Island Chatter SKA

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By Diana Colson

Following a brief COMMUNITY WELCOME & GUEST SIGN-IN,  the December 5, 2013 MINUTES WERE APPROVED and COMMUNITY REPORTS  presented.

SHERIFF’S OFFICE, SIESTA KEY:  Sgt. Osborne said there had been a lot of bike thefts of late. He also emphasized that when going to the beach, people need to keep their cars locked and leave their valuables at home to avoid car break-ins. He reminded the group that 911 was the number to call.  911 will reach both City and County dispatchers. When asked about a recent break-in, Sgt. Osborne said he was not aware of it. If it was a victimless crime and a complaint was not filed, it would not have gone on record.

SK VILLAGE ASSOCIATION: Mark Smith spoke of the upcoming Crafts Fair to be held on February 8-9.  Streets would not be closed, and the sidewalks will be loaded with crafts. He also mentioned that SIESTA FIESTA would be coming April 26-27, and some streets would be closed for that event. He added that the recycling program was moving along, the goal being that bins will soon be placed in the village to hold discarded bottles and papers.

SK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:  Today’s Guest Speaker was Ron Flynn, P.A., Certified International Property Specialist. He serves on the Board of Directors for Siesta Key Association Board of Directors, and is also a Member of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce. He is a realtor at Key Solutions Real Estate.

Ron provided handouts presenting unique and significant demographic and valuation trends for Siesta Key.  He gathered these statistics from Realtors Property Resource (RPR), from iMAPP Inc., and also from the Sarasota County Property Tax Record.

The news was good! In the past 12 months, the Estimated Home values on Siesta Key have gone up 14.9%. vs. 11.7% in Sarasota County.  83 % of Siesta Key residents own their own homes vs. 76% in Sarasota County. The vast majority of homes sold were between 30 and 60+ years of age. In the past 6 months, 30 homes had sold at prices in excess of $900,000.

If you live in a pre-1975 home, you are subject to new rules concerning flood insurance.  Owners of a primary residence or ones who are homesteaded are exempt. New buyers, however, will be subject to these new, more stringent flood rules.

The largest segment of population on the Key earns in excess of $150,000 a year with more than 2/3 of the population over the age of 55.  Only 553 households have children, while 2,288 do not. Over 80% of the people drive less than half an hour to go to work.

In November of 2013, there were 85 houses listed on the market. 33 of them sold within the month, and all but two were Multiple Listings.

In 2012, the total tax value of all Siesta Key Properties was $4,833,254,099! Valued at almost five billion dollars, these properties generated taxes of $63,901,937 in 2012.

Ron Flynn predicts a bright future for Siesta Key. He may be reached at

ZONING & ENVIRONMENT: SKA PresidentCatherine Luckner spoke about a property on Beach Rd. where there is a February 19 petition to build on land that has never had a prior building.  She pointed out that The Gulf Beach Setback Line (GBSL) was established to protect existing buildings. Regardless of size, this proposed building would still be 100% behind the GBSL. To make an exception would open floodgates to other undeveloped parcels. There is more information about this upcoming petition on the SKA website.

Catherine also mentioned that one of the beach groomers who rakes the beach dug a hole into a small pond on December 30, letting the pond out and the gulf in.  The groomer has denied doing it, but Fish and Wildlife Officials are on the case. Who was this man’s employer? SKA would appreciate your help to find out. SKA wants to keep our shoreline intact.

Another man was spraying herbicide to make a path from a condominium complex out to the beach. A citizen noticed and reported the incident. SKA wants no toxic chemicals on our beach.

MEMBERSHIP: Deet Jonker reported that people were signing up on line.  Two weeks from now a mail campaign will be started, but SKA is hoping to avoid mail costs.  It is $30 for a regular membership.

AVENIDA DE MAYO:  Michael Shay reported that the Board of County Commissioners had decided to change both-sides parking on Avenida de Mayo to staggered parking. That has not yet been implemented as signage has yet to be installed.

INLET MANAGEMENT:  Peter van Roekens said there had been a meeting at the Sarasota Yacht Club. “Sailors are very worried about any changes brought in my dredging. Not one person thought it should be dredged. We need to take a stand opposing this dredging.”  He then proceeded to present a proposal, which said in essence that we want a full process review, including a formal public hearing. The proposal was seconded, and opened to discussion.

Catherine Luckner added: “We need to get our fellow citizens behind us. Our organization has requested public input. We want to be included in the conversation.”

After much discussion, Catherine Luckner made a motion to amend Peter’s proposal in the following manner: “Based on the documentation data currently available to us, we would not support any form of dredging in Sarasota for this project in Sarasota Big Pass.” Peter van Roekens’ motion passed as amended.

The next SKA meeting will be held February 6th and 4:30 PM


Siesta Sand
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