Flood Mitigation Set on Harbor Acres


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, July 10th, 2017 – Residents of Harbor Acres may soon get some relief from floods which have been a constant concern in their area especially during the hurricane season.

Starting this July, “open throat” intakes along curbs in this bayfront neighborhood will be installed as part of county measures to address the flooding which this community typically experiences after heavy rains. These installations will have a basket to catch and prevent blockages in the local street drains.

Stormwater System Improvement

Flooded Streets

Besides these wider and more sophisticated intakes which would facilitate make easier drain-clearing, local officials shall look into improvements in the county’s stormwater system. This system appears outdated as it was the adopted way during the 1940s when the sea level was lower by a foot than today.

In contrast, building standards in the Harbor Acres area have changed during the past several decades. Base level elevation of new construction in this neighborhood has been raised to 11 feet, whereas before, builders can construct residences only a few feet above sea level. Also, new Harbor Acres home sites now are platted at close to 12,000 square feet, compared with the original 3,000-square-feet lots of the neighborhood.

The flooding situation in the community has thus been exacerbated by the recent construction of additional Harbor Acres homes for sale as well as the tearing down and rebuilding of its old houses. This has resulted on more water accumulation on the streets, which becomes even more problematic during high tide when the excess water can’t flow out to the bay.

Pilot Study on Flood Control

To come up with a long-term solution to the flooding, the county has commissioned a study on how to improve the stormwater management infrastructure in Harbor Acres. This study will not only look into building regulations but also consider sea level rise and county access to a parcel in the area where a flood mitigation facility could be installed. Officials are hopeful that the study’s findings will be applicable to other neighborhoods encountering similar flooding issues.

To finance any improvements, the residents of Harbor Acres might have to pay a special assessment, since the county’s stormwater utility doesn’t collect funding for its capital projects.

Unperturbed Market

Unperturbed Market

The flooding experienced seasonally at Harbor Acres, however, doesn’t appear dampening market interest on its properties listed amongst Sarasota homes for sale. Early this year, a three-bedroom home built in the 1950s here with a price tag in the $600s was sold after just three days of its market listing. Other recent sales in this community involved luxury residences priced at between the $1 million and $6 million range featuring floor areas measuring 4,600 to 6,000 square feet designed with four to five bedrooms.

There is a new Harbor Acres listing as well for a three-bedroom residence with a floor area of about 3,000 square feet and an asking price in the $800s. Another newly available property in this community is sales-listed at close to $4 million, featuring a floor plan of nearly 5,000 square feet with five bedrooms, plus the benefit of the flood mitigation efforts underway in its neighborhood.