Local News

The Ritz

February 18, 2018

SARASOTA — The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota — the development that redefined luxury along the Florida Gulf Coast — has been sold for $171 million to a real estate investment trust from Texas.The new owner said the property will continue to be managed by Ritz-Carlton. The hotel was recently again named to the AAA list of Four Diamond properties, one of three in the Sarasota-Manatee region.

1960s a decade of change in Sarasota

January 22, 2018

Dramatic changes to U.S. 41 and building along the bayfront helped Sarasota evolve into what it is today. Click here for the article.

Remembering Gil Waters - Sarasota Community Advocate

January 10, 2018

Gil Waters (owner of #707) passed away on Thursday, January 4th. You can read about Gil's life by clicking here; Gil Waters

Click here for Gil's obituary

We send our deepest condolences to his wife, Elisabeth, and to their best friends and fellow residents, Harris and Marie Williams.

What's New in the Rosemary District

December 20, 2017

In May 2015, the DSCA Greenspace Committee produced a Proposal for Pocket Parks in Rosemary District in order to be sure there was sufficient greenspace for the influx of over 1,000 new residential housing units being built in the district.  In 2016, representatives from DSCA worked with the Rosemary District Association leaders in support of the Rosemary District Grassroots Planning Initiative. The Rosemary District Grassroots Planning Initiative  is a planning effort to help guide growth in the Rosemary District for the next 5-10 years. This rapidly developing district (within the DSCA neighborhood boundaries) is such a vital link between the downtown core and the cultural bayfront. 


The initiative recently held a series of community meetings to seek feedback and comments on the initial strategic plan being developed. Initial results from the meetings produced workshops and fund-raising efforts. The project team for the Rosemary District neighborhood planning initiative includes: Howard Davis-Latitude Twenty-Seven Properties LLC., Kimley-Horn Associates, Inc., Gulf Coast Community Foundation and DTC. To find out how you can contribute and to learn more about the vision for the Rosemary District planning initiative, click HERE.


Zoning Code

December 20, 2017

Zoning Code Report:


In May 2017, the DSCA Board approved formation of a new committee with this charter:

The DSCA ad hoc committee on Zoning Code is formed to work with the DSCA Member condominiums, City of Sarasota staff and other local organizations to review experiences with the Zoning Code as it relates to Land Development Applications and the impacts of Administrative Review and Public Hearing processes. 


In June, the committee sent out a  survey to the member condo associations requesting feedback on the most critical issues affecting residents with regards to land development and construction projects in our greater downtown neighborhood.  The responses were grouped and the committee's findings were provided to the DSCA Board with the following four major actions to address the residents'concerns. To view the table of findings to the board from the August 7th report and final recommendations from the November 1st report. Click here for the full report.

Street Closures

December 20, 2017

On March 20, 2017, the City Commission discussed a proposal from the City Attorney for Ordinance 17-5207, which would have provided new guidelines for who gets to vote to approve street closures related to events in Downtown Sarasota. 


The public hearing on the proposed ordinance options concluded as follows: Mayor Shaw noted Commission consensus for the City Attorney's Office to consult with Staff after they have gathered input and information from the stakeholders and to come back before the Commission to present a report at a later date. In June 2017, DSCA asked its member condos to provide comments on a proposal for a solution to the City Events Street Closure Approval process. Those comments resulted in a refined proposal which was subsequently reviewed with the Downtown Sarasota Alliance (DSA), the Sarasota Downtown Merchants Association (SDMA) and the Palm Avenue Merchants Association (PAMA) to seek consensus on a proposed solution.

Downtown Sarasota Condominium Association Proposed Changes to City Ordinance 17-5207

A. All businesses and residential property owners whose premises are located on a street proposed for an event-related closure of between 6 and 72 hours are deemed “Affected Parties”. Concurrent with the filing of an application for street closure, all Affected Parties shall be sent through the mail a “Notice of Proposed Street Closure” setting forth the name of the event and its sponsor, the date(s), and the location and duration of the street closure. The notice will further state that Affected Parties who have opinions on the proposed closure can communicate those opinions to the City Special Events Office within 30 days of receipt of such notice and both a mailing and e-mail address will be provided for that purpose. Public comment will be a significant factor in the decision by the City to approve or deny the closure application.


B. Event-related street closures of any duration that prevent vehicular access, including limited vehicular access, to any residential building are prohibited under all circumstances except where 100% of the Affected Parties who are constrained by that condition have agreed to such closure.


C. Event-related street closures of up to 6 hours that result in limited vehicular access to any residential building are permitted provided that i) such access is managed with mechanical or electronic means, such as stop and go lights, or by an official person charged with that responsibility; or, ii) where the nature of the event is such that reasonable intermittent access is afforded without the need for active management.


D. Event-related street closures of between 6 and 72 hours cannot occur at any given location more frequently than twice in four consecutive weeks and twelve times in twelve consecutive months.

Hurrican Irma - The Aftermath & Lessons Learned

December 20, 2017

DSCA member condo associations were asked to provide suggestions on lessons learned from the September 10 Hurricane Irma storm from both a preparation and recovery process.  As the member condos range in size and location, some of the comments are unique to those condos and may not be applicable to other condos.


In addition, on October 31st, many of the DSCA board members attended an After Irma panel discussion at the Sarasota Yacht Club. Panelists included: Ed McCrane-FPEM, Matthew Mercier-CBIZ Insurance, Rick Halloran-Sabal Palm Bank, Derrick Maginness-Norton, Hammersley, Lopez & Skokos, Mike Clark-Florida Southern Roofing, Nick Dunning-Karins Engineering Group, Darrin Caldwell-Wrightway Emergency Services and Rich Pearce-Board Member, Sutton Place, Longboat Key Condominium. From an insurance perspective, designate someone to communicate with owners. Conduct annual site survey with time-stamp photos and drone videotape. A protective safeguard endorsement must be implemented to be covered. Ask your agent to go over your Ordinance & Law coverage. Be sure you have reserve funding for the hurricane loss deductible. From a legal standpoint, be sure an IT company has a backup of data. This  enables you to work remotely. Make sure to include attorney fee coverage in vendor contracts & force majeure clause. If you choose to inspect an owner's unit, with written permission, use 2 witnesses to  evaluate every unit and report damage to owners. From an Engineer's perspective, maintain proper maintenance records help to document claim damage.  Emergency Generators should be tested for 15 minutes every week/month.

Standard Measures

  1. Ensure homeowners remove everything from their balconies. Snow Birds should remove everything before departing.

  2. Evacuate when advised to do so.

  3. Refuel cars well in advance.

  4. Have cash available.

  5. Maintain and review comprehensive hurricane plan.


  1. Whenever a Tropical Storm warning is issued, maintenance manager should verify and document that all auxilliary power fuel tanks are at full capacity.

  2. Annually, on 1 June, inspect all generators and pumps and top off fuel tanks; confirm agreements with critical response vendors (e.g. elevators, water remediation, tree/landscape, etc.)

  3. Board of Directors review and approve hurricane policy at May Director’s meeting. Distribute update to residents in June.

  4. In the event of loss of communications, use paper signs on elevators and where ever else appropriate.

  5. Communicate regularly with family members not in Florida.

  6. Place towels at windows and doors to prevent water intrusion.

  7. Stress importance of not opening windows and sliders during the storm, even if A/C is off.

  8. Designate floor Captains in your hurricane plan.

  9. Open all garage gate doors during high winds and secure resident exits.

  10. Establish agreement with staff for hurricane operations including Who/Roles/Compensation. Identify resident volunteers to supplement staff.

  11. Create specific rules for guest parking and pets. Strong instructions to guests and family members with pets on when they should vacate the premises after the storm.

  12. Establish a Command Center on/near the ground floor.

  13. Establish a list of units with pets and residents with limited mobility/ cognitive impairment. In addition, make a list of occupied units for first responders.

  14. Some buildings are in two Evacuation Zones. (Note that some members may elect to stay rather than leave.)

  15. Consider sand bagging street level doors that provide access to fire command rooms and others like that.

  16. Consider identifying “Safe Rooms. “ If doctors or RNs are residents, integrate them into the “Remain Plan”.

  17. In hurricane prep guides, outline all possible scenarios: Flood, loss of power, no first responders, no toilets.

  18. Building managers: Contact Todd Kerkering (as required), Sarasota EOC to ensure rapid updates to the Associations via local media.  In addition, note that Sarasota and Manatee Counties may have different curfews that may affect staff ability to return to work.

  19. Create Concierge call list that includes all residents. Concierge will eliminate absentees and start calling others with a pre-written script.  Eventually, the concierge will have a list of all residents remaining.


  1. Should elevators be parked (circuit breakers pulled) or allowed to run an emergency power?

  2. If you have a “no visitor pet policy”, should that be waived or kept in affect? Do you incur a liability with animals in your building contrary to policy?

  3. What provisions should be made to account for visitors using either vacant units made available by absent owners or simply seeking refuge with residents?

  4. If building maintenance personnel are absent, who should be responsible for system malfunctions and system management?

  5. If a mandatory evacuation is in affect, what is the Associations liability with regard to those that elect to remain?

SBPO Reaches $2.1 Million Goal to Reimagine Sarasota’s Bayfront

November 30, 2017

Funding goal met two-weeks before city and community kick-off activation events take place.

SARASOTA, FL (November 29, 2017) – Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization has reached their $2.1 million fundraising goal to ensure the delivery of a professionally prepared master plan for the sustainable development of the 42-acre Sarasota Bayfront. The announcement was made last week at the publicly-noticed board meeting after a year-long volunteer fundraising effort led by Drayton Saunders, Veronica Brady, and Shaun Merriman. 
“In addition to being proud to have worked with two amazing people who volunteered their time to make this goal a reality, we are extremely thankful for all those who said yes to investing in the future of our Bayfront,” said Saunders, President of Michael Saunders & Company. “The 42-acres carries with it the aspirations of a community and the tremendous potential to continue to define the best of what a community can achieve when it collaborates.” 
Nearly 60 donors have invested in the planning initiative to reimagine Sarasota’s Bayfront.
“We are very grateful to all of our investors for supporting the future of our Bayfront,” said Brady, Senior Vice President for Philanthropy at Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “This project has tremendous potential and the success of this campaign will allow us to more effectively attract future investment opportunities for what’s to come along our bay.”
Many foundations also provided financial support including The Patterson Foundation, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation. 
“Each member of our community has the opportunity to help our Bayfront evolve into a resource that will be accessible and enjoyable for generations to come,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation, which provided $300,000 in catalytic funding to support SBPO’s work. “SBPO’s commitment to engaging the very best master-planning team and working deliberately with stakeholders from multiple sectors to inform the project’s path going forward will surely result in a positive return on everyone’s investment.”
The funds will be used to hire the leadership team along with planning and design firm, Sasaki, to create a financially feasible, operationally viable, and environmentally sustainable master plan for the City Commission to review and approve in the Fall of 2018. 
“2017 has been a year of important pre-planning for the SBPO Board,” said AG Lafley, Board Chair for SBPO. “We are grateful for the generous financial support from local foundations and private individuals. We look forward to beginning master planning efforts with the very capable and experienced team of Sasaki, Managing Director Bill Waddill and City Planning Director Steve Cover.”
The community is encouraged to meet this leadership planning team next week during a series of events to kick off the beginning phases of the master plan creation. The timeline and event listing is:
Monday, December 4:
• 6:00 – 7:00 PM – Sasaki will be introduced to the City Commission at City Hall, 1565 1st St., Sarasota

Tuesday, December 5:
• 10:00 – 11:00 AM – Sasaki will be introduced to the Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations at the Municipal Auditorium, 801 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
• 3:00 – 5:00 PM – Sasaki will present at the SBPO Board Meeting at the Blue Pagoda, 655 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
• 5:00 – 6:00 PM – Sasaki will be introduced to the Sarasota Bayfront 2020 membership at the Arts and Cultural Alliance, 1226 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

Wednesday, December 6:
• 4:00 – 6:30 PM – Herald Tribune Community Forum/Panel and Reception – RSVP’s required by calling 941-361-4065 by Monday, December 4 – at the Van Wezel Grand Foyer, 777 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

For more information, please visit www.TheBaySarasota.org or contact Mike Marraccini at mcm@largeinc.com or by calling 941-914-5324. 
About Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization (SBPO)
The Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization (SBPO), a 501(c)(3) corporation, was formed in 2016, building on work completed by the Sarasota Bayfront 20:20 organization to advance the development of City-owned land along the Sarasota Bayfront. This private-public partnership is headed by a nine-person board comprised of trusted and experienced individuals with a diverse set of competencies and is privately funded by the private sector and local foundations, including The Patterson Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Selby Foundation, Barancik Foundation, and Berlin Foundation.  The SBPO is tasked with ensuring the delivery of a professionally prepared master plan for the sustainable development of the 42-acre Sarasota Bayfront in accordance with the Guiding Principles established by Bayfront 20:20 constituents which were subsequently adopted and approved by the City of Sarasota Commission. The SBPO will propose an operating structure that will professionally manage the Sarasota Bayfront Project during and following construction. For more information, visit www.sbpo.org

The Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation Recently Added Eight New Individuals to its Board of Trustees for 2017-2018

November 27, 2017

Robert Bartner, John DeJongh, Mary Evelyn Guyton, Bob Martin, Alex Miller, Jonathan Mitchell, Michael Valentino and Robert Lee Wood. The eight new trustees join the current board: Jim Syprett, chair; Arthur Wood, immediate past chair; William Chapman, vice-chair; Louis Levy, treasurer; Charles Shivery, secretary; Philip Delaney, Jr., executive member-at-large; William Stanford, member-at-large; Kirk Voelker, M.D., member-at-large; Ariane Dart; Richard Gerrity; Richard Johnson; Deborah Kabinoff; Laurence Saslaw; C. Reed Savidge; Bibb Swain; James Taylor and Margaret Wise.

Sarasota Bayfront Planning Group Hires Managing Director

November 27, 2017

The Board of Directors of the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization recently hired William Waddill as the group’s managing director. Waddill will lead the development of a master plan for 42 acres of city-owned bayfront property with the design and planning firm Sasaki. Waddill previously served as a senior vice president at Kimley-Horn and Associates and has 31 years of experience working with public spaces like the Bradenton Riverwalk, Tampa’s Perry Harvey Park and Naples’ Baker Park. He will begin the job on Wednesday, Jan. 3. The Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization is a 501(c)(3) formed in 2016 to promote development of city-owned land near the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

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