Click here to return to the E-Government Services start page

Welcome to the City of Sarasota, FL, FAQ
Today is Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

Search FAQ:


City Government

How can I find a job with the city government?
Contact the City Human Resources department at 941-951-3660 for information on jobs. You can also access jobs listings and apply online for jobs on the city website at

Where do I go to fix a drainage problem on my street or on my property?
Under an interlocal agreement, Sarasota County Public Works is responsible for construction and maintenance of all stormwater facilities located in the City of Sarasota. City Engineering works closely with County staff to address drainage problems as they come up. Please contact the County Call Center @ 861-5000.

How do I report a traffic signal malfunction?
Call 365-7870

Where do I call to report stormwater flooding?
Call Sarasota County Call Center @ 861-5000.

Where do I pay for a traffic ticket or parking violation?
Go to for all the information on parking tickets and even pay them online. Traffic tickets are handled by the Clerk of Court for Sarasota County. Payment can be a personal check (made to Karen Rushing, Clerk of Circuit Court), money order or cash. Some major credit cards are also accepted. For more information contact the Clerk of Court's office at 941-362-4066.

How do I learn about the different city departments and what their responsibilites and goals are?
Go to the City's homepage and click on the City Departments dropdown list to choose one.

I live in Sarasota County, who should I call for garbage collection?
Call Sarasota County Solid Waste at 316-1166.

Where do I report problems with overflowing manholes or streets that are flooding?
For emergency repair service for water or sewer, please call 955-2325, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. All other times, please call 955-4838.

Where do I report a pot hole?
Call 365-7870

How do I report issues or problems with traffic signals?
The City of Sarasota has a special web page dealing with Traffic Operations including signal timing, signal function and signal location. You may also contact our Signal Operations Specialist in the Engineering Department at 954-4180.

Where can I learn about our city commissioners?
Click here for information, a photo and contact info for each of our commissioners.

How can a citizen stay up to date with the city commission meetings?
The public can view the access 19 television to stay updated on the latest information regarding the commission, public hearings, emergency coverage, bulletins, and more. Live and Archived meeting videos & City TV Programs are available on the City website.

Who do I contact about holding a special event in Sarasota?
The Deputy City Manager's office handles permits for special events in the city. Contact the office at 941-954-4102. The office is located at City Hall.

How do I contact City Hall?
City Hall offices are open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The building is located at 1565 First Street in Sarasota. You can also reach city offices by telephone at 941-365-2200, or use the City at Your Service online contact system at

How do I determine where my property line is located?
Look on the property survey that you received when you purchased your home. A copy of your deed will also contain a detailed legal description of your property. You may also look for a survey marker in your yard.


How can I register my business to sell products to city government?
The City Purchasing Department can provide you with information on becoming a city vendor. Call them at 941-954-4190 or visit their office at City Hall. You can also access vendor information on the city website at

What is the EDCM or Engineering Design Criteria Manual?
The EDCM is a group of standards that apply to all forms of development under the jurisdiction of the City Engineer, including but not limited to subdivision development, right-of-way encroachment agreements, storm drainage improvements, erosion/siltation control systems, water lines, sewer lines and other utilities construction. Among the standards in the EDCM are: standards for driveways, curb and gutter, handicapped ramps, storm drain design, and utility line connections of a roadway depends on the kind of development and/or redevelopment that will be permitted to occur. Future growth and development, regulated by the Sarasota City Plan, is the responsibility of the City Planning and Redevelopment Department.

What are comprehensive plans and the Land Development Code?
The comprehensive plan, known as the Sarasota City Plan, is a set of policies governing growth and redevelopment in the City of Sarasota. It includes chapters on Neighborhoods, Environment, Recreation and Open Space, Transportation, Utilities, Housing, Future Land Use, and Capital Improvements. The Land Development Code, also called the Zoning Code, (which includes the Downtown Code or Smartcode) is a much more detailed set of regulations governing development including parking regulations, signage regulations, setback and height restrictions as well as use requirements and restrictions. To learn more about the Sarasota City Plan, you may contact the City Planning Department at (941) 954-4195.

What is planned for a particular roadway that I may buy property on?
The City Engineering Department is responsible planning for the future transportation needs of the City. Large roadway projects begin years in advance working through the design and funding stages all the way to construction. You can call the main desk of the Engineering Department with specific questions at (941) 954-4180. Many times the future

How much are impact fees?
Q: How much are impact fees?
A: A permit to connect to the City's water distribution system shall be valid for a period of 12 months from the date of the permit . These charges represent the cost of providing a metered connection to the system and are in addition to established monthly charges for service.
All payments must be made in advance.
A fire hydrant construction meter requires a $750.00 refundable deposit . For fire line cost, you will need to make an application. There will be no impact fees charged, but there may be inspection fees. For an irrigation meter there will be no impact fees, but there will be installation fees.
Table of Fees

Historic Preservation

Does the City have a list of buildings that are historically designated?
Yes, the City has a list of approximately 180 locally designated buildings. These buildings and sites are identified by an 8 x 8 bronze plaque installed in a highly visible location. Local Register of Historic Places

When does the City's Historic Preservation Board meet?
Please refer to the 2008 Schedule of Board Meetings.

How do I know if my house is eligible for historical designation?
Generally, houses are eligible for historic designation in the City of Sarasota once they are at least 50 years old. The City also recognizes the importance of younger structures associated with the Sarasota School of Architecture. A structure or site has to meet one of the six specific criteria in the Zoning Code [see Sec. IV-801].

How can I get my house (or other building) historically designated?
Getting a home or other structure historically designated is a permitting process that can take several months. The Historic Designation of a property is achieved only after a public hearing before the Historic Preservation Board, a second public hearing before the City Commission and approval of an ordinance designating the property in question. See the Historic Designation Application and Information page.

How does historic designation benefit a property owner?
Historic designation entitles an owner to a variety of programs to encourage the preservation of significant historical resources. These range from incentives to promote sensitive historical rehabilitation by offering some relief from building and zoning code regulations, and an ad-valorem tax exemption for qualifying improvements to historic structures. More information on the benefits of local historic designation is available from the City Planning and Redevelopment Department. The City Auditor and Clerk is also authorized to pay for the installation of an official bronze plaque to identify designated historical resources.

I need to make repairs (or renovations) to my historically designated house?
Making any exterior changes to a locally designated structure requires a Certificate of Appropriateness. There is an application form that must be submitted to Clerk's Office for a hearing before the Preservation Board. Your application should include clear building plans and other relevant information. For more information on the Certificate of Appropriateness process, see COA Process.

How can I have my item or issues considered by the Board?
The Historic Preservation Board has a deadline for submission of materials for presentations. It is one week before the meeting. Applications for Historic Designation, and Demolition of Historic Structures must be submitted approximately 6 weeks in advance due to the legal notice requirements that apply to these quasi-judicial hearing matters. Certificate of Appropriateness, applications can be submitted as late as 2 weeks before the meeting in order to be placed on the agenda.

What are the City's plans for historic preservation in the future?
The City of Sarasota has adopted an Historic Preservation Chapter as part of its comprehensive plan, the Sarasota City Plan. The Chapter specifies certain goals, objectives and action strategies that the City would like to achieve related to historic preservation. At this time, the City is actively involved in updating the inventory of historic resources within the City limits. With the help of state/federal matching grants, the City has hired consultants to review and catalog all structures that may be of historic interest. The survey has been completed in the downtown area and is underway north of 10th Street. Future phases are expected to cover the neighborhoods to the south and east of downtown.

Where can I learn more about historic preservation in the City and in Sarasota County?
Reference books are available at the Sarasota County History Center Library, 701 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. They can be reached at (941) 861-1183. Sample designation reports are available in the City Planning Department located in the City Hall Annex Building at 1565 First Street on the 3rd floor. Please contact Clifford Smith, Senior Planner, at (941) 954-4195 for more information about designation reports.

Are there any state sources for information about historic structures and sites in the City of Sarasota?
The State of Florida maintains a comprehensive statewide list of locations and structures that are of historical and archeological interest. That list is called the Florida Master Site File. The City of Sarasota is in the process of updating the survey records in the Florida Master Site File using state/federal grant funds

Residents & Business

Where do I pay my utility bill?
The Utilities Billing Office provides several convenient options for paying your utility bill. You can pay your bill online at Online Services. You can also choose to automatically debit your bank account, mail the payment to P.O. Box 3439, Sarasota, FL 34230-3439, or pay in person at the Utility Billing Office located at 1761 12th Street in Sarasota. Business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday excluding holidays. 941-954-4197

What are your hours of operation?
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. We are closed on weekends and holidays.

How do I get a street light installed on my street?
Florida Power & Light will install streetlights on its power poles upon request. You can make your request through their website at The City of Sarasota Public Works Department also maintains many of the street lights installed in City neighborhoods. You may contact them at 365-7870.

How do I open a new water account?
Accounts must be opened in person at the Utility Billing Office located 1761, 12th St. Your social security number, a photo I.D. and the initial charge of $196.66 is required.

Why do I have low water pressure?
Low water pressure may occur for several reasons, frequently in the customer's own system, such as leaks, closed house valve, water softener/conditioner, etc. Call 955-2325 for assistance.

How do I transfer my account to another address or close my account?
To close an account, you may call or visit the Utility Billing Office in person. After the final meter reading is made, $150.00 will be credited to your account. You will then receive either a bill or a refund check for the difference. This takes approximately 4 - 6 weeks. You may transfer an existing account to another address within the City as long as the account remains in the same name. Your $150.00 deposit can be transferred to the new account, provided the terminated account is paid in full.

Are there any water restrictions in the City of Sarasota?
Yes, the City has adopted the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) water restrictions.
Lawn watering is limited to twice per week.
Lawn watering days and times are as follows:
Even addresses may water on Thursday and/or Sunday before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
Odd addresses may water on Wednesday and/or Saturday before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
Visit the SWFWMD website for more details

I've found a leak in the City service. What should I do?
A: Water division employees maintain water mains and service lines up to the outlet (customer side) of the meter. To report water leaks, call 955-2325, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. All other times, please call 955-4838.

When is my bill due?
Monthly bills are due and payable upon receipt. To ensure proper credit , please include your account number on your check. Please allow three (3) days for payment by mail.

Is Reclaimed water available to Sarasota residents?
Reclaimed water service is provided either with direct service from a transmission main or with construction of a distribution system within a neighborhood. For more information about the availability of reclaimed water in your area and how to apply for service, please call the Public Works Utilities Division at 955-2325.

What do the colored markers on my street mean?
Flags or spray painted markers on the ground, road or sidewalk indicate that underground utilities have been located. It is state law that contractors must mark utilities before beginning any work. To have utilities located

Who handles recycling in the City?
Waste Management. Their phone number is 497-8088.

A sanitary lift station has a flashing red light or an alarm ringing. What should I do?
For Lift Stations that have a red light flashing or an alarm bell sounding, please call 955-2325, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. All other times, please call 955-4838.

My cart was stolen, will I have to pay for a new one?
No call 365-7651. We'll see if we can locate it , if not we will replace it at no additional charge.

My sewer is stopped up. What should I do?
For a sewer that is stopped up,. please call 955-2325, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. All other times, please call 955-4838.

How much does it cost to get my water turned on?
The initial charge to get water turned on is $196.66. This amount represents $150.00 deposit, $21.66 advance solid waste collection charge, and $25.00 non-refundable service charge. This amount must be paid prior to water being turned on.

How can I find out my tap location?
This information is available in the Public Works Technical Services Division Office located at 1750 12th Street. You may visit our office between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, or call for information at 955-2325.

I have questions about my utility bill. Who do I call?
You can call 954-4196 or come by in person to our Utility Billing Office located at 1761 12th Street. Hours are 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

If I forget to put my cart out for collection will you come back and get IT later that day?
No, you'll have to put it out on your next scheduled day.

How can I get a speed bump put on my street?
The City Engineering Department Traffic Calming program sets requirements and identifies priorities for traffic calming. Please see the Traffic Calming Home Page for more information.

The wheels are broken on my cart, will I have to pay for a new one?
No call 365-7651 and the City will replace it at no additional charge.

What are the services/responsibilities of the Public Works Department?
A: Public Works provides citizens with the essential services of water, wastewater collection, roads and drainage. The department is responsible for the continuance of clean and safe streets and sidewalks, functional stormwater facilities to prevent flooding of streets and buildings, wastewater collection system for the health and well being of the public. The Public Works Department distributes safe, potable water and reclaimed water.

What are the holidays that garbage is not collected?
New Years Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day.

How do I get a sign repaired or one put back up that is missing?
Missing or replacement sign contact Public Works 365-2200 ext 6306

What is Traffic Calming?
Traffic calming devices like speed tables, medians, and traffic circles that use physical measures to influence the speed of vehicles on residential streets. Please see the Traffic Calming Home Page for more information.

How do I get a street light installed on my street?
Florida Power & Light will install streetlights on its power poles upon request. You can make your request through their website at The City of Sarasota Public Works Department also maintains many of the street lights installed in City neighborhoods. You may contact them at 365-7870.

I had a few tree limbs inside my cart, why wasn't IT dumped?
Yard waste is collected by Waste Management on your recycling day. Yard wasste cannot be mixed with regular garbage because IT is recyclable

My neighbor leaves their cart at the curb all the time, what can I do to prevent this?
You can call the City's Code Compliance at 954-4125.

I have handicap service, why do I have to purchase my own garbage cans?
In order to receive special back door service and pay the normal rate of collection, you must purchase your own cans. However, we do have regular back door collection at a higher rate for the service.

How do I get a new sign on a street?
New Signs 365-2200 ext 4405.

How often are the residential streets swept in the City?
Every 4 weeks but may be longer if we have equipment breakdowns.

How do I report a street light outage?
Call 365-7870

How can I get a sidewalk installed or repaired?
The City of Sarasota has a Sidewalk Program that includes an annual budget to respond to all sidewalk requests in the City. Minor repairs to existing public sidewalks can be completed by the City Public Works Department. Please contact them at (941) 365-7870.

I have a garbage billing question, who do I call?
Call the utility billing office at 954-4197.

Why did the collectors not empty my cart? I put it out at 10:00 am.
You must place your cart at the curb 5 pm the day before collection or by 7 am the day of your collection to avoid any missed collection.

When is a permit required?

Where can I find information about the public schools and libraries in Sarasota?
Click here to visit the Education & Libraries section of our website. Here you will find information about public schools, libraries, and other education related links.

Where can I find the latest information about water restrictions?
Click here to learn about Sarasota's water restrictions and helpful ways to conserve water.

Will the City trim the trees in my right-of-way area?

How do I contact Public Works for an emergency situation?
Emergency numbers regarding traffic signals and street repairs services along with water and sewer repairs can be found at The after hours number for traffic signals/street services is 954-4148, and the after hours number for water and sewer repair is 955-4838. In addition to these numbers, this website also provides phone numbers for other public services that run Monday through Friday from 8 until 5.

How can I find out what development plans the city has for my neighborhood?
Contact the City Planning Department located in the Annex adjacent to City Hall. You can call them at 941-954-4195.

I have water and sewer, how do I start garbage service?
Call the utility billing office at 954-4197 and tell them you would like a garbage only account or you want IT added to your existing account.


What kind of recreation, youth and cultural activities does Sarasota offer?
Sarasota has something for everyone. Find out more about the arts and cultural activities going on in Sarasota. Find a ball game, play a quick 18 holes or entertain the kids. Enjoy the great Florida weather by visiting the numerous parks and beaches located in and near Sarasota. Visit our historical sites to learn more about the city and its past.

How can I find accommodations for my trip to Sarasota?
Whether you are with the kids or on a romantic getaway, Sarasota has a variety of accommodations to meet any budget or taste. Click here to find the perfect accommodation for your vacation needs.

Is there any historical significance behind Sarasota and its name?
Click here to discover Sarasota's history which is explained through the creation of its name along with historical significance shown by the remnants of famous houses, people, buildings, and the development of the land.

What is the closest airport for flying into Sarasota?
The Sarasota Bradenton International Airport is the closest location for flying into Sarasota. Click here to visit the airport website.



City Home | E-Gov Home | Action Line | Community Calendar | Online Documents | Subscriptions
FAQ | Business Listings
Login | Register | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©2004-2018. Electronic Commerce Link, Inc. dba egovlink.