  On Monday, February 12, 2018 please join CONA for a presentation by Sura Kochman, an organizer for the Pine Shores Neighborhood Alliance, who will present the latest plans for Siesta Promenade at the northwestern corner of Tamiami Trail and Stickney Point Road, Route 41 and Route 72, respectively .
  The location is bounded by commercial development on the three other corners of the intersection and includes the southern access road between the mainland and Siesta Key to the west, and to the east, Clark Road, which leads to Interstate 75. This already is a major intersection with extensive congestion.
  At our November 2014 meeting, a comprehensive analysis of the original proposal by the developer -- from the perspective of the neighborhoods  directly affected -- was presented  by Ms. Kochman. Then the project became stalled by public concerns and a boom collapse.
   The project was resurrected in 2017 and Ms. Kochman reviewed it again at our November meeting. Details are evolving during review by county staff, however, so she will assess the current iteration of the proposal, which is not progressing as expected.
  Since the entire community and many of our member organizations will be affected by this project, we will be following this planning process carefully throughout the public process and providing updates as warranted.


Reviving our vision for Sarasota    

  Our second presentation, reviving our vision for Sarasota, will be a discussion by Alex Coe and Bill Zoller launching an effort to revisit the vision of the county, developed previously with much community involvement, but that seems to have been lost, in order to get us back on the track our community desires. Objectives and strategies will be developed for a return to community-driven decisions guiding our growth. Get back on board with us as we resuscitate the vision we are on the verge of losing forever. 
  A social precedes the meeting at 6:30.


Environmental Protection chief talks sea level rise during Sarasota visit - and Celery Fields!

SARASOTA — New Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein spent a lot time talking about community Tuesday during a swing through Sarasota to speak to the Argus Foundation. 
Conservation efforts “really become powerful when you have that connection to the community,” Valenstein said, highlighting the Celery Fields in Sarasota as a prime example of the community rallying to protect a natural resource. 
Environmental advocates in the crowd say the DEP — an agency that often was accused of catering to business interests in recent years — is doing a better job of listening to the overall community under Valenstein. More here


Speaking of the Celery Fields, our communities are asked to participate now in the Fresh Start Initiative. Deadline for proposals March 1st.




Mote Marine announces giant new Aquarium:

The new Mote Science Education Aquarium will be designed and located strategically to serve a much greater cross-section of residents and visitors in Florida, and enhance ocean literacy opportunities and impacts for all. More here

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