CITY ISSUES DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT REPORT AND ANNOUNCES DIGITAL INTERACTIVE WEBSITE
The City has completed its report about downtown development for 2017, which you can read by clicking here.
It's not hard to spot cranes when looking in any direction downtown. In addition to the projects you can see, there are many in the planning stages in the downtown area. Information about these projects is now readily available in one convenient place on a new city Interactive Map. The interactive map shows the location of projects. When you click on the location, basic information in a scroll down list appears about each project, such as the number of units, estimated cost, projected completion date, developer and architect.
The Interactive Map shows two projects currently slated for Golden Gate Point, 609 (The Pearl) for 8 units and 680 (the corner of Fruitville and the entrance to GGP) for 15 units. Clicking on the link gives the status of the each those projects' development.
The map below is a sample of the interactive map. You can access it by clicking here.
Help Keep Storm Drains Working -Keep Clippings Off of Street and Out of Storm Drains
Sometimes lawn service companies blow leaves and clippings into the street or onto neighbors' properties, which often enter the storm drains. This can clog drains and lead to flooding. Please be sure to make your lawn service provider pick up clippings, or put them safely on your property somewhere. Explain to them that leaving them in the street puts everyone (and our cars) at risk.
GGPA and STORM DRAINAGE
GPA experienced flooding in late March and June this year. Flooding on GGPA may occur when tides are high and there is heavy rain.
There are “Spring Tides” when the sun, moon and earth are all aligned during a full or new moon. There are also “King Tides” in late May, when US coastal areas experience very high tides, again when the moon is aligned with the earth and sun, and is closest to the earth. When a Spring Tide and King Tide comes together, it makes matters worse.
If this all sounds too much like the Age of Aquarius, let’s just say that when times of high tide coincide with times of substantial rain, GGP may experience flooding. Flooding this year occurred more on the west side of GGP nearer to new construction.
GGPA’s Board of Directors have begun exploring how this very occasional but troublesome problem can be addressed.
GGPA’s Board asked GGPA member, Cindy Taliaferro, Toscano (205) if she could help. Cindy has experience in Sarasota waterway matters (See Cindy’s bio in Member Spotlight).
Cindy contacted Harold Roebuck, County Stormwater Operations Manager II, who met Cindy and GGPA Treasurer Denise Watermeier on GGPA a few weeks ago. Mr. Roebuck inspected the storm drains and discussed the issues relating to flooding.
Apparently, One88 (188) and Toscano (205) GGP are at the low point of GGP. Storm sewers are at water level, and the increase in impervious area due to new construction on the west side of GGP has increased the outflow requirement. High tides negatively affect the ability to move water into the bay. The City enforces the Codes and is responsible for installation of storm sewers and the county maintains the existing lines
Mr. Roebuck scheduled a cleaning of the three GGP storm sewers with a truck and vacuum line to suck the entire length of the two affected storm sewers, the closest to One 88 and Alta Mer (306) GGP. There was silt accumulation in the 306 GGP outflow.
The outflows also have substantial barnacle growth which limit the amount of outflow at times of high rain. The County will be scheduling the removal of barnacles on the outflows shortly.
Once the outflows are addressed, we will see to what extent this will mitigate the water during heavy rains. The GGPA will consider what steps will need to be taken to reduce the likelihood of the storm drains becoming clogged. Mr. Roebuck has advised that floating debris will need to be removed in areas near storm sewers. This includes mulch and other materials, such as papers and recycling materials, that will float.
GGPA will continue its efforts to keep these storm drains clear.
What you can do about OCCASIONAL flooding on GGP
V curbs or V drains are the concrete alleys between the sidewalk and road surface.
These alleys are intended to control and direct the flow of water during rains. When trash and recycle receptacles are placed on top of the V drains, water is diverted intothe roadway and it swells and pools creating a pond effect. Water needs velocity and pressureof the continuous force of the flow to push the rainwater into the bay. Obstructing this flow causes the water to collect and swell into the vegetation, causing floating debris, which then plugs the drains as the water slowly recedes.
This means they need to be on the driveway or in the street, off of the drains. If they are smaller bins, they need to be covered.
Water needs to run down this concrete channel- don't block the V-drain!
Make sure that your trash and recycling receptacles do not block the water. Put them on your driveway or outside of the channel so that the water's velocity can push eh water into the drains and bay.
Here the receptacles are outside the V-drain
Remove as much floating debris from your landscaping
Don't add mulch near the street or where it could float away in high winds or a heavy rain-- use rocks, grass, or ground cover instead where possible.
Be sure that your Landscaping Company or you do not blow leaves into the streetscape or down the storm drains.
Often landscaping companies use leaf blowers and blow the debris into the street. That ends up clogging the storm drains. Have your landscaper remove or bag clippings, leaves and other debris.
Be sure that your building keeps recycling materials in covered or large containers.
Loose recycling materials also become floating debris. Low bins, especially low and uncovered bins, are subject to materials blowing and floating away andclogging the drains. We need to use large and/or covered recycling bins and to keep any small ones covered. If a strong wind or high tide blows debris onto the street, it will end up in the storm drain and block it. We'll get more street flooding that way, because the storm drains won't work.
Cindy Taliaferro and Joan Lovell recently met with Todd Kucharski, the City's General Manager of Public Works, about getting all recycling bins on Golden Gate Point to have lids so that materials aren't blown away, or don't float away, and block the storm drains. Mr. Kucharski is working on the new recycling contract for the City and is looking into ways that GGP residents will have the best suited recycling receptacles for our block.
SPOTLIGHT ON NEIGHBOR - AL KEYSER
Al and his constant friend Bandit are frequently seen on GGP especially toward the end of the day on the swings outside of Vista Bay (128).
Al and his wife Vikki live at the Phoenix (136) and are longtime GGPA members.
Al and Vikki have lived on GGP for 18 years. Before that they lived on Long Boat Key for about 25 years. Al was in the construction business and his company built most of the sewer system on Long Boat Key in the 1970’s.
Al also has a background in oil exploration. Al drilled more oil wells in Kentucky than anyone else. He also drilled deep wells in Texas. Over the years, Al and Vikki have had homes in Kentucky, Tennessee as well as Texas. They sold those properties and GGP is their only home now.
Despite an impressive background in the oil and construction industry, Al becomes most enthusiastic when talking about Bandit. A dog groomer Al knew told him she had a litter of shit-zu puppies and invited Al to hold them when the puppies became 3 weeks old. Al took her up on the offer, held Bandit in the palm of his hand, and became smitten. He didn’t always mention to Vikki where he was off to, but he returned every day for the next five weeks to visit and hold this puppy. Al took Bandit home at 8 weeks old, and they have been pretty much inseparable since them.
Al and Bandit are a welcoming presence on GGP, and you will frequently see them talking with other GGP residents and their dogs by the streetscape swings outside 128.
Al Keyser and Bandit greet neighbor Tom Dowdy and his new puppy
You will see him in the photo with Tom Dowdy. Tom and Maria have recently moved into Vista Bay, and we welcome them and their new puppy too!
Meet and Greet Monday, May 15, 2017 at Toscano, 205
Our thanks to Cindy Taliaferro and her daughter, Moira, and all of our GGPA members in Toscano for a warm welcome and terrific get together!
Meet and Greet- June 23, 2016 See Photos on Photo Page
Meet and Greet Thursday October 27, 2016 at Pier 500 See Photos on Photo Page
Sarasota and GGP- Florida's Best Kept Secret?
Sarasota continues to receive attention in national publications and Golden Gate Point in the regional press.
Vogue's April, 2017 article about Sarasota headlines "Perfect Beaches, Mid-Centry Charm: Is This Florida's Best Kept Secret? The article touts the area's great architecture, suggesting places to eat, sleep and shop as well as things to do.
US News & World Report rated Sarasota as the 21st out of 100 Best Places to Live in the US-- the only Florida city in the top 25. To make the list, a place has to have good value, a strong job market and quality of life.
Sarasota Magazine featured an article in its March 2017 issue titled "Revival of the Fittest". The article notes the changes over 25 years on the Point and comments that its views are "arguably the best in town". It has some interesting history about the Point. GGPA Building Captain for Pier 550, Charlotte Hedge, points out that the acreage for Pier 550 is actually over 2 1/2 acres.
Our GGPA member who brought the Vogue article to our attention pondered, "Are we visionaries for living here, or doomed to mega traffic?" Certainly on all of our minds as we see construction and cranes in our daily travels.
News & Events
GGPA ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING, SATURDAY, JANUARY 20, 2017 at 9:30 am, Bird Key Yacht Club
GGP and Sarasota Bay
Continental Breakfast (coffee, tea, muffins and fruit) No charge this year Reservations please by Wednesday January 17 at firstname.lastname@example.org
John Ryan, Sarasota County Environmental Manager, Stormwater Utility
John Ryan, Environmental Manager with Sarasota County's Stormwater Environmental Utility, will speak about the current health of the bay, public and private efforts to preserve this natural asset, and how GGP’s stormwater system works in relation to the Bay.
Mr. Ryan has worked on a wide range of projects to improve our waterways including water monitoring, illegal discharge enforcement, impaired waters, green infrastructure, phosphate mining, waterway restoration, beach bacteria, seagrass & scallop programs, the Sarasota Water Atlas website, oral histories, and oil spill response.
Landscaping Upgrades: Rocks, Trees, More
At GGPA's request, the City has replaced mulch in low lying areas. These large rocks are selected because they don't float away in high water. This change addresses the need to keep mulch away from areas that may occasionally flood and clog storm drains. Other sections of the GGP streetscape in low lying areas are scheduled for rocks as well. Other improvements include new trees replacing the ones felled during Irma, as well as a new doggie bag station.
Golden Gate Point Association Cleans up GGP
Golden Gate Point came through pretty well with Irma-- there were trees and vegetation lost but thankfully, no major structural damage was reported.
Two mature trees on the west side of GGP near 306 came down and the City came by almost immediately after the storm and removed them and vegetation which posed a threat to safe travel. We appreciate the City's prompt response to make GGP safe and passable so soon after the hurricane.
This left substantial additional downed vegetation along the streetscape. GGP has three storm drains-- one by 188 and 205, another by 306, and a third by 550. All three were blocked by substantial piles of vegetation.
The City presently serves as the landscaping contractor for GGP. The GGPA Board asked when the City could expect a second pass to remove the vegetation particularly over the three storm drains on GGP. The GGPA Board has worked hard with the County to have the storm drains cleaned; recently the County spent about a week cleaning the mussels from the storm drain outflows on GGP as well as the one nearby on Gulfstream.
The City replied that no area would receive a second pass until at least the end of October. It was then that the GGPA Board considered taking action.
An opportunity for a fast cleanup was presented by Military Cut, a company owned by GGPA member, Sarah Garrison, who lives at 420 GGP. GGPA's Board retained Military Cut and the work was done this past Wednesday and Thursday. Military Cut removed the storm debris blocking the three storm drains, and cleaned up the hurricane debris left on the rest of the streetscape. They did a terrific job and saved our area from waiting at least a few more weeks for the second cleanup and the risk of substantial flooding should we get rain.
Military Cut's mission is provide veterans with career path training that can be applied to the civilian workforce. Their goal is to help vets to use the skills they developed in the military--leadership, discipline and reliability-- and learn how to apply to those skills to working in and managing a business in the private sector. Their employees become salaried and are offered profit sharing plans. You can read more about Military Cut here.
Two New Trees Added to Streetscape
two new buttonwood trees were planted on GGP as part of the streetscape maintenance program. Both trees replaced others that had died before Hurricane Irma and had been on order before the hurricane.
One is across the street from 650, and another is nearby 509. Claudia Porter, Landscape Committee Chair, explained that buttonwood trees are very hardy and do well in areas near the beach and shore. Claudia spends a great deal of time making sure that the GGP's landscaping is done to high standards-- she makes sure that the trees and other plan materials that we are provided with on GGP are healthy and attractive specimens. Our thanks to Claudia for her constant and continued efforts in making our streetscape attractive.
Annual Meeting Program about Special Taxing District on Members' Page
For those who weren't able to attend the Annual Meeting in January, 2017, but would like to read about the city-GGP special taxing district and landscaping issues, please see Member's Page, where archival materials are stored.
Members - Access the Member Page which has More information
The Member Page has the minutes of meetings, a copy of each email sent to members, formation documents, a roster of members, past articles of interest and more.
Remember that to log into the Member Page you'll need the member password.
Please contact us at email@example.com if you'd like to have it sent to you.
Bob Sohol's Drone Photos
US 41 AT GULFSTREAM AVENUE STUDY
GGPA Residents received a notice from the Florida Department of Transportation about a Project Development and Environmental study to evaluate US 41 and Gulfstream Avenue. The purpose of the project is stated to be the improvement of pedestrian and bicycle connectivity between downtown Sarasota nd the Bayfront area and traffic flow.
Improvements under consideration are said to include "doing nothing" to building "roundabouts" (for some, called "traffic circles" or "rotaries"). FDOT advises on the flyer that it can be contacted at a website, however, the one on the flyer won't work, as it's in capital letters. The correct website address for the project is www.swflroads.com/us41/atgulfstreamave
The construction and any possible changes will have great impact on GGP and the Association and GGPA members should keep an eye out for the public meeting on the subject. No public meetings are scheduled at this moment but the flyer states that one is anticipated in February or March, 2017.
A GGPA Board member has been in contact with a Florida State engineering specialist Joshua A. Jester, E.I. and the offices of Walter Breuggeman, P.E. with the Florida Department of Transportation to discuss how a rotary will impact walkability and access from the bayfront to the township. A few comments from FDOT representative about how a rotary works for pedestrians can be reviewed by clicking here.
GGPA Entrance Way Upgraded
Golden Gate Point's Entrance Way was created during the streetscape, an has not been painted since 2008. GGPA's Board, working with the City, arranged for it to be freshly repainted. The adjacent retaining wall has been power washed.