+ Plea deal struck for fatal 2012 DUI crash on Siesta
Circuit Court Judge Frederick P. Mercurio sentenced Blake Talman, 24, to 15 years in prison for DUI manslaughter Nov. 25, for the death of Siesta Key resident Donna Chen. Talman will also serve five years of probation.
On Jan. 7, 2012, Talman, who was then 22, was allegedly driving his Nissan Altima drunk when he struck and killed 53-year-old Chen as she and her dog, Barney, were running on the sidewalk along Midnight Pass Road. Talman was reportedly driving about 90 mph when he lost control rounding a corner on Midnight Pass Road, flipping his car and fatally impacting Chen.
+ Controversy continues to cook at Bob’s Boathouse
Sarasota County commissioners have questioned the legal basis for the newly relocated restaurant’s liquor license and neighbors have lodged noise complaints. And on Nov. 20, Sarasota County Code Enforcement filed a notice of violation ordering Bob’s Boathouse to cease outdoor dining during prohibited hours.
The County Code permits outdoor dining from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The violation occurred on Nov. 17, according to the notice.
Bob’s Boathouse management will have until Dec. 1 to correct the violation or face a hearing with the Code Enforcement Special Magistrate that could result in fines.
+ Industrial project chosen for county-owned land
Sarasota County commissioners, during a Nov. 26 workshop, leaned toward developing an industrial project instead of a sports complex on 42 acres of public land on Fruitville Road.
County staff will negotiate with Benderson Development for the sale of 42 acres of county-owned land east of I-75. Benderson plans to create light industrial facilities as part of an office park, with an initial bid of $2.5 million.
County commissioners expect the parcel, which has been appraised at a range of $4.1 million to $4.6 million, to serve as a catalyst project for the development of more than 300 acres as part of the Fruitville Initiative.
The Benderson proposal was competing with Goodsports Enterprises Global’s plans to build a sports complex around the intial construction of a hotel and field house.
“It’s just not something I had ever envisioned for the Fruitville area,” said Commissioner Nora Patterson.
Benderson Development Vice President Larry Fineberg said his project would be unique to Sarasota County, and serve to attract companies such as Nestle Waters. The firm, known for its retail projects locally, has a portfolio with more than 10 million square feet of industrial space.
“When guys like us get excited it’s over the big industrial building,” Fineberg said. “It’s not necessarily over the strip centers or the malls.
Meetings & agendas
The Siesta Key Association will hold a meeting with a representative of the Army Corps of Engineers to discuss a proposed project to mine Big Pass for Lido Beach sand — 5 p.m., at St. Boniface Church, 5615 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key. Residents can call 364-4880 for more information.