Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Board takes unexpected action on Quad Parcels

The Board of Sarasota County Commissioners today considered its Miami consultant's recommendation that parcel #3 be rezoned industrial and sold to a private end user. County staff did not recommend the proposal from Lambert Advisory, the consultant that did the assessment.

Herald Tribune story here.

After hearing from the consultant, Board discussion took many twists and turns, bringing in members' thoughts on parcels 1 and 2. All said they wished to share ideas while they could -- sunshine laws preventing discussion outside of the public eye.

Upshot: At Commissioner Caragiulo's recommendation, the Board voted unanimously to direct planning staff to look at possible modifications of the Critical Area Plan (CAP) which currently controls changes to the area -- for example, to the roads. The roads have been the limiting factor as they cannot be widened under the current CAP.

Planning staff are to return after Jan. 1 after looking at what can be done if the CAP is modified. This could open a new spectrum of possibilities: If the county wishes, it could integrate our public lands into a larger area coordinated to highlight and support the Celery Fields (a possibility that Fresh Start has raised in its "visioning"). On the other hand, the County could also make the roads more robust, then justify industry on one or more quad parcel.

We'll keep an eye on things. The election is coming, and the results will be crucial for the Celery Fields area.

Fresh Start's latest input to the Board is linked below:

Finally, thanks to all -- sincerely -- who have remained staunchly supportive of Fresh Start's efforts, over the past 10 months.

Glenna Blomquist, Carlos Correa, Tom Matrullo, Gary Walsh
Fresh Start Executive Council

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