On Nov. 28th last, the Fresh Start Initiative got the County's "blessing" to begin a citizen process to generate good ideas for the Quad parcels between The Celery Fields - Sarasota, Florida and the Packinghouse District.
The Initiative worked out a process and a timeline, aiming for two goals: (1) To stimulate and evaluate creative, community-enhancing proposals that will protect the wildlife preserve we now have, and help integrate the diverse assets around it into a place that brings together urban and rural, West County and East, eco-tourism and local destinations, future development and memory of our collective past; and, (2) To build community support for ideas with practical, economic, and environmental value.
We've received some very interesting ideas already. To help get the word out, we have a new blog - this one. It will update the process leading from solicitation of ideas to evaluation, a public workshop in March, and a presentation to the County probably in April. Our County-mandated deadline is May.
The blog has materials to help with land use issues, history, ecology, and site details. It will add relevant data as we go along, but we've made a start here. Join in -- planning a community's desired future is only dull if you don't care to plan.