County commissioners unanimously denied an ordinance that would have protected “baby” grand trees and instead voted for a watered down plan that would simply re-examine county tree policies and provide incentives for tree protection.
A parade of developers, builders and county residents told the commission Tuesday the baby grand tree ordinance would hinder development.
The county already protects grand trees and requires special permission to remove them to make room for development. The "baby" grand tree ordinance would have protected trees that are about half the size of grand trees.
In other commission news:
• Commissioners approved unanimously an emergency ordinance to reinstate the county’s open container law.
The ordinance that made it illegal to drink alcohol on any public right-of-way, street, sidewalk, alley or parking lot in the unincorporated parts of the county was adopted in 1996, but because of an oversight, county officials let the law expire Oct. 22.
The county’s municipalities have their own open-container laws in effect.
• More than $2.5 million in construction and repair projects were approved, including the restoration of the tower and colonnade at the Sarasota County courthouse.
• Partial-year library cards were approved for part-time county residents. Previously, non-residents had to pay $40 for a full-year card. The new prices are: $15 for three months, $25 for six months and $40 for one year.
• The commission approved a contract with Cabana Concessions Inc. for a new portable concession service at South Lido Park. The company will pay the county $600 to offer the new service.
• Special recognition was given to Sara Beth Kalajian, library director, for 25 years of service with Sarasota County government.
Contact Robin Roy at [email protected].