Although the developer of a recycling facility and waste transfer station just west of the Celery Fields in eastern Sarasota County said the project will benefit the environment, residents along Palmer Boulevard disagree.
Proposed recycling facility draws criticism
by Pam Eubanks, Senior Editor
This piece primarily refers to Rezone Petition 17-01: Recycling Center, which was submitted a few weeks ago by TST Ventures.
This is how bad planning happens: one decision at a time. Uninspired at best and damaging at worst, approving industrial land use near a premier ecotourism wildlife habitat would be a spectacular betrayal of community planning, interest and investment. The Sarasota Board of County Commissioners can embrace our community vision and chart a different course.
Saturday, February 25th, 2017 at 11am, Celery Fields lovers, bird watchers, members of Neighborhood Associations, local residents, and nature enthusiasts will gather at Apex Road & Palmer Boulevard to protest the approval of Rezone Petition 16-33, the “Restaurant Depot” project.
Bring signs, some sunscreen, and your love of the Celery Fields and help us protest!
Here’s what you can do now:
- Download a flyer
- Join the Facebook Event
- Spread the word! (Share this post, the flyer, and the Facebook event!)
Next Wednesday, the Sarasota County Commission will hold a Public Hearing to consider this Rezone Petition, which has already been approved by the Planning Commission.
If approved, this petition would allow developers to proceed with the construction of a 60,000 square-foot wholesale restaurant supply store which will clog the already-overburdened roads near the Celery Fields with hundreds of vehicles per day¹.
The Sarasota Audubon Society says the rezoning is, “…not compatible with recreation and eco-tourism and will add hundreds of daily auto/truck trips through strained and inadequate neighborhood roads. This increase will have a detrimental impact on the health and safety of wildlife and humans in the area.”
A Dangerous Precedent
Since the proposed Restaurant Depot is on County-owned land that was originally part of the Celery Fields, it is all the more egregious that Sarasota County would sell this land to developers with plans like these.
But even more alarming, other plans being proposed on nearby parcels threaten the Celery Fields with 35-foot high piles of debris from construction & demolition as well as yard waste, 25-80 loads per day coming via large trucks, the noise of concrete crushers and wood chippers, and water runoff containing unknown quantities of harmful chemicals from washing down demolition debris to control dust.
If Sarasota’s County Commissioners approve the “Restaurant Depot” project, then threats like the dump being proposed across the street seem even more likely.
¹In their rezoning petition, the developers of the “Restaurant Depot” project estimate the number of hourly “trips” generated by their business to be nearly 100 at peak times (between 4pm and 6pm on weekdays). You can view their original rezone petition and additional information about it on our wiki: Restaurant Depot Rezone Petition 16-33.
Like so many, we have come to love the Celery Fields in Sarasota.
Whether you come for the exercise, the birding, or just to enjoy the natural beauty of the area, the Celery Fields will leave an indelible impression on you and you’ll want to return again and again.
But now, due to a series of circumstances that have been brewing for decades, the beauty and tranquility of this area is threatened. And that’s why we created this project, to provide a resource for people just like you to help Save The Celery Fields.
What Can I Do To Help?
We’re so glad you asked!
- First: sign up for email updates.
- Second: Spread the word. You can email your friends, join the Facebook Page, and post links to this website in online forums, discussion groups, on social media, and anywhere else you see a conversation about Sarasota, the environment, birding, or any other relevant topic. (You can also follow our new Twitter account).
- Third: Help us add relevant information to the Celery Fields Wiki. The goal of the Wiki is to develop the definitive collection of information that might be useful to anyone who is working to put a stop to the threats that face the Celery Fields. Note: contributing to the wiki requires a user account, which you can request by contacting us here or sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a suggestion? A question? Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below! (Please note that comments are moderated and may not appear immediately.)
We look forward to working with you to save the Celery Fields!