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This Week in Local Government

Written by on Sunday, January 28, 2024

On Tuesday, the Sarasota County Commission has a packed agenda, including plans for new jail construction. In the afternoon: Protest at the Manatee County School Board over possible library book bans. On Thursday, the Manatee County commission is expected to approve more suburban sprawl. The same day, the City of Sarasota Planning Board will discuss four affordable housing projects, including two rezone requests that could allow hundreds more public housing units.


Monday (01/29)

Sarasota-Manatee Airport Authority regular meeting (agenda)

Highlights: 2023 financial report; approval of a new maintenance and charter company; construction of a $2m public observation area; department reports.

1:00 PM

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport

Dan P. McClure Auditorium (on 1st floor of the terminal)

6000 Airport Circle, Sarasota


Tuesday (01/30) 

Sarasota County Commission regular meeting (agenda)

Highlights: Resolution to develop building standards that reduce fossil fuel emissions (by a county commission that has yet to recognize climate change); presentation of the annual report of the Library Advisory Board (after the commission told its libraries to exit the American Library Association); Old Miakka Preserve concept plan (turning four parcels of land into a park, after allowing conversion of 5,000 nearby acres to suburban sprawl); task force to regulate charter boat businesses (following up on limiting access of charter boat businesses to public boat launch sites); Legacy Tail Extension overpass at Tuttle Avenue (rapid expansion of bike trail network); discussion about tourism tax spending recommendations by the Arts and Cultural Alliance (expect Commissioner Moran to weigh in against funding for ‘woke’ organizations). More jails? Discussion about a 2026 referendum to fund construction of a “Sarasota County Correctional Reintegration Center” and a jail renovation.

9:00 AM

Sarasota County Administration Building

1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34236


Manatee County School Board regular meeting (agenda)

Highlights: SEESpace is organizing a “read-in” in the parking lot before the meeting and encourages supporters to express their concern during public comment, after school board members’ remarks about “filth” and “porn” in school libraries. Discussion: $68 million construction of North County Middle School; $35 million Blackburn Elementary School expansion and renovation;

5:00 PM

Walter Miller School Support Center, board room

215 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton

Wednesday (01/31)



Thursday (02/01)

Manatee County Commission land-use meeting (agenda)

Highlights: Parrish Lakes mega-development: allowing increase by 100 units to 3,400; Rye Road: rezone of 25 acres from agriculture to build 25 homes; regulating electric vehicle charging stations; allowing higher density on 86 acres at corner of 57th St. E and 18th Ave E, for construction of 234 homes.

9:00 AM

Manatee County Administration Building

Honorable Patricia M. Glass Chambers, first floor

1112 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton


City of Sarasota Planning Board special meeting (agenda)

Highlights: It’s raining affordable housing projects — the for-profit developer of “The Station” workforce housing complex (off Fruitville Road, near downtown) requests term changes; Diocese of Venice wants rezone to build 20 attainable housing units off Fruitville Road; most importantly: the Sarasota Housing Authority requests higher density on land it owns in Newtown, making hundreds of additional units possible.

1:30 PM

City Hall

1565 First Street, Sarasota, Fl 34236


Monday (02/05)

City of Sarasota Commission regular meeting (agenda)

Highlights: Proposed private-public partnership for Ken Thompson Park (on City Island); discussion of citywide regulations for vacation rentals; reaffirming anti-discrimination policies and approving legal expenses for Commissioner Battie’s defense, over fake-news fallout; public hearing about termination of the city’s cannabis civil citation program.

9:00 AM

City Hall

1565 First Street, Sarasota, Fl 34236