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FLEXIBILITY FOR DEVELOPMENT Many of those who park in the lot at 20 N. Washington Blvd. head to the historic courthouse across the street or to other buildings in the county's downtown Sarasota judicial complex. Photo by Norman Schimmel THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN A NEW COUNTY ORDINANCE GOVERNING SURPLUS LAND SALES DELETES THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE COUNTY CAN ONLY SELL ITS SURPLUS PROPERTY TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER By Roger Drouin County Editor A revised Sarasota County ordinance that changes how the county sells its surplus lands now gives the county commissioners more liberty when deciding to whom to sell property. The previous ordinance states the county would negotiate "a purchase agreement with the highest bidder." The new measure, however, strikes out "highest bidder" and replaces the phrase with "selected respondent." In the most significant change, the new ordinance unanimousThis is something that will help us ly approved by the accomplish a land-use vision and allow us County Commission to do public-private partnerships and Tuesday, July 9, deachieve the best economic use for property. letes the requirement that the county can Joe Barbetta Commissioner only sell its property Sarasota County to the highest bidder. Florida law requires local governments to sell real property to the highest bidder — unless a local ordinance specifies an alternative approach, according to county officials.

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