LAKEWOOD RANCH — Hoping to reduce heavy traffic through neighborhoods within Lakewood Ranch Community Development District 6, supervisors took the first step toward that concept Feb. 21, by requesting information on the feasibility of limiting public access through the northernmost entrance to the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club.
Board members directed staff to study and report on the feasibility of converting the Balmoral Woods Boulevard entrance into the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club — currently one of two public, gated entrances — to a transponder-only gate.
Information requested also included the cost of a metal gate; the potential need to move the existing gate; the cost of Legacy Boulevard contribution; and cost savings for the removal of security guards at the existing gatehouse.
“It’s a steady stream of traffic (that comes through there),” Supervisor Richard Williams said. “There’s a lot of wear and tear on our roads.”
Shifting traffic to the public entrance off University Parkway would create a more even distribution of traffic, particularly of contractor vehicles coming from the north in Manatee County, supervisors said.
Resident Carl Francisco thanked the board for considering such a change. He cited concerns with safety as a top priority.
“That’s the major conduit into the Country Club,” he said. “The commercial drivers do not observe speed limits. Many of them do not observe right and left (on the roads). We see this every day.”
The proposed change, however, could leave some Lakewood Ranch residents without convenient access to a portion of their own community.
CDD 1 resident and supervisor June Stroup asked the board to consider Lakewood Ranch residents traveling from the north, who have utilized the gate for years.
“The Balmoral gate has been a (benefit) for the community, in general,” she said. “It’s unfortunate now we will have to make that extra-long trip. We are a part of the community, as well.”
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+ Progress made on maintenance facility
Supervisors on the Lakewood Ranch Inter-District Authority Board stood by their previous vote to hire Magnum Construction of Sarasota to build a new maintenance facility for the IDA. They voted again Feb. 21 to move forward with a contract with the company.
Halfacre Construction, the apparent low bidder for the contract, had filed a bid protest, after IDA officials deemed Halfacre’s bid to be unresponsive, because it did not follow bid instructions completely.
A hearing officer heard the case and found the IDA board did not act “fraudulently, illegally or dishonestly” in its conclusion to hire Magnum Construction of Sarasota to build its new maintenance facility. The board accepted the officer’s recommended order.
The bid protest delayed the start of construction of the facility by about one month.
• Operations Director Ryan Heise reported staff is getting proposals for re-leveling and resurfacing the tennis courts at Summerfield Park.
CDD 2 & 5:
• Supervisors of CDDs 2 and 5 voted to award a contract for pavement milling and resurfacing services on The Masters Avenue and Legacy Boulevard to AJAX Paving Industries of Florida.
• CDD 5 supervisors directed the district’s engineer to solicit bids for an underdrain repair.
• Supervisors tabled ratification of an agreement with Total Landscape Care Inc.
• Approved the reduction of the speed limit to 25 mph in the Wexford neighborhood. The change would create a uniform speed limit throughout CDD 6’s neighborhoods. Supervisors also approved the potential removal of some stop signs on Edenmore Street, pending compliance with the Uniform Traffic Code.
• Supervisors on CDDs 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 formally adopted a new memorial program policy and fee schedule to allow residents to commemorate loved ones through the purchase of memorial benches or plaques or adopting or purchasing trees with memorial markers.
“I think this is a nice program, and it should augment (life) in Lakewood Ranch,” CDD 1 Supervisor June Stroup said.
CDD 6 will offer an additional option — the purchase of a memorial brick for $100 — because the district already has an observation area.
• Supervisors on CDDs 1, 2, 4 and 5 reviewed a draft beautification plan, developed by Kimley-Horn and Associates, to help the districts plan for the future, in terms of maintaining community aesthetics.
The plan addresses turf, irrigation, neighborhood entrances and streetscapes; berms and buffers; and high-visibility intersections for long-range planning, among other recommendations.
“It’s a good foundation for where we can go in the future,” CDD 2 Supervisor Pete Bokach said.
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Coats for kids
Knights of Columbus Councils are helping children in need by providing coats to children in their communities through the order’s Coats for Kids program.
Santa and his elf made a surprise stop Dec. 13, at WineStyles, in San Marco Plaza, by Harley-Davidson motorcycle, during the store’s weekly Friday night wine-tasting event.
Members and guests of the Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club ventured Dec. 4 to Orlando, to view holiday decorations at the Grand Floridian and to have lunch at Downtown Disney.