Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hearing on Fruitville Comp Plan Amendment Continued

Four hours into a hearing on a proposed Comp. Plan Amendment, the Sarasota County Commission voted to continue the matter for three weeks.

The postponement is designed to give residents of Richardson Road neighborhoods east of I-75 time to talk with planners to see if they can find suitable common ground to shape the future of approximately 320 acres that involve two quadrants on I-75, east of the Fruitville exit.  (Some more background here).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Economic development meets the little foxes

What happens when priceless land near a major highway becomes ripe for development as a "major employment center," and residents who have lived in a nearby, placid neighborhood fear for the consequences?

Something of the sort is shaping up at the I-75 exit at Fruitville Road, where Sarasota County is considering allowing a Comp Plan amendment to enable more creative, unified, sensitive planning. At least that's what advocates promise. Opponents say the amendment would open a Pandora's box of higher densities and intensities than the Comp Plan currently permits. The residents fear for the wildlife - foxes, 182 species of birds - and tranquility that have been their lot for generations.

The County Commission will vote on amending the Comp Plan on Tuesday. One possible outcome: deferring a decision until the fall, so that all parties have time to examine potential consequences. Stay tuned.