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Longboat Key
Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Letters to the Editor week of October 22, 2021

St. Regis PUD

To: Longboat Key Town Clerk Trish Shinkle

Please pass my comments on to the Town Council before tomorrow’s meeting and discussion on the St. Regis PUD. Having been in the hotel consulting and asset management business all of my working career, I would recommend council finally approve the last revisions (added hotel parking and moving the event venue further from the ECL) to the proposal. The Colony site has sat vacant too long and the St Regis Hotel and Condos will be one of the most significant additions to the LBK tax base as well as a welcome amenity for residents and visitors alike. Please vote in favor of the proposal as currently submitted.

Jeffrey C. Carter

Longboat Key

 

St. Regis plan

To: Longboat Key Town Commission

Thank you all again and always! First of all, I want to apologize for not attending your monthly commission meetings, as I have done for the past years, until you changed the time to 9 a.m. and during working hours. Since, I still work, I cannot take off during the day to attend. When they were at 7 p.m. on Monday night; it as much easier for me. Second, there are a few of you that I have not met yet and that is my fault also. But, all of you are volunteering your time, your expertise and your talent to make Longboat Key a better place, so again, I thank you all.

The purpose of this e-mail, because I cannot attend, in person, tomorrow is to ask you to approve the St. Regis project. Since the early 2000s when the Colony began showing signs of decline and in 2009 when it was shut-down and through the following years when it was an eye-sore and an embarrassment to us all, until it was finally torn down; we are all glad that it has been purchased and will finally be a gem again on our island.

Living and working here for over 40 years now, everyone and anyone knows that the majority of people who discovered Longboat Key did so because of the Colony and/or the Resort at the Longboat Key Club. With OP now owning the Resort and continually investing money into it, which no previous owners have done, it is a four-star resort and an attraction like now other, with the golf course adjacent to the beach.

The St. Regis will be an attraction also, just as the Colony was for years past; and we need and want another four-star hotel and luxury Resort on our island. Yes, there are some finer details that may not please all of us or everyone; but there is no way that anyone can and will please everyone in all situations. So, let’s work through this together and please vote to pass this project and move forward with our lives. When the dust settles, and the St. Regis is built and completed; it will be a Resort that we can all enjoy and be proud of and again an attraction to bring other people like us to Longboat Key, who want to enjoy living in paradise, as we all do and have. Thank you for reading and thank you again for volunteering. Take care, enjoy life to the fullest each and every day and God Bless!

Andrew Vac

Longboat Key

 

Covid-19 update

To: Longboat Key Commission

This afternoon we updated our COVID-related restrictions for activity within Town facilities.

Fortunately, COVID case numbers have been decreasing in Florida, and in our two-county area; the percent positives have now been at or below 5 percent for the past two weeks. Hospitalizations related to COVID have also significantly decreased.

This is all good news, but there is still active infection in the area and it is important for individuals to continue to follow the safe practices that have helped our community mitigate the impacts of the pandemic thus far.

Based on the level of vaccination on the island, as well as the latest data from the Florida Department of Health and the CDC, we are returning our COVID protocols to the pre-“Delta Variant” guidelines.

These updated protocols go into effect tomorrow, Tuesday, October 19, 2021.

Masks are voluntary in Town Facilities. Unvaccinated individuals should wear a mask at all times when in the common areas and when they cannot social distance.

Masks will continue to be available at all Town facilities for visitors that may request them

The staff will no longer be screening visitors when they enter a Town facility

Signs on the entry doors will be updated at all facilities to reflect the updated protocols.

Plexiglass barriers will be removed from the Commission Chambers.

Tennis Center – the same protocols for all Town facilities. Any special events and/ or tournaments will require a safety plan reviewed and approved in advance.

Indoor use of Bayfront Park is authorized and will be considered on a case-by-case basis after review of their safety protocols.

The public will continue to be encouraged to do business with the Town by use of technology, phones, our website, drop boxes or they can schedule meetings with staff in advance if an in-person meeting is necessary.

All events requiring a Public Forum Permit will continue to require a safety plan reviewed and approved by Town staff.

We will be closely monitoring COVID cases, both on and off the island, to evaluate the need to make adjustments to our COVID plan moving forward. We will reevaluate these protocols at least every two weeks and take appropriate actions if conditions change.

These protocols will be messaged to the public with reminders to remain vigilant, and follow CDC guidelines, such as wearing masks, hand washing, and social distancing.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

St. Regis plan

To: Town Clerk Trish Shinkle

Hi- I am an owner at Longboat Harbor for the last 7years. Prior to that I vacationed for 20 years at my in-laws condo, In Pelican Harbor. As a resident I want the St. Regis to build and occupy the property it has been over a decade, the St. Regis will provide the community with a well-regarded name brand and pay their share of taxes which should help our community.
Gail Gilvey

Longboat Key

The St. Regis Project

To: Longboat Key Town Clerk Trish Shinkle

In my opinion delaying the approval of the St. Regis project is not in the best interest of those of us residing on LBK. The property has been an eye sore long enough. The St. Regis project not only will enhance the appearance of the island but add significant funds to the LBK budget. Further delay is not in the interest of anyone. I would appreciate my comments being shared with the town commission.

Lynn Simmons

Longboat Key

St. Regis Project

To: Longboat Key Town Clerk Trish Shinkle
We are writing to you to express our support for the St. Regis project.
Please urge the Commissioners to approve this project without delay.  We have seen first hand where projects were scrapped due to excessive “conditions” combined with the short sighted views of a single Commissioner.  The entire community then loses out. We certainly  hope that that doesn’t happen here.
Carl and Sasie Horsley
Longboat Key

 

Planning Development Approval Log

To: Longboat Key Commission

From time to time we are asked for the status of certain development projects in the Town. The Planning, Zoning, and Building Department has developed a tracking spreadsheet for recently approved and pending projects that have going through the public hearing process.

They also plan to post the information on the Town’s website and will be updating the list periodically. Special thanks to Allen and his Team for putting together the tracking sheet to help provide a way to monitor current projects on the island!

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Planning Development Approval Log

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

Attached is a tracking spreadsheet on the status of recently approved and pending projects that have gone through public hearings. We will be updating periodically. I will share future updates & we will also be posting an ADA compatible version to the Town’s website.

Allen Parsons

Director Planning, Zoning & Building Department

Town of Longboat Key

 

St. Regis project

To: Longboat Key Town Commission
I would like to add my voice to the chorus of voices supporting approval of the St Regis project. The St. Regis is well designed, well-sized and will have a significant positive impact on property values and tax base of the island.   After 10+ years of hearings, litigation, debate and redesigns, it’s time to get this project approved before the next downturn happens and it sits vacant for another 10 years.   I urge you to support and quickly approve this project.
By the way, I’m not a real estate agent and have no interest other than as a concerned LBK resident.
James G. Haft
Longboat Key

St. Regis plan

To: Longboat Key Commission
As a 20 year owner and now 6 year’s full-time resident, I have watched w interest the 10 year battle to bring to life what will be a stately, dignified, sophisticated , deluxe class hotel to the Colony property. Its  developer has been diligent, straightforward, flexible and has spent his own money to make this incredible outstanding asset come to fruition. Please approve the project and let construction begin.
Stuart Sinai/  Carole Shaw
Longboat Key

 

Vario Parking Lift System

To: Longboat Key Planning and Zoning Director Allen Parsons

I reviewed your Power Point and have a few questions. I agree with your numbers on page 177/199 of the hearing materials where you show the height needed to accommodate the Single Vario 2061 from the spec sheet. You used the “*standard type” height of 330 cm = 10’ 9.9” (rounded to 10’ 10”). But I am confused by your numbers on page 178/199 where you show widths. For *standard type vehicle with single, double or triple arrangement, the “usable platform width” is 230 cm = 7’ 6.6” (rounded to 7’ 7”). The width (B1) is 260 cm ( 8’ 7”) for a standard vehicle. For double and triple arrangements, you multiply 260 by 2 or 3 respectively. Why did you use 560 cm for B1 width for double arrangement when that is not the “standard type” parking space you used for height? Since only 62 spaces in the garage are lift spaces, the valets will put only standard sized or smaller vehicles in the lifts. Also, I don’t understand where “21’ 11” and 28’ 4” came from on sheet 178/199. I want us to at least understand each others numbers before we get to the hearing. I don’t want to be debating correct numbers at the podium. Will you please call me to help me understand your numbers?

Brenda L. Patten, Esquire

Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC

 

Vario Parking Lift System

To: Brenda Patten

The dimensions that were used on page 178/199 were taken from the materials that you and Pinar sent us. Please see pages 128 and 138 from the Commission packet. Page 128 shows that the dimensions were outlined in red, and page 138 shows the proposed parking garage dimensions.

Please provide responses to the questions below in order to clarify the equipment and dimensions shown. We need this additional information by 8am tomorrow (10/19).

Please confirm that the mechanics of the lift system are included in the cited dimension (18’ 4 ½” and 27’ 6 ¾”). It is unclear whether the mechanical lift system requires additional space, as it the dimensions on the spec sheet look like they are only for the “usable platform” space. Please provide information to demonstrate how it (the usable platform and the associated equipment) fits. Please provide a list of the types of vehicles that will be utilizing the mechanical lifts, including dimensions (height) of the vehicles. For example, another manufacturing system provided the table below, which would be helpful:

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Maika Arnold

Senior Planner Planning Zoning & Building Department

Town of Longboat Key

 

Vario Parking Lift System

To: Longboat Key Town Planner Maika Arnold

Thanks for the response of where 21’-11” & 28’-4” came from. The Klaus spec sheet (127/199) shows the dimensions of a standard passenger car & a standard station wagon. Those vehicles look like the basis on Klaus’ ”*standard type” vehicle and “*standard width” in their charts. The valets will be trained to park the appropriate vehicles in the lifts (only 62 lifts out of 256 hotel garage spaces- so there is flexibility). I think Allen should have used the usable platform width (230) & B1 (520) for a *standard type width on page 128/199, rather than the specs outlined in dark red on page 128/199. But I am not an expert & neither is Allen. The bottom line is that Allen’s Power Point says the lift spaces will work in the spaces we have provided in the garage. We agree with that point. That is what the Commission needs to hear.

I can’t answer your technical questions beyond what is on the Klaus spec sheets. We have hired an expert in designing, installing & operating garage lift systems in developments all over Florida who will attend the hearing to testify & answer technical questions. When I sent her the dimensions of the St Regis spaces (9’ x 18’ by 11’ 10” high) & asked if these spaces could accommodate a 2 level lift system, she said “no problem”. She said it is common in commercial garages, even with slightly smaller spaces, I think staff & applicant are OK for the hearing.

Brenda L. Patten, Esquire

Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC

 

Vario Parking Lift System

To: Brenda Patten

You may have misunderstood the queries in Maika’s email. The information requested is needed by staff to be able to affirmatively state or answer that the equipment & dimensions provided will in fact within the locations indicated on the Plan. It is unclear if additional horizontal space is needed for the mechanical equipment, in addition to the 560 cm (2-space lift) or 840 cm (3-space lift). Please provide confirmation of the total width required, inclusive of the equipment that lifts the vehicle.

With regard to the 2nd question, Maika was providing a clear example (from a different company) of the kinds of vehicles that would be broadly understood and the height dimensions needed. For example, a Compact Car elevated above a Compact Car required 10’6”. A compact car over a standard car required 12’2”. The information and diagram in the Klaus parking materials provided does not make this clear. If the proposed mechanical spaces accommodate only compact cars on the upper & lower level, it’ll be important to state that.

Providing this information to staff in advance of the meeting will allow us to state with certainty, rather than indicating “it appears that…” Please be advised too, there is an interest in having dimensions presented consistently in feet and inches rather than in a combination of metric system & imperial system.

Allen Parsons

Director Planning and Zoning Department

Longboat Key

 

Vario Parking Lift System

To: Longboat Key Planning and Zoning Director Allen Parsons

Thanks, Allen. My JD did not prepare me to answer your technical questions. I will send your questions to our lift consultant & get answers back to you.

Brenda L. Patten, Esquire

Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC

 

Vario Parking Lift System

To: Brenda Patten

What is the status of the info requested? Maika had asked for it to be provided by 8 a.m. this morning so that we would have an opportunity to review prior to tomorrow’s public hearing.

Allen Parsons

Director Planning and Zoning Department

Longboat Key

 

Vario Parking Lift System

To: Longboat Key Planning and Zoning Director Allen Parsons

As a coincidence, the expert we hired to attend the hearing and answer questions is from Park Plus. The illustration you copied below is from the Park Plus website. Before I even had the question from Maika, I called Park Plus and talked with our consultant about what C/C meant. It does not mean “Compact Car/Compact Car as I thought it might. If you look at the legend, C= “Compact/Sedan”. I was told that means one of those C/C spaces will accommodate a compact car or a sedan. I asked Park Place to give me a list of what vehicles will fit in the C/C space. Here is what they sent me:

“As mentioned in our call; the c/c scenario accommodates both compact and sedan vehicles. Furthermore, our stackers are adjustable in ½” increments on-site. Examples of vehicles that fit are any combination of the below:

Cadillac CT4, CT5

Audi A4

Audi A6

BMW 7 Series

BMW 3 Series

Lexus Es

Lexus IS

Jaquar XF

Maserati Ghibli

Porcshe Taycan

Volvo S90

Our Park Plus consultant is preparing graphics which I hope to have by this afternoon for the hearing tomorrow. In our SB plan sheets, we used a Klaus Vario product. There are several other similar lift products that will easily fit in our 11’ 10” floor to ceiling garage space as the Park Plus consultant will explain tomorrow.

Brenda L. Patten, Esquire

Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC

 

Vario Parking Lift System

To: Brenda Patten

We may not have time to review your materials prior to the meeting tomorrow and would have to indicate so. I’m also confused now as to how to view the materials you’ve previously submitted from Klaus, as you appear to be indicating that the project will be utilizing a different system, which staff hasn’t had the opportunity to review. A reminder too, that the other important details needed have to do with the width of the spaces, inclusive of the devices that will lift the vehicles.

Allen Parsons

Director Planning and Zoning Department

Longboat Key

 

Vario Parking Lift System

To: Longboat Key Planning and Zoning Director Allen Parsons

Attached is a graphic prepared by Park Plus which Paige Langlands will present to the Town Commission tomorrow. It shows 3 different models of double stacked vehicle lifts with clearances from grade to the top of the free space above the elevated vehicle of 12’-2” , 14’-0” and 10’- 6” respectively. Obviously, we would use the model with the 10’ -6” “clear (obstruction-free headroom)”. The table on this sheet shows that this clearance will accommodate a sedan at grade and a sedan on the elevated lift. In the e-mail below, I gave you the list of typical sedans this model will accommodate. The bottom illustration on the sheet shows that for a single lift, the width needed to accommodate the lift platform plus the external lift mechanism is 8’- 7 ¼ “ with a platform width of 7’-0 ¼ “ . For a double (side by side) lift arrangement, the width needed to accommodate two lifts with the external lift mechanism is 16’- 9 ½ “ . One St. Regis valet space has dimensions of 9’ width x 18’ length x 11’ x 10” height . Obviously, the model shown on the Park Plus plan will easily fit in the St. Regis valet space.

If departure #14 is approved to allow 62 lift parking spaces to be 9’ x 18’ and departure #15 is granted to allow 62 lift spaces in the garage to be stacked, those departures are sufficient to accommodate either the Klaus lift, the Park Plus lift, or other brands with similar dimensions. I have never know a plan to be specific as to the brand of product that will be used, so long as the dimensions are approved.

Brenda L. Patten

Berlin  Patten Ebling, PLLC

 

Vario Parking Lift System

To: Longboat Key Planning and Zoning Director Allen Parsons

Attached is another Park Plus sheet MP-00. The table on this sheet shows that a Power Pack needed to operate the lifts has a width of 20” to 22”. Paige will testify tomorrow that it will require 4 Power Packs to operate 62 vehicle lifts. These four Power Packs will be located in the aisles between parking spaces where there are now columns only. If you scale the aisles on the SB sheets you have for the P1 parking levels, you will see that the aisles with the columns are wider than 24” and will accommodate a Power Pack. These are issues that should be handled on the construction plans. I am not submitting the Park Plus plans to you as part of the application. They are for illustration purposes only at the hearing to demonstrate that a variety of lifts will fit in our valet spaces. Our plans stand as submitted. To address your questions, I will propose the following as condition #61 in the Ordinance & Resolution:

61) Any additional equipment or machinery required to operate the 62 parking lifts that is not part of the vehicle lift mechanism in the lift space will be shown on the construction plans and shall not intrude into any drive aisle or parking space in the podium garage.

Brenda L. Patten

Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC

 

Town Center stage

To: Longboat Key Commission

Commissioners, FYI. The staff has developed a one-page flyer that touches on the planned construction work for the outdoor venue and the partnership with the Longboat Key Foundation to seek private donations for the design and construction of the stage. We will make this flyer available to the public through various means. This flyer may be helpful if individual Commissioners talk with potential donors or other interested residents. The contact information for the Foundation is included on the flyer. A digital copy of the flyer is attached and hard copies are also available.

This flyer has been shared with the Foundation. They will also have their own materials that they will be using to talk with potential donors.

We have talked with the Foundation and agreed to closely coordinate on the status of donor commitments and to include the Town in discussions with potential naming rights donors. A naming rights donor commitment would be reviewed by the Town staff and brought to the Commission in coordination with the Foundation, ultimately for Town Commission review and approval.

Tom Harmer

Town Manager

Longboat Key

St. Regis parking
To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer and Planning and Zoning Director Allen Parsons

Once again thanks to staff for being so diligent in following up Debra’s and my concern for the parking issues with  The St. Regis application. This was a critical catch. Please be sure Maika knows how appreciative I am.
I am sorry you all had to burn many late night candles, but it made the final result acceptable which was not the case with the October 6 application.  Thank you! I hope you all get a well deserved rest before the next wave of applications.
BJ Bishop

Commissioner

Longboat Key

 

St. Regis parking

To: Longboat Key Commissioner BJ Bishop

Commissioner Bishop, thanks for the email. Allen will share your feedback with Maika- she did a great job. Obviously, a lot of work behind the scenes by the Team to get to today’s hearing.
Tom Harmer
Town Manager
Longboat Key

 

Longboat Key approves St. Regis project

To: Longboat Key Commission, Charles Whittall

Commissioners I’m taking this moment to personally thank each and every one of you for your unanimous support for probably the most significant project this Island paradise has ever seen. It is a triple win achievement; first for Longboat Key adding a substantial figure to our tax base and unimaginable level of prestige to an already top destination.

A win for Unicorp, to place its five-star luxury resort in a venue that drew people from all over the world, including presidents. And thirdly, a win for greater Sarasota and Southwest Florida, the presence of St. Regis will have a huge impact for the entire area.

Chuck Wittall my congratulations to you and the Unicorp organization. We all thank you for your perseverance, for the amount of time, effort and monetary investment.

Understand you will take up residence here, at least part time. Welcome to paradise.

Ed Krepela

Longboat Key

 

Longboat Key approves St. Regis project

To: Ed Krepela

Thank you for the kind email

Chuck Whittall

Unicorp Companies

Orlando

 

St. Regis groundbreaking
To: Longboat Key CommissionI would like to formally like to invite all of you to the groundbreaking on Monday. I appreciate all of your hard work and all the effort you spent in reading all the documents and all the deliberations. It is nice to see the commission unified in this decision which will certainly keep the community unified as well. A great statement.We look forward to making this an absolutely incredible positive development for the Town Of Longboat Key and wish you to celebrate the groundbreaking with us Monday at 10 a.m.Also Mr. Mayor I would be honored if you would speak at the event. Have a great weekend and thanks for all your hard work and dedication to the community.

Chuck Whittall

Unicorp Companies

Orlando

 

St. Regis groundbreaking

To: Chuck Whittall

Congratulations on reaching this milestone, a credit to your tenacity against many headwinds. We look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship between St. Regis and the Town. I would be happy to speak Monday if you can find me a parking space.

Ken Schneier

Mayor

Longboat Key

 

St. Regis groundbreaking

To: Longboat Key Mayor Ken Schneier

Ha. Looking forward to it. Thank you for your attendance.

Chuck Whittall

Unicorp Companies

Orlando

 

St. Regis groundbreaking

To: Chuck Whittall

Thank you for the invite. My wife Lyn and I will attend.

Mike Haycock

Vice Mayor

Longboat Key

 

Stop Hotel Houses

To: Sarasota City Mayor Hagen Brody

I am President of the Lido Shores Property Owners Association (LSPOA,) a community of some 120 homes at the north end of Lido Key. We take great pride that in November 2018, two dozen Association members went to City Hall and raised signs to protest a proposal to allow owner-occupied rentals. After considerable pushback, the measure was wisely dropped. Now, less than three years later, the Commission has apparently instructed the City Attorney to draft an ordinance to allow owner-occupied rentals…with no constraints.

The current ordinance referral is merely a continuation of your ill-conceived attempt to do an end-run around the rules. The notion of grandma supplementing her income by renting a room seems innocent enough on the surface, but we all know how it will end up in many cases. One room becomes two, then three. Stay for a night or maybe a couple hours. The “owner-on-site” requirement will soon be forgotten. Be realistic—there is no practical way for the City to monitor, let alone enforce compliance with existing or even additional resources.

There are numerous hotels in Sarasota and pages of Airbnb and VRBO offerings that comply with applicable City ordinances. Adding the option of under-monitored housing is not necessary for the health of the community and only serves to further erode the quiet enjoyment of the vast majority of homeowners who don’t want to live with late night party noise, overflowing trash containers, parking violations and other impositions that run counter to the sanctity of single-family neighborhoods.

While the percentage of voters turning out for local elections is typically light, the fear of transient housing invading our neighborhoods will certainly motivate more residents to vote in their best interests. To Lido Shores, this issue is as important as red tide, beach renourishment and traffic congestion. There will be many important issues facing Sarasotans in the 2022 and 2024 elections. Wasting time on hotels masquerading as houses should not be one of them. We and other concerned citizens urge you to drop the current “sharing” proposal and any future measure that would allow more unwanted intrusions into our neighborhoods. Thank you in advance for protecting your constituents from this threat to their greatest asset.

Denis Bischoff

President

Lido Shores Property Owners Association

 

Joint Meeting- November 8

To: Sarasota City Commission

In further consultation this past Friday with Town Manager Harmer and staff, we have developed the attached draft agenda for the joint meeting. Staff from both governments will begin drafting the agenda items to include representatives from FDOT. Please let me know if you have any questions or further suggestions.

Marlon Brown

City Manager

City of Sarasota

 

Joint Meeting- November 8

To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown

Marlon, hope all is well.  Just checking in on your thoughts for items for our upcoming joint meeting (November 8th).  Here is the list from our previous meeting back in 2019.

Update on The Bay Conservancy Master Plan

Sarasota Downtown Transportation Projects

Barrier Island Traffic Study Update

Public Transit

A couple of ideas on my end for us to discuss- open to anything else you can think of.  Too many items for a joint meeting agenda, but wanted share some ideas so we can refine- you may have some additional ideas…

Another update on The Bay

Update on the St. Regis Longboat Key Project

Beach Nourishment Update- we both just completed major nourishment projects we could touch on.  We obviously both share New Pass as a sand source.  One of the last projects in our 5 year beach management plan will be tightening the New Pass groin sometime over the next year…

St. Armands- the Town is very interested in some of the recent discussions/initiatives to change codes to facilitate redevelopment of the existing commercial properties (height/use) and the un-solicited proposal to sell the parking lot.  We are also interested in continuing our 3 way partnership to place pedestrian monitors during high traffic season at key crossings in the circle.

An update on what to expect this season at US41/Gulfstream – maybe invite FDOT for a project update to both Commissions?

Discussion on creative transportation initiatives- County MOD, water taxi, trolley to St. Armands, etc.

Undergrounding of all utilities on Longboat Key- approach and status of project.

Town Center/Outdoor Venue- we are under construction of a new outdoor venue, we will be having a series of events this season, even though it will also be under construction.  Our local foundation is seeking donations for a permenant stage that has been designed by Hoyt Architects.

We tend to do regular joint meetings with the two counties once a year.  Typically I have talked through agenda’s with the administrators and then we brought back a proposed agenda to our respective commissions in case they had some other or additional thoughts.

Be happy to discuss when you are ready.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Joint Meeting- November 8

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

Good morning. Just returning from personal leave but I have discussed a proposed agenda with the City Commission at our last meeting. Here are the items we are considering. Let’s discuss this week on a call:

Gulfstream Roundabout including pedestrian crossings/HAWK signals;

Coon Key bridge replacement currently under design;

Fillmore lot development with the possible land use changes that may be considered,

Zoning changes associated with St. Armands in general (BID proposed);

Water taxi and trolley;

Use of sand from New Pass;

Parking/street spaces for residents only on LBK;

Restriction of public parking for beach goers;

I have copied Kathy to help schedule. Thanks.

Marlon Brown

City Manager

City of Sarasota

 

Joint Meeting- November 8

To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown

Marlon, thanks for setting up the call.  Good discussion!  I put together a draft agenda (attached) that I think reflects our discussion.  Feel free to clarify/edit- I assume you will finalize an order for the final agenda.  I let our staff know that we need to get our info to you no later than the 26th.

Thomas A. Harmer

Town Manager

Town of Longboat Key

 

Joint Meeting- November 8

To: Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer

Thanks for putting this together. We will begin working on the responsible items on our end. I have included L.K. so that he too is aware of the agenda items and can begin thinking of the appropriate staff that can provide the updates in the within. I’ll be in touch.

Marlon Brown

City Manager

City of Sarasota

 

Your letter to Marina Jacks

To: Sarasota City Vice Mayor Erik Arroyo

I just finished reading the transcript from Monday’s city commission meeting.  I’d love to receive a copy of the letter you are sending / have sent to Marina Jacks.  As we’ve previously discussed, there are many folks in both the Laurel Park neighborhood and the Preserve Payne Park coalition who share your objections to the long-term one-sided deal benefiting one private company at the expense of the public’s access to and returns on its land (parking slots in particular) and waters.  I am happy to support, in any way I can, your efforts to develop a more equitable arrangement for the city’s taxpayers and property owners.

Kelly Franklin

Sarasota

 

Your letter to Marina Jacks

To: Kelly Franklin

The letter will get sent out 11/11/21 and I don’t have a draft to show just yet. I welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss its contents further. The balancing act is to write a letter that professionally demonstrates the public outrage there is with this issue while restraining myself from writing a letter in all caps.

Erik Arroyo

Vice Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

Logo and Seal

To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown

I just finished reading the weekly report from the Planning Department. I noticed in the category, Logo and Seal, that “All three consultants presented to staff this week, and we’re ready to present our recommendation for selection of a vendor to you.”

When you and I previously communicated about this, I expressed concern that no comprehensive preliminary cost analysis for rebranding had been presented to the City Commission. To this day, no cost analysis has been presented to or approved by the City Commission

Now, I am concerned that at staff’s recommendation, the CC is poised to select one of three vendors, still without having any information about the typical cost of municipal rebranding, including a detailed listing of the full extent to what rebranding will encompass for the city of Sarasota.

As we know, stationery is not the only aspect of rebranding. Is there a cost itemization of components such as removing and replacing the large David relief on the wall behind the commission table? Does the itemization include replacing the logo on all city property, including buildings, trucks, equipment? Has the City Commission been informed enough to know what the complete process of rebranding will cost the city?

Kathy Kelley Ohlrich

Sarasota

 

Logo and Seal

To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown, Kathy Kelley Ohlrich

Marlon, thank you for the opportunity to respond. The logo and seal refresh will be implemented as a phased approach.

On May 17, 2021, City Commission directed staff to explore design costs associated with a refresh of the logo.  In a separate vote, Commission also directed staff to explore costs and process for design competition to update the City seal. This is included in the lump sum proposals we recently received.

Once we present our findings to Commission, it will ultimately be up to them to determine if it is prudent to move forward – understanding the overall cost of rollout. If we are directed to move forward, staff will compile a cost estimate for first-tier upgrades (such as high-visibility products – signs, commission chambers, roadway signs, etc.) for which we will address as funding is available.

A soft rollout will allow for incremental budgetary allocations with yearly benchmarks for implementation – a common practice with municipal rebranding.

Mary Davis Wallace

Senior Planner

City of Sarasota

 

Logo and seal

To: Sarasota City Senior Planner Mary Davis Wallace

Thank you so much for your commitment to this city; your vision for expanding our standing as an Arts and Cultural Hub is something that our community and this city standa fully behind. The Karp Foundation has agreed to assist the city by giving a $4,000 scholarship to Ringling College to create a contest for their students to design our new logo and seal. I’m sure we can secure more scholarship dollars and the process would cost the city time, but not money to implement.

In 2014 I witnessed the city of Clermont, Florida undergo a similar process. After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, the end result was not something worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. As such, an option like that outlined above would be not only fiscally responsible, but time-efficient as well. Keeping in mind that this Ringling College option would not require commission approval, the options are not mutually exclusive, perhaps we can even begin with one now as we assess further. Any thoughts you may have on the matter are greatly appreciated.

Erik Arroyo

Vice Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

Tour and Solar

To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown

Thank you so much for arranging a tour of the almost completed Amaryllis affordable, senior (62+) housing development on Orange Ave this morning. I appreciate your time and I had some really valuable discussions.

Per our discussion of this facility’s rooftop solar panels, I want to commend you for making sustainability efforts which are so important to the City and fit in with the City’s adoption of the Sierra Club’s “Ready for 100” Initiative. Thank you again and I look forward to hearing from the City Manager on this.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Commissioner

City of Sarasota

 

Tour and Solar

To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown

I will reach out to Joe to talk through any possibilities – one concern I have is that any solar work should be incorporated at the start of the project, before engineering drawings are sealed, as that is the best time to incorporate any structural changes at minimal cost.

Jeff Vredenburg

Sustainability Coordinator

City of Sarasota

 

Arts &*b Design Show Sarasota

To: Sarasota City Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch

Su Byron my PR guru suggested I get in touch with you regarding the mask/vaccination issue. All indoor shows up north are requiring both. My guests typically will want to be in an environment where everyone else will be vaccinated and masked. I am afraid that if I don’t make it required for admission, which is free, I will lose many of the best clients.

Your advice would be very helpful. One idea that I had was to advertise that admission is free if you are vaccinated & will wear a mask. unmasked and unvaccinated will be required to pay $12 admission. My exhibitors do not want the unmasked to be allowed in. The staff at Robarts have not been wearing masks, nor have the other shows at the arena had any requirements. I know this has become a tough issue and there may not be any suitable solution. I welcome your thoughts.

Richard Rothbard
American Art Marketing

Arts &*b Design Show Sarasota

To: Richard Rothbard

Thanks for the email. It is a difficult situation and I completely understand your position.

I have copied the City attorney on this email to respond as it is my understanding is that this is a legal issue. Hopefully he can respond and be of some guidance.

Jen Ahearn-Koch

City Commissioner

City of Sarasota

 

Arts &*b Design Show Sarasota

To: Richard Rothbard, Sarasota City Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch

All I can really say here is that the new state law passed earlier this year says that any business entity operating in this state may not require patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-infection recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the business operations in this state.  The term “business entity” is broadly defined to include charitable organizations and non-profits.

However, the statute also says that businesses are not prohibited from instituting screening protocols consistent with authoritative or controlling government issued guidance to protect public health.  The statute seems to be aimed at mandatory vaccinations and at proof of recovery after a known infection.  The wearing of masks is not specifically prohibited and would seem to me to be a screening protocol consistent with authoritative or controlling government issued guidance to protect public health.

Robert M. Fournier

City Attorney

City of Sarasota

 

Are Bees Attracted To Light?

To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown

Good morning. Three bees flew inside our kitchen this a.m. when we opened the door. I will repeat that my wife, Sandy, is allergic to bee stings. This is a health/safety issue that should not be allowed to drag on any longer. It has been months since we raised this issue to the City. We request the City take whatever steps are necessary to remove the bees immediately.

David E. Gurley

Florida Bar Board Certified In Construction Law

 

Are Bees Attracted To Light?

To: Sarasota City Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch, City Manager Marlon Brown

We have made a couple of different attempts to meet with Brad Stiles onsite and he has either not showed at the appointment, not returned my voicemail, or completely ignored my texts and phone calls.  I texted a photo of the bee box over to Kevin Lausman and Brad Stiles asking them for feedback and I heard nothing.  Brad called me late yesterday afternoon and asked if we still needed his assistance and I told him yes.  At this point, Ms. Morrison is really frustrated with the beekeepers lack of showing up to the appointments and their lack of response, and I can’t say that I blame her.  I asked Brad to call Ms. Morrison directly and set up a time to stop by and take a look at the bee box.  I haven’t heard from him today.  I did receive a text yesterday from Mr. Lausman stating that he had recently had some surgery and was unable to assist right now.  He did tell me to reach out directly to Brad Stiles and I’ve been doing that for close to two weeks at this point.

As an alternative, I reached out to the Department of Agriculture last Friday to get some guidance on this.  They responded to my email yesterday and provided me with a couple of other local beekeepers to reach out to.  I plan to reach out today and see if either one of these folks would be willing to assist and take a look at this bee box.  I’ll keep you guys updated as we continue through this process.  I’m hoping that we can get some response soon.

Diane Kennedy

Code Compliance Manager

City of Sarasota

 

Are Bees Attracted To Light?

To: Sarasota City Code Compliance Manager Diane Kennedy

Yes, bees are attracted to light. They have an innate positive phototactic response to light, which means they move towards sources of light.

https://busybeekeeping.com/are-bees-attracted-to-light/

Jen Ahearn-Koch

City Commissioner

City of Sarasota

 

Are Bees Attracted To Light?

To: Sarasota City Code Compliance Manager Diane Kennedy

Thank you all for being committed to continuing to work through this issue. I am sure you have thought of this and explored this, but the photo attached to the original email of the yellow light and the bees might be a source of actually attracting the bees. I did a google search and below is what I found.  Thank you again for working through this with the neighbors, it is really, really appreciated!

Jen Ahearn-Koch

Commissioner

City of Sarasota

A compliment…out-of-town-visitors
To: Sarasota City Manager Marlon Brown
Thought you’d like to know about some very positive comments about our City…
• dinner last night with my wife, sister-in-law and friend. Our two visitors are San Jose, CA residents in town for this week.
• spontaneous mention of ‘how clean’ Sarasota is…the word ‘pristine’ also mentioned. These were totally unprompted comments.
• the conversation over a great meal at Lila’s included some discussion about homeless/unsheltered individuals as a national issue. San Jose, with all its wealth, has incredible problems with the unsheltered and huge issues with encampments. Our guests mentioned how pleasant Sarasota and Main Street is with the tree lighting and cleanliness. Of course they loved our beaches and museums too.
Let’s all continue to work on the unsheltered/homeless, vagrant and important mental health challenged individuals. This said the programs, policies and enhanced policing work in the City of Sarasota are working.
Later today Kevin Stiff will be a guest speaker at a Rosemary District Association Community Meeting…while homeless issues and vagrant/criminal activity will continue my suggestion is to please pat yourself on the back for the successful practices, policies and policing that are showing successes.
Hey, sometimes, actually most times, things in life are ‘relative’….My two-cents is relative to most U.S. cities Sarasota does incredibly well in mitigating the unfortunate unsheltered individual population. Let’s keep at it.
Thought you’d like to know about above. Thanks to our police department, other first responders and Kevin’s H.O.T team in particular. Please do pass this message along as you would wish.

David Lough

Sarasota

 

A compliment…out-of-town-visitors

To: David Lough
Thanks for sharing. I received and have always received similar comments from out of town guests as I hosted a few this weekend from out of state. Many times we do not see things from their perspective and their experiences in their own hometowns and their travels. Sometimes when we, who live here, comment negatively about our city I cringe because of the message it carries to visitors or those wishing to visit Sarasota and even our residents but many times I use that as motivation to do more. Thanks for sharing and something has to be right as testified by those comments even as we continue to receive accolades and top rankings (although metro but we are the economic hub) about being the “best” in everything offered. I am “proud” to be from Sarasota!
Marlon Brown
City Manager

City of Sarasota

 

 

Bailey St. – Safety Improvements

To: Sarasota City Vice Mayor Erik Arroyo

I hope this email finds you well.  I am writing to alert you to the need to improve traffic safety measures at our house, located at Bailey Street.

Our house sits at the curve of Bailey Street where posted signs limit the speed of cars in either direction to 25 mph.

Unfortunately, this measure  alone is insufficient in safeguarding the residents along the curve.

Indeed just yesterday another reported incident occurred whereby a speeding auto lost control at the curve and smashed into two mailboxes before fleeing the scene. I have since learned, this curve is notorious for such incidents or worse with a recent head-on collision which required ambulatory services.

I recall you visited our house last summer and indicated your commission would champion much needed improvements for this long neglected area of Sarasota.

I ask that any such improvements include the installation

of speed bumps (entering and leaving the curve), improved lighting and / or signage thereto.

Please kindly confirm receipt of this email and let me know what can be done to improve the traffic safety along Bailey Street. Thank you for your assistance.

Jorge Martinez

Sarasota

 

Bailey St. – Safety Improvements

To: Jorge Martinez

Thank you for message and it is a pleasure to hear from you. I have been actively advocating for increased attention to our part of town. Recently, I took a tour with our Director of Public Works through the district and we discussed the general themes of disrepair, safety, and allocation of resources.

I’m copying the Director of Public Works, Douglas Jeffcoat, as well as our City Manager, Marlon Brown, so that they may advise as to ways that we can improve the situation on Bailey Street. My Cell phone number is below and I will be following up with you as this process goes along.

Erik Arroyo

Vice Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

Bailey St – Safety Improvements

To: Sarasota City Vice Mayor Erik Arroyo

I hope all is well.  I am writing to request the appropriate contact to help me resolve another, albeit more personal, issue regarding Bailey Street.

Background: Our property is adjacent to the Ramblewood Acres subdivision and between the two properties is a city managed stormwater runoff that connects to the larger county managed stormwater runoff.

Issue:  The stormwater runoff for the city has not been maintained which in turn has caused land erosion to both properties.

Request: At your earliest convenience, please let me know the department charged with maintaining the stormwater system for the city.

Jorge Martinez

Sarasota

 

Bailey St – Safety Improvements

To: Jorge Martinez

Thank you for your e-mail and my hope is that there’s a swift resolution to this problem. To this e-mail I’m copying the municipal stormwater runoff version of the “Avengers” to resolve this issue. Mr. Robinson, our deputy city manager, already has dibs on being the Incredible Hulk because he is both incredible and because nobody wants to make him angry.

All jokes aside, we take our infrastructure very seriously and these individuals will take it from here. I’ve copied our City Manager Marlon Brown; Deputy City Manager, Pat “Incredible” Robinson; Director of Public Works, Doug Jeffcoat; Utilities Director, Bill Riebe; and City Engineer Nik Patel.

We also have a city app called “COS Click-2-Fix” which can be downloaded from the app store on virtually any phone, except flip phones. This city app enables you to take a picture of the vast majority of reportable issues within the city to automatically generate a work order for our city—I highly encourage you to have that as a very valuable resource.

Please follow up with me via e-mail or by calling me and let me know how this gets resolved.

Happy Sunday!

Erik Arroyo

Vice Mayor

City of Sarasota

 

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