Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Fresh Start Update: Proposals are In

Fresh Start is happy to report more than three dozen ideas, suggestions, and proposals came in for its community-based public land initiative ahead of a March 1 deadline.

The citizen initiative invited people to send workable, area-enhancing concepts for two parcels - #1 and #2 of "the Quads" - totaling about 23 acres of public lands near the Celery Fields. The coalition, which has the backing of more than 50 HOAs circling the nature preserve, advertised for ideas after getting county agreement on a process to explore workable prospects for the public lands.

The Quad Parcels

The proposals from neighborhoods, non-profit groups and organizations provide a varied spectrum of uses for the lands. The enthusiasm, creativity and plain good will this process has aroused in our community has been gratifying. At a recent community meeting, people shared exciting ideas that
  • relate to the needs of nearby residents and offices, 
  • complement and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife, and tranquility of the Celery Fields,
  • meaningfully connect with the larger surrounding area. 

Next Step

Once the proposals are collected and edited - the names of those making the proposals will be removed -- they will be reviewed by a select group of Sarasota residents with professional backgrounds in planning, land use, environmental science, architecture and more. We are happy to have these distinguished volunteers for the advisory panel.

Ideas will be evaluated for feasibility, value and compatibility to the area, economic potential, and environmental enhancement. Those felt to best meet these criteria feel will then be presented to the community at large at a public round table workshop on April 10, at the Fruitville Library, beginning at 3 pm.

Fresh Start aims to make this a small first step and a worthwhile catalyst for building more trust and shared vision. The goal is to restore a legacy of creativity and character in commonsense planning for the common good.

Fresh Start is a grassroots experiment in community-based dialog about proactive land use vision. Read more about Fresh Start here.

Red Shouldered Hawk - Chuck Behrmann

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