Earlier this year, Sarasota County hired a consultant to study the "highest and best use" for parcel #3 of the public lands near the Celery Fields known as "the Quads." That report is now in (link here) -- it recommends rezoning 7 acres of parcel #3 for industrial use:
Some preliminary observations:
Siloed Consultancy: Since January, Fresh Start repeatedly asked to communicate with the consultant. We were told that at the County’s direction, the Consultant was to work walled off from residents or anyone else, to “limit the influences on the data.”
Fiscal Motive Evaporates: Last November, the Commission cited a need to sell public lands to cover a temporary budget shortfall as the compelling reason for this rezoning. Since then the Board has revised its view. Commissioner Maio now says the county is in excellent fiscal health and that there is "no shortfall" this year or next (audio clip: longer; shorter).
|Warehouse south of parcel 2|
Fresh Start will present a very different vision of the prospects for the Quad parcels to the commissioners next Wednesday, Sept. 12 at approximately 9:30 a.m. As it is not a public hearing, input from the public will be limited to 3 minutes before or after the Agenda.
The Fresh Start Executive Council