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Sarasota Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009 8 years ago

Observer Updates


+ Two exotic trees on Bird Key to be removed
A Bird Key homeowner, who had threatened to get his lawyer involved if the city did not remove three exotic trees he felt threatened his home, will have two of those trees removed.

David Pilston’s battle to get the approximately 80-foot Norfolk Island pines removed was featured in the Nov. 12 issue of The Sarasota Observer.

After that story was published, the city conducted a second inspection of the trees and found that two were decaying and had damaged roots. An initial inspection by the public-works department in early November found that the trees were healthy, and the city has a policy not to remove healthy trees unless they are invasive species.

All three trees sit in Pilston’s yard, but are on the public right of way, which the city owns and controls.
He had been asking the city to remove the exotic trees for two years, because he was afraid they’d blow onto his home during a hurricane.

Upon hearing that two trees would be removed, Pilston said he was pleased, because those were the two trees which concerned him the most.

“It’s progress,” Pilston said.

Bird Key is conducting a canopy-tree program, in which palm trees are being planted along certain streets. Pilston said his street will be involved later this year, and, at that time, he will ask the city to remove the third Norfolk Island pine, so he can take part in the program.

+ Printing error cancels Osprey meeting
Sarasota County canceled the Dec. 1 meeting of the Osprey Revitalization Committee and rescheduled it for Dec. 7. The ORC is scheduled to sunset as an organization Dec. 31.

The county is required to give two weeks notice of a public meeting, such as the ORC’s, in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. County officials say they sent the notice to the newspaper on time, but it was never published, therefore the meeting had to be canceled.

At the Dec. 1 meeting, the ORC board was expected to vote on Anil Patel’s development plans for the 14-acre waterfront district.

Patel wants to build a mixed-use project, which may include a 190-room hotel, townhomes, apartments, retail stores and a waterfront restaurant.

The ORC will not be able to give its input on the project before it goes before the Planning Commission Dec. 3.

“Unfortunately, we will not be able to review the current status of the plans before the Planning Commission,” said ORC Chairman Rick Noyes.

The Dec. 7 meeting begins at 2 p.m. at Historic Spanish Point, in Osprey.

+ Five Points Neighborhood Association to dissolve
Former mayor and current Downtown Sarasota Alliance board member Mary Anne Servian has announced that the Five Points Neighborhood Association has agree to dissolve and join the DSA.

“It’s a huge addition,” Servian said.

The Five Points Neighborhood Association has about 400 members, who will now become DSA members.
Servian said Five Points President Andy Frank told her she decided to make the move, because she believed the DSA is a “board of doers,” and she feels joining the DSA will give her members more clout at City Hall.

“I think this is astonishing,” said DSA board member John Simon.

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