The company, JMDH Real Estate of Florida LLC, had been under contract to buy 6.9 county-owned acres at Apex Road and Palmer Boulevard just east of Interstate 75 and near the 300-acre recreation and wildlife site. But the plan was met with intense opposition from several hundred nearby residents and activists over the past six weeks.
Sarasota County Commissioners announced at today’s meeting that JMDH Real Estate of Sarasota, LLC has terminated their contract to purchase land adjacent to the Celery Fields.
On March 1st, Comissioners delayed their vote on Rezone Petition 16-33 to change the zoning of a 6.9-acre parcel of land on the northwest corner of Apex Road and Palmer Boulevard. The proposed zoning change, from “Open Use Rural” to “Industrial, Light Manufacturing, & Warehousing,” would have allowed the developer to proceed with its plan to construct a 60,000 square-foot wholesale restaurant supply business, Restaurant Depot, on the site.
The delayed vote came after hundreds of citizens turned out to protest, wrote letters and emails, and called the Comissioners’ offices to voice concerns over the needless sale of these beautiful Public lands to industry.
The Fight Continues
Sadly, the parcel of land that was under contract to JMDH remains on Sarasota County’s “surplus lands” list, along with parcels on the southwest and southeast corners of the Apex Road & Palmer Boulevard intersection.
One of those parcels is under contract for sale to a developer who has requested a similar rezone in order to build a construction and demolition debris processing plant, where concrete crushers and wood chippers will create significant noise, and where trucks carrying the waste will line up to enter the facility on a daily basis.
As citizens of Sarasota County, we are voters, property owners, and nature enthusiasts who believe that the sale of these conservation lands for such industrial purposes would be an unspeakable travesty that has the potential to irreparably harm the wildlife habitat and pollute the waters of the Celery Fields and the Phillippi Creek basin.
Local citizens gathered again today to protest the sale of Sarasota County lands adjacent to the Celery Fields Regional Stormwater Facility and the Celery Fields Park.
On March 1, 2017, Sarasota County Commissioners postponed discussion and public comment on Rezone Petition 16-33, which involves a parcel of land on the northwest corner of Palmer Boulevard and Apex road. The applicant, who ran afoul of County rules regarding disclosure of ownership interests, plans to construct a 60,000 square-foot Restaurant Depot location on the site.
Huge thanks to Stand Up Fight Back SRQ, Adrien Lucas, Tom Matrullo, and others for organizing another great event!
PARKING: Please park your car on the berm alongside Palmer Road, where it is legal to park. We encourage people to carpool and to leave the Celery Fields Park parking lot open for guests of the Park.
WHO: A broad non-partisan group of Sarasota County taxpayers, Neighborhood Association members, Sarasota Bird Watchers and Park goers will be gathering in protest to the sale of Sarasota County lands to industry.
WHY: Two industrial developers, JMDH Real Estate of Sarasota, LLC (the “Restaurant Depot” project) and TST Ventures, LLC (the “Recycling Center” project), are under contract with Sarasota County to purchase public land and have filed petitions requesting approval to build next to Our Celery Fields. A third parcel of land has been listed for sale and has the closest proximity of these public parcels to the mouth of Phillippi Creek, which feeds into the bay. Why spend more than $23M of County funds to build the Celery Fields Regional Stormwater Facility and Our Celery Fields Park if officials are unwilling to protect the lands that surround Our Celery Fields or the communities and people who live nearby, or who drive in from elsewhere to enjoy them?
In a surprise move, the Sarasota County Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to delay the decision on a controversial petition to develop a wholesale restaurant facility near the Celery Fields preserve over concerns that the applicant had not properly disclosed the individuals behind its company.
Published online on Wednesday March 1, 2017, following the Sarasota County Commission meeting that day, in which Commissioners tabled the discussion and vote on Rezone Petition 16-33: Restaurant Depot until April 26, 2017.