+ CRA advisory board welcomes two new members
The city’s Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) advisory board has two new members: Drayton Saunders, of Michael Saunders & Co., and Lynn Robbins, a real-estate broker who has previously served on the board. The new members, who were appointed in November, sat at their first CRA advisory board meeting Thursday.
Saunders’ and Robbins’ terms expire in July 2015.
The board also elected Javier Suarez as chairman and Michael Beaumier as vice chairman.
The Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board was established for the purposes of reviewing proposed public-private redevelopment projects. The board also reviews the proposed annual work program and makes recommendations to the CRA.
+ Commissioners approve plat for Laurel Park Homes
City commissioners unanimously approved Feb. 4 the final plat for the Homes of Laurel Park subdivision.
Kate Lowman, president of the Laurel Park Neighborhood Association, said the association had not voted on whether to support the project, but she thinks the two-story, single-family homes will blend well with the surrounding neighborhood.
“I am delighted something is moving ahead with this parcel of land,” Lowman said.
The 19 single-family homes, at the corner of Rawls Avenue and Devonshire Lane, will be built as the single lots are purchased. The land at Rawls and Devonshire, tucked away in the southeast corner of Laurel Park, now sits vacant.
“Each home will be custom built,” planner Joel Freedman, representing the developer, YYZ Properties, told commissioners Monday.
The two-story homes could come with a price tag of $650,000 to $900,000 each.
The previous owner of the property had plans to build 26 homes before defaulting on the property. The current owner, Ontario, Canada,-based YYZ Properties, purchased the land from the bank in 2006.
+ Hundreds register for domestic partnership
The 100th domestic partnership was registered within the city of Sarasota last week, less than three months after the program began, said the city’s public information officer Jan Thornburg. The City Commission approved the program Nov. 6.
The registry offers unmarried domestic partners many rights within the city limits, including health-care decisions, hospital visitations, correctional facility visitations and funeral decisions.
Partners may register in the Office of the City Auditor and Clerk located in Room 110 within City Hall, 1565 First St. Registration hours are 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.
Several other Florida cities, including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Gulfport and Clearwater, have enacted registries.
+ Public hearing scheduled for U.S. 41 roundabouts
The Florida Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing on roundabouts proposed for a stretch of U.S. 41 from 10th Street to 14th Street.
The public hearing will be held Feb. 12, at Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail. The proposed improvements include two-lane roundabouts at 10th Street and 14th Street, narrower travel lanes, bicycle lanes, pedestrian crossings, sidewalk improvements and a multi-use recreational trail.
Meetings & Agendas
• Development Review Committee — 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, City Hall, Room 112, 1565 First St., Sarasota
• Siesta Key Association meeting — 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, St. Boniface Episcopal Church, 5615 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota
• Development Review Committee — 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8, Administration Building, Third Floor Think Tank, 1001 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota
• Sarasota County Commission budget workshop — 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8, Administration Building, Third Floor Think Tank, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota
• Regular City Commission meeting—2:30 and 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, City Commission chambers, City Hall, 1565 First St., Sarasota
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27 Thanksgiving Free Public Talk & Veggie Potluck
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
29 Light Up Siesta Village and Holiday Parade
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
30 Advent Procession
3 Rachel's Challenge Anti-Bullying Event hosted by The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
The gift of music
Riverview High School received a donation of $5,000 during a break in the Kiltie Band Fall concert on Nov. 20.
Coming together for the community
All Faiths Food Bank called on volunteers to help distribute 7,000 Thanksgiving dinners Saturday.
Observer on the hunt for displays
We’re making our list of the best holiday lights displays in Sarasota and checking it twice.