A Blog About Economic Development and City Planning in Manatee and Sarasota County Craighullinger@gmail.com

City Planning News

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sarasota - Rowing


The lakes at Nathan Benderson Park span 366 acres, a series of huge mining pits filled with water. Sarasota County plans on spending $40 million to transform the park into the No. 1 competitive rowing facility in the nation.

Click to Read More:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Golf carts for downtown transit, Sarasota-style?

A cart from Jonny's Free Beach Rides on Siesta Key. Sarasota is looking at allowing similar golf carts to scoot people around downtown

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Economic Development Publications

Jeff FinkleEconomic Development Professionals Should be interested in these free publications and upcoming events

Jeff Finkle President, International Economic Development Council

I wanted to provide you with some free publications from the International Economic Development and information on some upcoming events.

A recent publication IEDC produced with the National League of Cities

The Role of Local Elected Officials in Economic Development: 10 Things You Should Know 

Webinar on August 31

A webinar is being held on Wednesday August 31. IEDC’s August webinar focuses on helping economic developers better access federal data regarding their communities. The federal government provides a plethora of data that can help economic developers gain insight into both local and regional employment, industrial, and education profiles.

Increasing Access to Federal Data: Ways to Navigate and Understand Available Data 

Upcoming Annual Conference

It is still not too late to register for IEDC’s annual conference September 18-21 in Charlotte, North Carolina; this is one of the best economic development conferences each year. 

Late September Webinar on Project Feasibility

Understanding if the Project is Viable for Your Community

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 from 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern 

Economic Development Finance Course in Baltimore on November 16-18 

Another new report for download

New Report: Powering Up: State Assets & Barriers to Renewable Energy Growth 
This is the results of 48 states on state assets for renewable energy growth. http://www.iedconline.org/?p=Powering_Up 

Hope these items are of interest to you. If you know of someone that works fulltime in the field of economic development and they are not members of the International Economic Development Council, you might point them to: 

Best wishes

Jeff Finkle

Post titleDebt By Nation

Well, I suppose we can at least claim that our debt is not as bad as Europe.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Sarasota - Start a Business, Retire, Or Both

Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Florica was crowned America’s best seashore. Sarasota is a great place to start a business, or retire, or both, which is what my wife and I have done.

Here are some of the attaboys that have come our way over the past few years:

• Money Magazine calls Sarasota-Manatee one of the “Best Places to Live and Launch a Business.”

• Money Magazine, CNBC and Portfolio.com each awarded Sarasota-Manatee their top designation as “Best Place to Retire.”

• Money Magazine named Sarasota-Manatee the “Best Place to Retire Young.”

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sarasota Economic Development

Green energy composite materials manufacturer 5D Composite Inc. to create 120 jobs with move to Sarasota County from Canada

5D Composite Inc., based in Ontario, Canada, plans to relocate part of its manufacturing operation to Sarasota County in 2011 and create 120 jobs over five years, according to Mark Huey, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota.

Municipal Gift Catalog

Gift Catalog for a Community

You can create a simple Gift Catalog for your community. The Gift Catalog can be a simple one page flyer. You simply provide a way for a citizen who wishes to give a gift to the public a way to send money or real estate to the Village Clerk. 

The following is sample language for your own community gift catalog. Adjust the gifts to fit your community and add your own logo and graphics. Please feel free to use it.

            Citizens can give gifts for public improvements for the people of their community. The gifts will enhance the community while providing a way for citizens to memorialize a loved one. The following are some possible gifts and estimated costs.

Trees $ 350
Park Benches $ 500
Landscaping, Evergreens, Flowers, Trees $ 750
Ornamental Lighting $ 2,500
Sculpture and Outdoor Art $ 20,000
Jogging, Bike and Nature Trails $ 100,000
Parks and Nature Preserves $ 700,000
City Hall Park Improvements with small fountain $ 900,000
Streetscape & Beautification $ 2,000,000
Swimming Lagoon Pool / Skating Rink $ 3,000,000
Farm $ 5,000,000


The Village Manager of Beecher, Illinois just advised me that a citizen gave the Village $50,000 for a Veterans Memorial. The Village used that gift as the match for another State $50,000.   Nice to see the Gift Catalog work.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Downtown Parking

[Government]  Building or Buying Parking Downtown
Jacob Ogles, Jacob.Ogles@srqmediagroup.com

A proposal before Sarasota City Commissioners tonight could allow some downtown developers to pay a fee to City Hall rather than pave new parking spaces in the urban area.

An ordinance being considered would allow a "payment in lieu of parking fee option" under certain circumstances. City officials stress the plan would just add an option to developers, and would only be allowed in conditions where it made sense for a development to rely on off-site public spaces.

"The Duany Plan contemplated parking on some individual sites was not the ideal way to create a pedestrian-friendly environment," said Special Projects General Manager Mike Taylor, referencing Sarasota's 2020 Downtown Master Plan. 

Source:  srqmediagroup.com

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sarasota County Energy Efficient Community

Imagine the possibilities for Sarasota County to create an economically sustainable, energy efficient community
Sarasota County is working hard to:
  • Create a stronger and more diverse economy.
  • Help existing businesses expand and create jobs.
  • Help new businesses bring jobs to the county.
  • Create a community based on economic and energy sustainability.
Sarasota County is learning and growing from the lessons of the recession. We are diversifying our economic base by growing environmentally clean jobs and adopting sustainable development policies and practices. We are locating jobs and housing closer to each other, reducing transportation needs, building on clean businesses and incorporating environmental safeguards for waterways and natural areas.

These goals are reflected in Sarasota County’s plan to create an Energy Economic Zone, which would be implemented through an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan.

The Florida Legislature authorized Energy Economic Zones in 2009 to promote economic diversification and reduce greenhouse gases. The legislation identified several strategies to accomplish these purposes:

  • Attract green industry to the zone.
  • Encourage alternative energy research, demonstrations, production and use.
  • Use energy-efficient land use patterns.
  • Facilitate sustainable building practices.
The Florida Department of Community Affairs selected Sarasota County and the city of Miami Beach as communities to create pilot Energy Economic Zones as models for other communities to meet the goals of the legislation.

Sarasota County’s proposed Energy Economic Zone amendment is an innovative approach to land use planning that adopts sustainable development practices and energy efficient solutions.

 Message to the BCC on benefits of the Energy Economic Zone 
from Nicholas C. Gladding, Commissioner, Florida Energy and Climate Commission

Friday, February 18, 2011

SRQ is a Great Magazine

SRQ is a great on line Magazine for Sarasota.

Check it out at:


Sarasota Downtown Development

Article from http://srqmediagroup.com/

[Government] Costs High for Changing Building Rules through Downtown

Jacob Ogles, Jacob.Ogles@srqmediagroup.com

A tightening of rules on how construction can be approved on South Palm Avenue may now affect other parts of downtown Sarasota. As City officials expand the area where new rules can later be applied, the costs for changes is going up rapidly.

When the City was simply planning creation of a South Palm zoning overlay district and preparing a needed change to the City's comprehensive plan, the cost of noticing affected property owners of an upcoming public hearing was set to run $524. But now that all of downtown could potentially be affected by a comprehensive plan change, that cost has skyrocketed to $3,471.

That cost covers mailing notifications of a Development Review Committee meeting to all property owners who could be impacted by a change. Like mailings will have to be done when the changes go before the Planning Board and City Commission.

But City Manager Bob Bartolotta said time and money could be saved in the long run by discussing all of downtown. Since the City Commission gave direction to move ahead on South Palm changes, other neighborhood leaders, including those in Laurel Park and near Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, have asked for similar comprehensive plan changes.

"Do you want to go though a comp plan change every time? Why do every single one separately?" Bartolotta said.

By having a comprehensive plan amendment, which can easily take nine months to a year to implement, affect all of downtown, it will save staff time and costs.

The manager noted the comprehensive plan change being considered will not necessarily restrict development. South Palm residents are also moving on a zoning overlay which will change the rules. Commissioners would still need to approve such an overlay for other neighborhoods before significant rule changes affected development. 


Craig Hullinger AICP - The process described above is too slow and costly. Speed it up.

Monday, February 14, 2011

USF Institute for Public Policy & Leadership Sarasota-Manatee

EEPF logo2

 Dr. Kevan L. Main
Director, Center for Aquaculture Research & Development

Dr. Ken M. Leber
Director, Center for Fisheries Enhancement

 Date & Time

Wednesday, March 16
USF Sarasota-Manatee
Selby Auditorium
8350 N. Tamiami Trail 
Check-in: 11:30am
Program: 12:00 - 1:30pm

For more information about the Environmental Economics Policy Forums, please click here

Registration Information
$15 includes box lunch.   Must register prior to the event.
Registration details
click here
Visit the IPPL website atwww.sarasota.usf.edu/ippl

Sponsored by:

The Institute for Public Policy and Leadership, The College of Business at USF Sarasota-Manatee, and the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce present

The Third Annual
Environmental Economics Policy Forum

Environmental issues are challenges around the globe. Each of the four luncheon programs will address one major environmental problem, with emphasis on understanding and dealing with each issue on a local basis.  Now in its third year, the 2011 Policy Forum will address problems related to water, alternative energy, fisheries and sustainability.
Registration fee $15 includes box lunch.  Must register prior to event.
Check-in 11:30am
Program:  12:00 - 1:30pm in the USF Sarasota-Manatee Selby Auditorium.
To register click here 


What are fisheries, and why is their sustainability so important to people worldwide? What has been done to the fisheries in the past and what is being done to preserve them in the future? Through the research of two world renowned Mote fisheries scientists, Forum participants will come to understand the historical significance of fisheries along with the damage done to fisheries worldwide in the past several decades.  Today, scientific research at Mote is playing a key role in not only helping sustain fisheries worldwide, but also in helping the fisheries to expand to meet an ever growing demand for protein in diets, and these efforts will be discussed in detail.

 Co-hosted by:



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sarasota County EDC

Upcoming Events
Calendar of Events
Investor Directory
EDC Staff
Board of Directors
Join the EDC

Volume 8    February 8, 2011    Issue 16
Economic Outlook 2011 in Review
We hope you were among the 380 guests who heard Dr. Sean Snaith and local CEOs live and in person at EO '11. If you missed it, or want to share the knowledge with friends and colleagues, here are some online resources available at http://www.edcsarasotacounty.com/:
. Dr. Snaith's presentation (PowerPoint file)
. A six-minute podcast by David Voss of
  Voss and Associates (mp3 file)Photo gallery by Maria Lyle Photography. Video coming soon!
Thanks to presenting sponsor Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP; Doctors Hospital of Sarasota; Florida Power & Light Co.; Regions Bank; Verizon and Steven A. Smith & Associates.
AnnouncementsDonna Carden Joins EDC Staff!Please help us welcome our newest team member, Donna Carden, corporate relations director. A 30-year resident of Sarasota County, Donna has 25 years of experience in customer relationship management and sales in the retail and wholesale mortgage business.
Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., where she attended Canisius College, Donna moved to Sarasota County in 1980 and is a graduate of the University of South Florida. In her position at the EDC, Donna is responsible for investor relations, community relations, communications and events.
February Investor Update Breakfast
to Feature "Competing for the Meeting" Panel
Expect another lively panel discussion at the Feb. 24 Investor Update Breakfast when Virginia Haley of the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau leads a discussion by three tourism industry insiders. Learn about efforts to boost tourism, meetings and conventions in Sarasota County through the eyes of panelists Mark Becker, general manager at Hyatt Regency Sarasota and SCVB chair; Jennifer Moss, executive director of the Ear Research Foundation; and Anne Zavorskas, SCVB director of marketing and sales.
Register online at www.edcsarasotacounty.com/calendar.asp or by calling 309-1200 ext. 103.
Save the Date!
The networking bash of the year, EDC Rocks!, is slated for Thursday, May 12, 5-7 p.m. at Warm Mineral Springs in North Port. Stay tuned for details.
About Us | Contact Us | Request Information | Home

Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County
2601Cattlemen Road Suite 102
Sarasota, FL 34232
Tel: (941) 309-1200 | Fax: (941) 309-1209 

Development Regulations

Help revise Sarasota County development regulations.

First topic: commercial redevelopment


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sarasota County Comprehensive Plan

Planning and Development Home
Comprehensive Plan Home
Comprehensive Plan Table of Contents
Comprehensive Plan Amendments
Energy Economic Zone (EEZ)
Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR)
Joint Planning Agreement
Request a Copy
Sarasota 2050
      School Concurrency
      Form-Based Code
      Zoning Code Enforcement
      Planning Commission
Sarasota County Links
       Access Sarasota TV Live
       All Hazards Preparation
       GIS Mapping
       Parks and Recreation
       SCAT Bus System

Sarasota 2050
Sarasota 2050 is a 50 year land use plan to 
manage and shape future growth in Sarasota 
County. Sarasota 2050's primary goals are 
preserving the county's natural, cultural and 
physical resources and making all 
neighborhoods, both old and new, more livable.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Classic Cars

 Any car brochure for any year, any model.......  SCROLL DOWN TO THE  LINK

This is fun! A web-site featuring the original factory brochures for nearly every American car you have ever owned. Pick the manufacturer, the year and the model.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Development Hub at Lakewood Ranch

Manatee, Sarasota economic development hub planned for Lakewood Ranch.

"LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Three influential area leaders announced plans Tuesday for a $14.4 million regional economic-development hub in eastern Lakewood Ranch, saying the facility will improve the Manatee/Sarasota area’s chances of landing and retaining jobs."
Click to read more:

Monday, January 17, 2011

Super Streets For Sarasota?

I wonder how this would work on University at Lockridge?

Might be worth looking into.

Interesting article from North Carolina State University.

"Drivers are first required to make a right turn and then make a U-turn around a broad median. While this may seem time-consuming, the study shows that it actually results in a significant time savings since drivers are not stuck waiting to make left-hand turns or for traffic from cross-streets to go across the thoroughfare.

"Superstreet" traffic designs result in faster travel times and significantly fewer accidents, according to the new study.
“The study shows a 20 percent overall reduction in travel time compared to similar intersections that use conventional traffic designs,” says Dr. Joe Hummer, professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at NC State and one of the researchers who conducted the study. “We also found that superstreet intersections experience an average of 46 percent fewer reported automobile collisions – and 63 percent fewer collisions that result in personal injury.”

"The researchers assessed travel time at superstreet intersections as the amount of time it takes a vehicle to pass through an intersection from the moment it reaches the intersection – whether traveling left, right or straight ahead. The travel-time data were collected from three superstreets located in eastern and central North Carolina, all of which have traffic signals. The superstreet collision data were collected from 13 superstreets located across North Carolina, none of which have traffic signals."

Read the Article at:


Sunday, January 16, 2011


Webinar, Tuesday, January 17th @ 7:00pm EST
From the Sarasota EDC
Hear how They did it!
IBM Executive To Entrepreneur
Marine Corps To Entrepreneur
Finance Executive To Entrepreneur

- Looking for control of your Career
- Have a Career Resolution for 2011?
- Considered Business Ownership?

Register today for a complimentary webinar with experts and actual owners that have gone from "Corporate America" to Business Ownership successfully.

Hear about:
• How they found their business
• The fears they had
• Their rewards and challenges of their business
• How they overcame obstacles (including in this economy)
• Advice they would have for someone considering Business Ownership
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
7 PM (Eastern)

Register today to hold your spot!


Dial in to webinar 323-417-0075
Access code 168912#

This Webinar is FREE to the public...please feel free to 

forward to anyone you feel might be interested!

Join our webinar the 3rd Tuesday of every month!
Next month's topic: Small Business Financing...

Simplified! Feb 15

Craig Hullinger AICP Twitter