+ Short-term rental bill compromise reached
The Legislature’s short-term rental bill may not have as serious an impact on Sarasota County’s barrier islands as some residents had feared.
With the help of Rep. Doug Holder, R-Sarasota, a house committee has softened the measure that originally would have allowed property owners to rent individual rooms, even in residential areas, and would have taken away local governments’ ability to regulate short-term rentals.
Currently, county code prohibits rentals of less than 30 days in areas of primarily single-family homes on barrier islands.
The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee agreed to grandfather any existing local codes into HB 883. A senate version of the bill would do the same.
However, Catherine Luckner, president of the Siesta Key Association is still wary, because the two bills still keep the power in Tallahassee’s hands.
“It’s not a done deal,” she said.
Luckner is also concerned that the Senate bill goes into effect immediately upon signing, unlike the house bill, which wouldn’t take effect until July 1.
“Seems they don’t want to give anyone time to challenge it,” she said.
+ Meters to be installed by month’s end
Prep work began April 11 in the spots where downtown parking meters will be placed.
The meters will not be installed until the prep work is complete, which is projected to be the end of April.
Crews are digging holes and placing pads in preparation of meter placement.
They will be installed downtown in an area bounded roughly by Gulfstream Avenue, Orange Avenue, First Street and McAnsh Square.
The cost will be $1 per hour everywhere but Gulfstream, where it will be 50 cents per hour. All meters will be covered until the system is operational, which will not be until mid-May.
+ Teen-driver challenge open for registration
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is again holding its free teen-driving challenge.
Licensed student drivers are invited to a two-day course that provides additional training and experience behind the wheel.
Drivers must be at least 16 years old and bring their own vehicle.
The next challenge will be held April 15 to April 16, at Sarasota County Technical Institute and North Port High School.
For more information, call 927-4190 or visit www.SarasotaSheriff.org.
In the 2011 Summer Fun Guide, three listings contained incorrect information.
Contact for the Sarasota YMCA Van Wezel Performance Camp should be 952-9533, Ext. 201 and www.TheSarasotaY.org.
Contact for the Sarasota Orchestra Summer Music Camp should be 487-2731.
Tuition for LECOM’s Medical Science Academy is $275.
Meetings & Agendas
+ County Commission — 1:30 p.m. Monday, April 18, Robert L. Anderson Administration Center, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice
+ City Commission — 2:30 p.m. Monday, April 18, City Hall, 1565 First St., Sarasota
+ Charter Review Board — 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota
+ Arlington Park Neighborhood Association — 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, Waldemere Fire Station, 2070 Waldemere St., Sarasota
+ City Commission Workshop — 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, City Hall, 1565 First St., Sarasota
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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
4 Ringling Holiday Splendor
5:00 pm - 9:00 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.