+ Nathan Benderson Park earns state planning award
Sarasota County’s Nathan Benderson Park, just south of University Parkway, off Cattlemen Road, has earned more state recognition.
The Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association last week named the park, home to a world-class rowing venue and other amenities, winner of the 2013 APA Florida Award of Excellence in the “planning project” category.
The APA will present the award during the chapter’s annual state conference Sept. 10 through Sept. 13, in Orlando.
During the conference, county planners and others will moderate a panel discussion about the park. Participants will include: Planning and Development Services Director Tom Polk and Senior Planner Beth Rozansky, of Sarasota County government; Tom Walsh, the project’s design architect; community representative John Krotec; and Paul Blackketter, chief operating officer of the SunCoast Aquatic Nature Center, which will manage the facility and a Benderson Development employee.
Once fully developed in 2015, Nathan Benderson Park, located at 2500 Honore Ave., will serve as a multi-purpose aquatic venue and will be recognized as a worldwide competitive rowing destination. The park has been hosting rowing regattas since 2009.
Sarasota and Manatee counties will learn July 14, if the park will host the 2017 World Rowing Championships. The site is one of two finalists for hosting the event.
During the APA National Conference in April, Sarasota County earned the APA’s Hunter Award for Excellence in Economic Development for the design and development of the park and its potential economic development for sports tourism.
At that conference, the county also earned the 2013 Award of Merit from the APA County Planning Division and the National Association of Planners for the project because of its collaborative partnership with Benderson Development.
+ MPO seeks public input
The Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization is updating its Public Involvement Plan and is asking East County residents and others to provide input.
The results will be used to help the MPO be more effective in communicating with the public. Data obtained from participants will be kept confidential.
The MPO is a federal- and state-created regional transportation-planning agency comprised of local elected officials from Manatee and Sarasota counties, local municipalities and the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority. The organization provides long-range regional transportation planning.
Meetings & Agendas
• Mantee County Planning Commission — 9 a.m. July 11, at the Manatee County Government Administrative Center, 1112 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton
• Lakewood Ranch Community Development Districts 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 and the Inter-District Authority Board — 8 a.m. July 18, at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, 8175 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Lakewood Ranch.