Monday, August 27, 2018

Lohr: Why I'm running for Charter Review Board

My name is Krista Lohr and I am running for Sarasota County Charter Review Board (CRB) District 1. I am running for the CRB because the CRB does not currently have an advocate for the
people or the environment. 

If elected to the CRB, I will be an advocate for the voters and for Sarasota County’s natural resources. I am currently the Vice Chair of the Sarasota County Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida and the Newsletter Editor for the Manatee Sarasota Sierra Club Group’s BOCA newsletter. I also serve as Treasurer for the Suncoast Women of Action.

Another reason I decided to run for CRB is because The CRB has not been very active in recent years. Most voters are unaware that Sarasota County has a Charter or the CRB. If elected, I would work towards a more active CRB which would implement a plan for community outreach and educating the public about the Charter and the CRB.

Third, I decided to run because I believe the voice of the public should not be limited. In 2016 I was concerned about the possibility of the CRB becoming an appointed board as opposed to elected. I believe the voters' right to determine who represents them on the CRB must not be taken away. Now in 2018 I have concerns regarding a Board of County Commission proposal that would restrict the voice of the voters. The proposal is to increase (double) the amount of signatures needed for a public initiative to amend the Charter to get on the ballot and to also change (shorten) the amount of time to acquire the signatures needed. This proposal makes the process of getting a public initiative on the ballot to amend the Charter even more onerous than it already arguably is. That I would argue is voter suppression.

Please visit my website,,

Friday, August 24, 2018

News Leader on Charter Amendments

Published courtesy of the Sarasota News Leader

Aug. 29 public hearings to focus on bevy of proposed Sarasota County Charter amendments

County Commission is seeking approval of several measures of its own to change citizen-initiated petition drive process

The County Commission sits in session on April 24. File photo

After the Sarasota County Commission voted unanimously last month to put several of its own proposed Sarasota County Charter amendments on the Nov. 6 General Election ballot, community activists have voiced concerns.
Organizers of Charter petition drives, especially, have taken issue with the board’s desire to increase the percentage of signatures of registered voters from 5% to 10% for a measure to make it onto a ballot.
Yet another focus of frustration has been the fact that the board wants to require all signed petitions to be submitted at one time, instead of their being provided to the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office in batches as they are completed. Commissioners and County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh said in July that that change would eliminate situations, for example, in which a voter who signed a petition died before the initiative even won a place on a ballot.
Further, any petition drive would have to collect the necessary number of signatures within the two-year window between general elections. That is because the commissioners also propose to eliminate special referenda for citizen-initiated, County Commission-initiated and Sarasota County Charter Review Board-initiated amendments.
The proposed ordinance with the commission’s amendments says the petitions would have to be submitted to the supervisor of elections no earlier than Jan. 1 and no later than April 1 of the year of the general election in which organizers seek to get their measure on the ballot.
On July 11 — during their last meeting before taking their traditional weeks-long summer break — the commissioners offered final suggestions to County Attorney DeMarsh about the language they wanted to see in their proposed changes for the county Charter. They also asked that DeMarsh put everything into one document, though they acknowledged that they could decide later to split up their ideas into more than one ballot measure after holding a public hearing on the issues.

The county Administration Center is located in downtown Sarasota. File photo

That public hearing is set for the board’s afternoon session during its regular meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 29, in the Commission Chambers at the Administration Center in downtown Sarasota. The session will begin at 1:30 p.m., but the exact time of the hearing has not been set. The start will be contingent upon other factors, including the amount of time speakers may take to address the board during the Open to the Public period provided at the start of both morning and afternoon meetings.
Additionally, the Aug. 29 agenda was not available prior to The Sarasota News Leader’s deadline for this issue.
In response to a News Leader request, DeMarsh provided a copy of the proposed ordinance that encompasses all the changes commissioners requested last month.
Among the findings of fact, that ordinance says the following:
  • “The requirement that only 5% of registered voters sign a petition is less than required for most other charter counties. The 10% requirement would demonstrate that a greater number of registered voters support the proposed amendment.”
  • “It is desirable to clarify the citizen initiated petition process to provide certainty to the petitioners and signers as to when a potential amendment would be voted on; to reduce the costs of referendum elections; and to provide adequate time for the Supervisor of Elections to certify petition signatures and conduct the resulting election”.
  • “Because the cost of a specially called countywide election is approximately $400,000, which is paid out of [property tax] revenues, it is necessary to combine referendum elections with general elections to reduce costs and ensure that the maximum number of voters participate in the referendum election.”

These are the proposed County Commission Charter amendment ballot questions. Image courtesy County Attorney Stephen DeMarsh

Along with the county’s own proposed Charter amendments, public hearings on Aug. 29 also will address measures proposed by Siesta resident Michael Cosentino and a nonprofit he founded, Reopen Beach Road. Those Charter amendments would revoke the County Commission’s May 11, 2016 vacation of a 357-foot-long segment of North Beach Road on Siesta Key and prevent any future County Commission from vacating road segments adjacent to waterways.
Finally, the hearing will address the proposal of the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections to change the Charter so that only voters in the district the County Commission candidate would represent — which also would be the district in which the candidate resides — could vote for that candidate.
The current Charter provisions require one commissioner for each of the county’s five districts, but every registered voter is able to cast a ballot in every commission race. For example voters in the Nov. 6 General Election will be able to cast ballots to choose two commissioners, one to represent District 2 and another to represent District 4.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Dental, Vision professionals needed for weekend clinic at MTC

Follow-up story in HT

Last November, about 1,000 of the underserved population from Manatee, Sarasota and surrounding counties received free medical, dental and vision care at the Remote Area Medical (RAM) Clinic at Manatee Technical College in Bradenton.

Adults and children alike benefited from dental work including fillings, extractions and cleanings. Over 400 individuals received eye exams and were fitted with prescription glasses before leaving the clinic.
That’s the good news. The downside? Approximately 500 people were turned away because there were not enough dental and vision professionals on hand to provide the needed services to all who came.

This year’s clinic is scheduled for October 13 and 14 at MTC’s main campus on State Road 70 in Bradenton.

Poster in Spanish

***Dental and Vision Professionals Please Note:***

RAM provides the equipment, supplies and support staff. You provide the medical expertise. With your participation we can do more and serve more this year.
Please join us, and help us recruit the medical professionals we need – let them know about the RAM clinic and encourage them to register: or call Lori Dengler, Volunteer Coordinator, at 941-526-4766. More info here.

in retrospect: Primary 2018

 From CONA: 

   The 2018 primary election that will conclude on August 28 will determine who will represent two political parties in the general election that will be held in November and it also will be the final election of many nonpartisan races. The primary may eliminate candidates you support unless they prevail, so this is a crucial election in which voters need to make their selections carefully and be sure that they exercise their opportunity wisely to participate in the selection among candidates. 
    Many are expressing concern about candidates who are shunning forums and failing to submit to dialogue with the voters. This marketing strategy has been used deliberately in the last two cycles now--by candidates who seek election without having to address issues raised in public dialogue. A one-way commercial marketing strategy may be fine for the sale of detergents, but it is not how our election process is intended to work. One readily may discard a detergent found to be undesirable and replace it rather quickly, it's not so easy with elected officials. Our election process is designed for candidates to submit to public dialogue and to address questions raised that might reveal the natures of the those competing for election.  
   Voters must resist efforts to corrupt that process and the surest way is to refuse to elect those adopting a strategy of avoiding the public process. The alternative is giving us public officials who then cater to those who enable the expensive one-way commercial marketing strategy that puts them into office for the benefit of their financiers initially, and eventually, to the personal financial rewards that await their selected officeholders down the road.
   It takes engaged voters to make informed decisions now that we do not live in small, close communities with lifetime exposure to the character of those seeking to be our leaders. Granted, the process available to us now, is not easy, but without that effort-look at what happens!
   We have posted links on our website to videos of our two primary forums featuring the county commission candidates who accepted our invitations and submitted to the public scrutiny our members expect. See the calendar on our meetings page. We represent the voters who live in all of the neighborhoods throughout the county, both municipal and unincorporated, and we are encouraged by our members to ask tough questions that provide insight into the character of the candidates seeking elected office. As noted by one of the candidates participating in our August forum, the voters recognize the disdain inherent in the behavior of candidates seeking election or reelection without having to engage in public dialogue--and they are angry. 
   Please review the videos and vote for those most likely to represent your interests on the county commission:
Wesley Anne BeggsMike Cosentino, and Lourdes Ramirez
showed up to submit to our questions on August 13 
Alexandra Coe and Ruta Maria Jouniari 
showed up to submit to our questions on July 9, 2018       

neighbors helping neighborhoods since 1961
save the date  -  our anniversary party  -  November 5, 2018

Friday, August 17, 2018

Opponents of Grand Lake file legal challenges

Update on this process:

Grand Lakes Rezone Hearing oral arguments 
November 14, 2018, 2:30 pm
2002 Ringling Blvd.  Courtroom 7C

Sarasota News Leader

August 16, 2018 by Rachel Brown Hackney, Editor & Publisher

12th Judicial Circuit Court case begun, and petition submitted to Florida Division of Administrative Hearings, saying Sarasota County violated its policies in approving the plans

A graphic shows plans for the two neighborhoods in Grand Lakes. Image courtesy Sarasota County
Even before the Sarasota County Commission voted 4-1 on July 11 to approve the petitions necessary for Neal Communities’ Grand Lakes development to be built, Pat Neal, chair of the company’s executive committee, indicated he was expecting a lawsuit. 

Indeed, not one but two legal initiatives have begun, in an effort to stop Grand Lakes from becoming a reality east of Interstate 75 and south of Clark Road. 
(Plaintiff Press Release)
On Aug. 10, a number of homeowners in the area around the Grand Lakes site filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the 12th Judicial Circuit Court in Sarasota, contending that in approving the Grand Lakes application, the County Commission violated tenets of its Sarasota 2050 process for Villages. The homeowners also filed a Petition for Formal Administrative Hearing with the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH). That argues that a county Comprehensive Plan amendment — which the County Commission initially approved in March and formally adopted in July — will enable Neal Communities to eliminate a commercial center from the design of Grand Lakes, even though Grand Lakes will not be contiguous to a Village with such a center. A county staff report on the proposed amendment said, “‘The commercial and service needs of the [Grand Lakes] residents can be met by the Village Center (approved for 300,000 square feet of non-residential uses) in LT Ranch Village, which will be located approximately 2.5 miles to the east,’” the petition points out.
The amendment is inconsistent with other Sarasota 2050 policies, the petitioners contend.

A page in a market study undertaken for Grand Lakes shows details about nearby retail businesses. Image courtesy Sarasota County

During a March 14 public hearing, Grand Lakes project team members told the County Commission that not enough residents would live in Grand Lakes to entice retail businesses — especially a major grocery store chain — to become tenants in a commercial center on the site. They also pointed to the plans for the LT Ranch Village. In the meantime, however, they said enough retail businesses already exist in close proximity to the Grand Lakes site to serve their residents.
The plans for Grand Lakes that the County Commission approved on July 11 would allow up to 1,097 homes on 533 acres south of Clark Road in an area where other several other 2050 Village developments have been approved or proposed. Another major concern for residents in the Serenoa Lakes and Serenoa communities — which would be the closest neighbors to Grand Lakes — is that Ibis Street is the only immediate access to their homes and the Grand Lakes site.
The DOAH petition asks that the case be assigned to an administrative law judge and that a hearing be conducted to determine whether the Comprehensive Plan amendment complies with Sarasota County policy. Alternatively, the petition calls for the county to withdraw the amendment or otherwise remedy the action taken in July.
David Anderson, president of the Serenoa Lakes Association since 2010, is one of the plaintiffs in both legal challenges.
The Manatee-Sarasota Sierra Club and 1000 Friends of Florida Inc. “are providing financial support and legal assistance” to the plaintiffs, Anderson pointed out to The Sarasota News Leader in an Aug. 13 telephone interview.
The website of 1000 Friends of Florida says it is the “state’s leading not-for-profit smart growth advocacy organization. … We promote vibrant, sustainable, walkable, livable communities which provide residents with affordable housing choices and transportation alternatives.”
Gayle Reynolds, Sarasota conservation chair of the Manatee-Sarasota Sierra Club, told the News Leader this week that that organization has more than 3,400 members.
Along with homeowners who will be near Grand Lakes, Anderson pointed out to the News Leader, people who use the county’s facilities at Twin Lakes Park — which is close to the Grand Lakes property — have voiced concerns about the potential intensification of traffic as a result of the development. Some of them testified about their worries during county public hearings on the proposed project.

Scott McLaren. Image from the Hill, Ward and Henderson website

In response to a News Leader request for comment about the legal challenges, Scott McLaren of the Hill Ward Henderson law firm in Tampa — which represents Neal Communities — wrote in an Aug. 14 email, “Neal Communities applied for and received approval from Sarasota County to develop its property consistent with all regulations, laws, and ordinances, and consistent with its private property rights protected by the U.S. and Florida Constitutions. The County staff thoroughly reviewed every aspect of Neal’s application and concluded that the application complied with all  requirements — and the Board of County Commissioners agreed. These plaintiffs have filed 2 lawsuits against the County alone and strategically chose not to sue Neal Communities, whose property rights are at stake here. The plaintiffs’ efforts to avoid litigating against Neal are futile, because Neal Communities will intervene and vigorously defend against these meritless claims that were obviously interposed solely for purposes of delay.”
As a matter of policy, Sarasota County does not comment on litigation, the Office of the County Attorney has said on multiple occasions.
Hoping for the best
From the beginning of the process with Grand Lakes, Anderson of Serenoa Lakes told the News Leader, “We wanted [the Neal Communities representatives] to know — and the commissioners — that we were very, very organized,” he said of the plaintiffs. “We were very, very fact-based” in opposition to the development, he added, making certain the focus stayed on the facts. Emotions had to be kept in check, he said.
The opponents, he continued, reviewed the Grand Lakes application in the same manner county staff was supposed to have reviewed it. “We paid for a court stenographer to be at all [the public] hearings,” he added. “That was critical.”

Pat Neal. Image from the Neal Communities website

The transcripts enabled members of the group to pore over details provided by county Planning and Development Services staff and the Neal Communities project team.
Before the County Commission vote on July 11, Anderson pointed out, Pat Neal had asked him more than once during the hearings — outside the Commission Chambers — whether people were planning to file a lawsuit. “I said, ‘No,’” Anderson told the News Leader. He gave Neal that answer, he said, because the group wanted to provide the County Commission “every opportunity to vote this down.”
“When we got to the final stage of this [on July 11], it became abundantly clear,” he said, that, in spite of the record of what he contends are multiple problems with the application — which his group had documented — the vote was going to go in Neal’s favor.
In fact, the group’s objections — compiled in a document that Neal told the board on May 23 encompassed about 400 pages — prompted the commission that day to continue the final hearing on Grand Lakes until July 11. That was to allow both the Neal Communities team and the commissioners the opportunity to review the challenges and enable the Neal representatives to respond to them.
During the May 23 public hearing, a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners, Mary Anne Bowie of Sarasota, had spoken for the residents who have become the plaintiffs in the legal challenges filed this week. She gave the 400-page document to the clerk to the board during that session.
The plaintiffs
Along with Anderson, the petitioners in the 12th Judicial Circuit Court case are Keath Cuyler, Mitchell Goldberg, Ronald Newmark, Arthur Cooper, Karie Backman and Douglas Watts. (Cooper, Backman and Watts are not parties in the DOAH challenge, however.) All of them live within close proximity to the proposed site for Grand Lakes, the Circuit Court petition notes. Cooper’s property, for example, is just 120 feet away from it, and Backman’s is only 130 feet away.
The Circuit Court petition explains that Neal Communities sought a rezoning of the Grand Lakes site from Residential, Estate-1/Conservation Subdivision — which allows one dwelling unit per 2 acres — to Village Planned Development. The latter district, it continues, is used in conjunction with Sarasota 2050 projects. The petition explains that the Sarasota 2050 Resource Management Area chapter of the county’s Comprehensive Plan sets the framework for “an incentive-based system that encourages a compact development form; simultaneously implementing a number of public benefits, allowing for continued growth and economic development that preserves environmentally sensitive lands and open space.”

A Sarasota County graphic shows details about Sarasota 2050 Villages and resource management areas east of Interstate 75. Image courtesy Sarasota County

“As a direct and proximate result” of the County Commission’s approval of Grand Lakes, the petition continues, the plaintiffs “will be adversely affected by increased development, including impacts from additional density approved in the rezoning.”
During the telephone interview with the News Leader, Anderson explained that residents living near the property had pointed out many times during the Grand Lakes application process that they “had worked in a very cooperative manner with the Bispham family,” which later sold the land to Neal Communities. The Bisphams had sought an earlier rezoning of the property to allow the construction of 258 houses, Anderson added. In 2015, Anderson said, he pointed out to the County Commission that the Bisphams’ plan was economically feasible and provided for the best use of the land.
Reynolds of the Sierra Club told the News Leader, “The developer knew when he purchased that property that it was going to be very difficult” to make his neighborhoods conform to Sarasota 2050 standards. “He proceeded to change the [2050] plan to fit his site. … That change affects the entire county.”
“Our number remains 258,” Anderson said in the interview with the News Leader.
The Circuit Court case
One of the central contentions of the 12th Judicial Circuit Court case is that Neal Communities did not undertake the required market analysis to determine how much commercial-retail space would be needed in Grand Lakes. The petition says that the Neal project team had to demonstrate that the non-residential needs of the development would be served within the development, as provided for in Sarasota 2050 policy.
No market study accompanied the Grand Lakes application, the petition points out.

Mary Anne Bowie. Image from the American Institute of Certified Planners

Further, the petition argues, Bowie — the expert planner hired by the petitioners for the May 23 public hearing on Grand Lakes — was given only 5 minutes for her testimony. (Five minutes generally is the time limit per speaker during any Sarasota County Commission or Planning Commission public hearing.) That was insufficient time for her to present all the testimony and evidence she had prepared to make her case that Grand Lakes should not be approved, the petition says.
Yet, a Florida 3rdDistrict Court of Appeal decision in 2007 — in Hernandez-Canton v. Miami City Commission — made it clear, the petition continues, that “8 minutes was insufficient and too short a time allotment for [objectors’] expert witnesses to make their presentations in a quasi-judicial hearing …” The petition adds, “The denial of a meaningful opportunity to be heard and present expert opinion evidence before the quasi-judicial [Sarasota County Commission] violates fundamental procedural due process.”
A rezoning is an example of a quasi-judicial hearing.
Additionally, the Petition for Writ of Certiorari says the rezoning violates the county’s requirements for greenways and greenbelts, as required in Sarasota 2050 policy.
In support of part of the argument on those issues, it contends that the Grand Lakes team did not provide county staff updated maps. The petition says, for example, “The decades-old [U.S. Geological Survey] Topographical Map submitted … does not reflect the existing site conditions.”
The DOAH filing

A graphic provided to the County Commission earlier this year shows other planned 2050 villages in the vicinity of the proposed Grand Lakes. Image courtesy Sarasota County

The petition for the DOAH hearing focuses on the Comprehensive Plan amendment the County Commission approved, to enable Grand Lakes to be built without a commercial center. That petition says, “Allowing non-contiguous Villages without a commercial or retail component is … inconsistent with the existing Sarasota County Comprehensive Plan and is not supported by data and analysis [emphasis in the document].” In fact, the petition continues, such a change to the Sarasota 2050 policy was considered before “and was rejected by staff and the County because it was found to be internally inconsistent with the existing Comprehensive Plan in 2014.”
Additionally, the petition notes, county staff members considered the elimination of Village Centers when they were working on the third phase of a revision of Sarasota 2050. Yet, the petition continues, “The County’s analysis on July 24, 2014 importantly found that ‘the provision for non-residential uses through the establishment of mixed use Village and Neighborhood Centers is central to the concept of Villages as an alternative to urban sprawl. … Without the non-residential uses in close proximity and integrated into the residential uses, the Villages resemble other suburban residential development typical of Sarasota County and other communities.”

A graphic included in the Circuit Court petition includes this information about the greenbelts planned for Grand Lakes. Image courtesy David Anderson

In the separate Aug. 13 telephone interview with the News Leader, Reynolds of the Manatee-Sarasota Sierra Club explained that she has spent years following the Sarasota 2050 process. After attending the July 11 public hearing, she added, “I couldn’t recognize Grand Lakes as anything … previously approved.”
The changes the Neal Communities team sought, she said, “should have had more discussion” and more time for public review.
The DOAH petition also notes that Chapter 8 of the Future Land Use Element of the county’s Comprehensive Plan says, “Villages are a collection of Neighborhoods that have been designed so that a majority of the housing units are within a walking distance or [one-quarter] mile radius of a Neighborhood Center. Villages shall be supported by internally designed, mixed-use Village Centers (designed specifically to serve the daily and weekly retail, office, civic, and government use and services needs of Village residents) [emphasis in the petition], and the Village shall be surrounded by large expanses of Open Space …’”
The petition adds that the county staff report justifying the policy change for Grand Lakes “offers nothing to reverse the County’s previous findings that the contiguous Village requirement is necessary to maintain internal consistency [with the Sarasota 2050 policies].”

Monday, August 13, 2018

Cona District 4 County Candidates Forum

Three of the four candidates for Sarasota Board of County Commissioners Dist. 4 answered questions about climate change, development, priorities for parks, and more. Wesley Ann Beggs, Mike Cosentino, Lourdes Ramirez were present, with moderator Kafi Benz, president of CONA. Incumbent Al Maio did not appear.

All four videos from 8.13.18 candidate forum at CONA Sarasota.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Grand Lakes draws two lawsuits for "promoting sprawl"

PRESS RELEASE -- August 13, 2018

Citizens’ Group Files Two Lawsuits to 
Stop Pat Neal’s Grand Lakes 2050 Village Development

Two lawsuits filed against Sarasota County on Friday, August 10, 2018, by a group of affected neighbors will likely put a 1,100 home subdivision in east Sarasota County on hold.

The Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners approved the Neal Village development, known as Grand Lakes, on July 11, 2018, in a series of 4-1 votes.  Casting the dissenting votes, Commissioner Charles Hines asked: “Where is the walkability?  Where is the compatibility?  Where is the connectivity with the larger overall village?”

The 2050 Village concept is an optional development framework that permits additional density.  This extra density is in exchange for  public benefits that guide development in the rural areas east of I-75 into compact, mixed-use, pedestrian friendly villages by protecting large areas of open space, and ensuring that supporting infrastructure is paid for by the development.

A large group of Serenoa, Serenoa Lakes and nearby large lot homeowners, along with Twin Lakes Park users, presented their objections during the public hearings leading up to the commissioners’ July decisions.

Developer Pat Neal
The citizens group says that Pat Neal’s privately initiated comprehensive plan amendment, which enabled the rezoning to proceed, violates the county’s long-range growth plan. They also say the rezoning itself violates several of the county’s zoning regulations.

The comprehensive plan amendment lawsuit requests that the State of Florida hold an administrative hearing to find that the Neal amendment is inconsistent with the other goals, objectives, and policies in the county’s comprehensive plan because eliminating the village mixed-use requirement promotes urban sprawl.

Eliminating the mixed-use requirement was previously considered in 2014 during a public initiative known as 2050 Revisited. At that time, several large landowners and developers, including Neal, proposed eliminating the mixed-use center. County staff rejected the developers’ proposal because staff’s analysis determined that, without direct access to a commercial center, a core 2050 plan principle would be violated.

Grand Lakes Map
Nothing has changed since 2014.  Nevertheless, when Neal proposed eliminating the mixed-use requirement as a privately processed amendment, the 2018 county staff reported that they had no objections and recommended approval.

The second (rezoning) lawsuit asks the Sarasota County Circuit Court to reverse the rezoning approval because the Grand Lakes application did not satisfy the protected open space and non-residential use requirements in the county’s village zoning regulations.

The petitioners’ attorney, Ralf Brookes, says the outcome could have major implications throughout the county for future 2050 village development.

The Manatee-Sarasota Sierra Club, a leading environmental group, and 1000 Friends of Florida, Inc., a leading smart growth advocate, see the merits of the lawsuits and are providing financial support and legal assistance in the Grand Lakes challenges.

David Anderson, spokesperson for the petitioners, says, “It is a shame when citizens have to dig into their own pockets just to make sure the planning officials follow their own rules.  It is very discouraging that the commissioners ignored the merits of our arguments and approved the Grand Lakes proposals, so, our only recourse available is very costly litigation.”

For more information contact:

David Anderson, President, Serenoa Lakes,

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Siesta Promenade update

Todd Mathes, Benderson's project manager has scheduled the Neighborhood Workshop for Thursday 8.23.18 at 6 pm  at the Pine Shores Presbyterian Church,  6135 Beechwood Ave, Sarasota FL 34231

For a detailed overview of the Siesta Promenade project and community concerns, see the Sarasota News Leader story here.

Benderson development: Siesta Promenade at Stickney Point and US 41

Assuming that it will be in the sanctuary (the big round building.)  Paved parking is located off of Crestwood and also Beechwood, next to the sanctuary, and overlfow grass parking at the intersection of Crestwood and Glencoe Ave.

... it comes as no surprise that they have chosen this date, knowing that it is a very popular time for people to be completing their summer vacations, and are out of town.  
Note: ANYONE can speak at the Neighborhood Workshop. There are no restrictions to only Pine Shores residents. This affects all who live and/or work in the area, as well as Siesta Key residents-plus anyone that goes to the beach!

Please make every effort to be there, as this is the county mandated meeting that Benderson is required to hold to present the project and to "hear Sarasota resident's concerns."  county staff will be in attendance.

It appears that Benderson is trying to fast-track the application to get it heard prior to the election, or at least before the new commissioners start their terms.  

Pine Shores Neighborhood Alliance