Sarasota News Leader

01/03/2014

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LOOKING BACK YEAR IN REVIEW: APRIL The North Trail Overlay District draft document points out details for daylight plane provisions. Image courtesy City of Sarasota A group of community activists has organized in an effort to change the county charter to eliminate partisan politics in local races, hoping to bring the issue to the voters before the 2014 election cycle. Bill Zoller, president of Citizens for Sensible Growth in Sarasota County, says real outrage has arisen about loopholes that prevented large segments of the population from participating in votes, including a tactic that kept Democrats from having a say in the race between County Commissioner Jon Thaxton and incumbent Kathy Dent for Sarasota County supervisor of elections. interest. North Trail property owners had urged the City Commission to approve the whole package, but Commissioner Terry Turner says the administrative site approval element "is problematic." Mayor Suzanne Atwell and Commissioner Paul Caragiulo vote against removing that element of the NTOD. Vice Mayor Willie Shaw and Commissioner Shannon Snyder side with Turner. On April 3, by a margin of 65 percent to 35 percent, property owners on St. Armands vote to discontinue their Business Improvement District (BID). That district has been levying a 2-mill tax on property, with the revenue used In a 3-2 vote on April 1, the City Commission to beautify the area and promote it as a desapproves an emasculated North Trail Overlay tination. The vote means the BID will expire District (NTOD). The ordinance will not have on Sept. 30. the administrative site plan approval considered critical to encouraging developers'

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