Quad parcel #3 is near the Celery Fields, not far from an elementary school, surrounded by thousands of new housing units you have recently approved. It’s owned by the public.
Last year, when two developers tried to buy and industrialize these public lands, you saw -- and heard -- heartfelt public opposition.
Now that the Board itself is playing the role of industrial developer, people will naturally ask why. They’ll want you to show that the proposed intensification will not endanger persons, property values, roads, or the community. None is in your paperwork for this discussion.
Does the lack of analysis mean that the public, who own this land, should not expect accountability, but instead just give you our trust?
Perhaps it’s difficult for you to offer a reason because this plan is not reasonable.
You have a letter from Fresh Start that summarizes numerous reasons why this plan and the study it’s based on are inadequate.
I have time for just one factor: You’ve approved six housing projects -- Worthington, Artistry, Sylvan Lea, Garden Village, Live Oak, and the Fruitville Initiative - a total of 3,470 new homes within a short walk or drive from parcel 3 and the Celery Fields.
At the same time, you’re seeking to allow an 80,000-square-foot industrial facility on parcel #3.
It’s as if you are seeing two completely incompatible versions of the same place at the same time. Just a few weeks ago, Mr. Waechter told you these fragile roads are already too full of dangerous large trucks to allow for a simple public park. Well how much more dangerous will they be after all the new homes are built, along with the 80,000-square-foot industrial facility?
What you in fact are planning is a slow motion car wreck -- a collision of industry and human lives that will imperil people, property, and community.
This can happen when you blind yourself to the larger picture.
At the same time, you’ve made no provision for the Celery Fields. It’s a pretty magnificent place, which many counties would consider themselves lucky to have. It needs some simple things -- parking, a shaded cafe, an exercise area.
Last month Fresh Start respectfully proposed that the Board dedicate the Celery Fields Quads to beneficial public uses in perpetuity
It’s a good plan. Stop this effort to put industry that no one wants in a place it no longer belongs. Stop it today, forever. Your communities, tourists, our children and 225 species of highly discriminating birds will thank you.