SKA Actions on the Siesta Key Overlay District (SKOD)

Uniform Development Code (UDC)

SKA is  reviewing the development of a new Uniform Development Code for Sarasota County.  According the county website, the intent of the project is:

“…to create a Unified Development Code that updates and brings together the county’s Land Development Regulations (Chapter 74 of the Sarasota County Code) and Zoning Regulations (Appendix A of the Sarasota County Code), while making sure that they align with the Comprehensive Plan.

The desired outcome will simplify the ability to find significant regulatory information applicable to any given piece of property, while harmonizing and clarifying the regulations as they are brought together. The new UDC will remove inconsistencies and address those provisions that may now be obsolete; and be a regulatory code that all users can easily read, understand and interpret.”

SKA has found that one section of the new UDC would eliminate the total side yard setback requirement in the current SKOD code, requiring only individual minimum side yard setbacks.  This would effectively reduce total lot widths by up to three feet, potentially increasing density.  This is a policy change, rather than a realignment or simplification as intended in the UDC.

The proposed UDC will be presented to the Planning Commission on August 30, 2018 with publication of the adopted UDC slated for October 31, 2018.  SKA has sent a letter to the county opposing these changes for the SKOD and requesting community engagement outreach on this matter.  Siesta Key residents who are opposed to this change in policy are encouraged to send their comments to William K. Spaeth, the Sarasota County Planner leading the UDC project, as well as the Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners.

Illegal Rentals

Sarasota County and SKOD regulations dictate that a residence cannot be rented more frequently that every 30 days.  While there are varying viewpoints on the exact interpretation of this, it is clear that short term rentals are clearly in violation of these regulations.  Despite this, residents are using online services such as AirBnB to rent their properties under terms prohibited by current regulations.

SKA is collaborating closely with Susan Stahley, the Sarasota County Code Enforcement Officer covering Siesta Key.  She advises that prosecuting these cases has proven very difficult.  SKA requests that any members who see illegal rentals taking place in their neighborhood try to collect as much written and photographic proof as they can to provide evidence of the violation, without violating anyone’s privacy or safety.

Changes to zoning for Old Stickney Point Road

At their meeting on December 7, 2017, the Sarasota County Planning Commission voted to approve a proposed amendment to reduce the setback of buildings taller than 35 feet in a Commercial Zone to a minimum of 2 feet. SKA has strongly opposed this change on behalf of our members. Read our email to the Planning Commission. At their Public Hearing on May xx,2018 the Board of County Commissioners, despite strong opposition from SKA, the Siesta Key Condo Council, and other local associations and individuals, the BCC approved the change.  Despite this rezone, the public can weigh in on specific setbacks, height and parking elements of any development in that location. We will be active!