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SRQ DAILY Sep 18, 2021

"The initiative is good news for arts and culture and for public health. It’s also good business. "

- Mark Pritchett, Gulf Coast Community Foundation

[Argus]  HUD Study On Affordable Housing An Important Read
Christine Robinson, Christine@argusfoundation.org

Affordable housing is a difficult topic to deal with because it upends our traditional way of thinking about development, development processes, density and neighborhood input. A new piece of research explaining these issues has come out from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The research specifically came from HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research. 

The study was completed in June of this year but released to the public on Sept. 7, just 11 days ago. This study was mandated by Congress in its 2021 Appropriations Act for HUD. This is a playbook that recommends “best practices for localities and states to help encourage the production of new housing in high-cost metropolitan areas.”

The report’s foundation is based upon a very important premise, “In the United States, housing supply has failed to meet demand, resulting in higher housing costs.” This is no longer a debatable issue, the market is not meeting population growth and therefore driving housing costs upwards. In Sarasota County, no one is in doubt that we are experiencing this issue right now, home sales prices have skyrocketed as we experience a demand from the flight of people from high-tax states.

What is inhibiting the building of housing supply? Regulation. According to the report, “A significant body of research has examined the relationship among land use regulation, housing supply, and housing prices, finding that increasingly strict local and State government regulations have driven up the cost of building new homes and prevented housing supply from keeping up with demand.”

Otherwise known as “regulatory tax,” the cost of regulation can be serious and significant. This “tax” is calculated by removing the cost of construction and looking at the gap between prices and remaining costs. The research points to a study from the Journal of Law and Economics that examined 21 metro areas, and almost half had a regulatory tax, of more than 10%. In California, it was “one-third to one-half of the median home value.” Government is causing the prices of homes to go up significantly by its regulation alone.

The research issues recommendations to states and local governments, with the unapologetic goal of increasing housing supply. The study then identifies two critical elements of housing (emphasis added):

  1. The United States’ housing market relies primarily on the private market to produce housing units. Developers will not build units if they cannot make the deal work financially, i.e., “pencil out.” High land costs from supply restrictions, long and uncertain development processes, and requirements to provide or pay for infrastructure and other amenities add to the costs.
  2. Land use regulatory regimes extend beyond specific regulations, such as parking requirements or maximum height limits. Tackling each barrier individually through a regulatory or statutory amendment may create change at the margins but tends to be insufficient to generate enough production. More comprehensive approaches may be needed to recover from decades of undersupply.

The good news is that we have begun to tackle some of the important work in affordable housing that needs to be done according to the report. For instance, the City of Sarasota has recently allowed for accessory dwelling units in the city. 

However, we have a lot of work ahead of us in improving development processes, including doing more to limit discretionary approval processes. “For example, discretionary approval processes allow existing neighbors the opportunity to weigh in on design features, effectively giving them veto power based on their aesthetic preferences, which can push developers to use more costly materials or incorporate expensive design features.” Several states are examining removing the ability of local government to regulate design and materials so long as the international building code accepts them. Dimensional regulations (i.e., lot widths and setbacks) and review times for development approval can also add significantly to the regulatory tax and make lots unbuildable or not financially possible. 

In the final paragraph of the research, HUD promises to continue to work on available ideas and best practices through their Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse. As local governments look at their Comprehensive Plans and codes, they should make sure that they examine the costs of their regulatory taxes on affordable housing with every ordinance and regulation to ensure that they are not limiting housing supply through their own regulations and thus intensifying the affordable housing problem.

Christine Robinson is Executive Director of The Argus Foundation. 


[Higher Education]  Inspiring Women in Leadership
Carol Probstfeld, presidentsoffice@scf.edu

The State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota will celebrate Women in Leadership Day on our Bradenton Campus with female leaders from around our community at a reception Sept. 28. The event honors the contributions of the women in our community who are leading in local government, higher education, and corporate environments in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

The event also recognizes the first time in SCF’s history that women simultaneously occupy leadership positions as the college’s President and of its two boards. I am proud to host the event as SCF’s sixth president alongside Tracy Knight, chair of our District Board of Trustees, and Dorothy Korszen, chair of the SCF Foundation Board of Directors.

Tracy, who has served as a trustee since 2017, is the first female chair of SCF’s Board of Trustees in more than 50 years. She provides a strong and consistent voice focused on student success and the strategic vision of SCF as the trustee strategic plan advisor. Tracy is also an invaluable ambassador, representing SCF across our region at college and community events. Trustees are residents of Manatee and Sarasota counties who are appointed by the governor to provide local governance for the college. Trustees govern on behalf of the public and ensure that the college meets community needs. They are also advocates and protectors of the college.

Dorothy exemplifies our “grow our own leaders” philosophy. A director for 10 years and now the president of the board of directors, she attended Manatee Junior College and is a long-time supporter and fundraiser for SCF. Under her leadership, the foundation is beating its annual fund-raising goal by 86 percent. The Foundation’s directors are leaders in the business and civic sectors of Manatee and Sarasota counties who contribute their expertise and help connect SCF to the region’s philanthropic community.

Trustees and directors fill a vital role in the success of our college and to help our foundation achieve its goals. These unpaid volunteers are leaders in our community and help cement the bond between our college and the two counties we serve. I am grateful to all those who volunteer to support our institution.

SCF also features many outstanding women who serve as leaders throughout the college. We are successful because we focus on the best person for the job, demonstrating our commitment to diversity and inclusion in our workforce.

My goal is for our students to see themselves when they enter the classroom or an office. With a student body that is more than 63% female, we must set the example for students and demonstrate that women can achieve success through hard work, merit and commitment. Our female students see strong role models every day on our campuses.

SCF is a community-based college. The future leaders of our college and community are on our campuses today. We want to inspire and grow those leaders from our female and under-represented populations so they will be our future governmental representatives, corporate leaders, non-profit directors and quite possibly, trustees or board members for our institution.

I am very excited to celebrate Women in Leadership Day on Sept. 29. While we will enjoy our time focusing on the accomplishments and contributions of female leaders in Manatee and Sarasota counties we also have an eye on the future and those leaders that we hope to inspire through our actions.

Dr. Carol Probstfeld is President of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. 

[Gulf Coast]  Supporting the Arts (and Science)
Mark Pritchett, mpritchett@gulfcoastcf.org

This past week, a group of leading Sarasota County arts organizations united in agreeing to uphold vigilant health and safety protocols for their audiences and artists, staffs and volunteers.

Initially announced by nine performing arts groups in partnership with the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, the #SafeArtsSarasota initiative provides clarity, consistency, protection and comfort for patrons and performers alike. Many other arts and cultural agencies have joined in committing to implement and share guidelines that mirror or complement the unified protocols as appropriate for their own particular facilities, activities and personnel.

The initiative is good news for arts and culture and for public health. It’s also good business. To thrive, many organizations must operate at a higher audience capacity than they have in past months. The new guidelines will enable that in the safest possible environment. The organizations also commit to revisit and revise the protocols as federal health guidance and pandemic-related conditions evolve. That shows our arts community being responsive to and responsible for the needs of our entire community.

Sarasota’s arts and cultural sector has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. Canceled seasons, dark stages and shuttered spaces have had devastating financial and quality-of-life costs. Of course, our stalwart arts partners remained resilient and creative in the face of this crisis. (Check out this video produced a few months ago for examples.) But just as our region readied for a new and more “normal” performance season…the latest surge of the insidious coronavirus called everything into question.

It’s no surprise that, once again, Sarasota’s arts leaders are acting creatively, collaboratively and confidently on behalf of audiences and artists alike. I had a front-row seat to their thoughtful deliberation and decisive action, and I can’t overstate how careful and courageous they have been. As leaders like Rebecca Hopkins (Florida Studio Theatre), Linda DiGabriele (Asolo Rep), Richard Russell (Sarasota Opera), and Joseph McKenna (Sarasota Opera) have articulated on behalf of their organizations and their partners, #SafeArtsSarasota is about keeping Sarasota’s arts and culture community viable and vital.

The creative arts supply our community with unique and unmatched joy—something we lost in so many aspects of our lives over the past year and a half. We need the arts in Sarasota. Our artists and artistic organizations need us. #SafeArtsSarasota is a compact that offers safety, opportunity and inspiration for all.

Mark Pritchett is President and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. 

[SOON]  SEMINAR: The City of Sarasota: Public Input Meetings for Penny Sales Tax , September 15 – October 6, 6pm-7pm

The City of Sarasota will host three community meetings to welcome input on infrastructure projects for the continuation of the countywide Penny Sales Tax. Residents are invited to suggest infrastructure projects during the following public listening sessions: Wednesday, Sept. 15 6pm– 7:30pm at Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 34th St., Thursday, Sept. 16, 6pm – 7:30pm at Arlington Park & Aquatic Complex, 2650 Waldemere St., and Wednesday, Oct. 6 6pm – 7:30pm at City Hall Annex – SRQ Media Studio, 1565 First St. Input also can be provided online at www.SarasotaCountySurtax.net. The Sarasota County Penny Sales Tax, also known as the sales surtax, surtax, or one cent tax, is a countywide voter approved one percent sales tax used to invest in local infrastructure improvements, including parks, libraries, schools, sidewalks, police vehicles, street resurfacing and mobility upgrades. Sarasota County voters approved the Penny Sales Tax in 1989 and again in 1997 and 2007. The current surtax expires at the end of 2024. Voters throughout Sarasota County will have an opportunity in November 2022 to continue the Penny Sales Tax for another 15 years to fund local infrastructure projects.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Michael Murphy Gallery: Salvador Dali: The Argillet Collection , September 16 – September 26, 1pm-3pm and 7pm-9pm

Michael Murphy Gallery, Tampa’s premier fine art gallery, is proud to announce its presentation of Salvador Dali: The Argillet Collection. The collection will be on exhibition and available for acquisition at the gallery beginning September 16, 2021. The exhibition is a rare opportunity to meet Madame Christine Argillet, daughter of Dali's legendary publisher and confidante Pierre Argillet, during scheduled special appearances by Madame Argillet for the public: Saturday, September 25 from 1pm–3pm and 7pm–9pm as well as Sunday, September 26 from 1pm–3pm. All appearances are complimentary to the public. For additional information about this exhibition, contact the gallery via phone: 813.902.1414 or info@michaelmurphygallery.com. RSVPs are strongly recommended HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/salvador-dali-the-argillet-collection-tickets-165960505339.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: Friends of the East Manatee Library: Heather Graham Interview , September 19, 1pm

Prepare your mimosas, sit back, and relax while Heather Graham shares intimate knowledge about her career and sneak peek into her upcoming book. “The Unknown” is the latest in the Krewe of Hunters series and takes place in New Orleans. A suspicious fire sets off an investigation that sends an agent to catch a serial arsonist roaming the shadowy streets of New Orleans... before the city burns down. Registration is open for the virtual event that takes place on September 19, 2021 at 1pm. Tickets begin at $15 and can be purchased at https://libraryfriendsemlwr.org/events. New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Heather Graham, majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. She has written over 200 novels and novellas including category, suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, and the occult.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Forty Carrots Free Community Speaker Event , September 22

This free virtual event will feature Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. who teaches the power of showing up in her book How Parental Presence Shapes Who Our Kids Become and How Their Brains Get Wired. Become a community partner and SUPPORT free quality educational programming for those who care for kids in our community. The virtual speaker event will be held Wednesday, September 22 by the Community Foundation of Sarasota. 

Community Foundation of Sarasota

[SOON]  FILM: The Ringling: On Screen: The Infiltrators , September 24, 6:30pm

Without warning, Claudio Rojas is detained by ICE officials outside his Florida home. He is transferred to the Broward Transitional Center, a detention facility used as a holding space for imminent deportations. Terrified of never seeing him again, Claudio’s family contacts the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA), a group of activist Dreamers known for stopping deportations. Believing that no one is free as long as one is in detention, NIYA enlists Marco Saavedra to self-deport with the hopes of gaining access to the detention center and impeding Claudio’s expulsion. Once inside, Marco discovers a complex for-profit institution housing hundreds of multinational immigrants, all imprisoned without trial. This On Screen will show on September 24 at 6:30pm at Historic Asolo Theater.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Orchestra: Chamber Soirees: Music of Youth , September 26, 4pm

A program about the joys of youth, written by the young and young at heart on Sunday, September 26 at 4pm at Holley Hall. Inspired by Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends. The progam consists of Josef Suk Piano Quartet in A Minor, Op. 1, Janacek Mladi ("Youth Suite"), Kenji Bunch Shout Chorus, and Mendelssohn String Quartet No. 1, Op. 12.

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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