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Siesta Key Monday, Jun. 17, 2013 4 years ago

County Commission to revisit canopy plan

by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

The Sarasota County Commission will consider the development of a canopy management plan at Tuesday's board meeting – more than six years after a draft was first presented to the board.

ENV Policy 4.6.1 in the county's comprehensive plan stated that "the County shall substantially complete its Urban Forestry Management Plan in 2006."

Drafts of management plans were presented to the commission in 2006 and 2007, but neither was ultimately approved. County canopy management has been guided by multiple documents since then.

The scope of a new plan, according to a county memo, could potentially include a history of county tree initiatives, information about existing policies regarding canopy management, data regarding canopy coverage, strategies for accomplishing forestry goals, methods of promoting partnerships with the community and ways to educate the public on the topic.

The cost of a plan would not exceed $7,000, the memo stated, and funding for the project is contained within the Natural Resources department's FY14 budget.

In other business, commissioners will:
• Consider the approval of a grant agreement with Sarasota Crew for the funding of upgrades to the dock facilities at Bay Preserve not to exceed $80,000.
• Hear the presentation of annual reports from the Sarasota Tree Advisory Council and the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Oversight Committee.
• Discuss an amendment to the Dona Bay Watershed Environmental Restoration Project. The amendment would fold the design of a surface water storage facility, which has been a separate effort, into the environmental restoration project.
• Consider the issuance of a bond not to exceed $20,000,000 from the Florida Development Finance Corporation to construct and renovate facilities at Out-of-Door Academy of Sarasota Inc.

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