As you are aware, the big fight in 2017 was successful. We fended off two development projects that could have had a devastating effect (especially in combination with one another) on the beautiful Celery Fields.
However, the fight is not over.
Sarasota County Commissioners still have budget needs to meet, and 3 of the 4 “Quad” parcels are viewed as potential sources of income for the County.
Some of our most ardent co-laborers have begun a “Fresh Start” initiative in order to help provide input to the County about how these three properties might be used. These dedicated individuals have devoted hundreds, if not thousands, of hours to help preserve the Celery Fields, and they continue to work diligently to help shape the future of this beautiful area of Sarasota County.
Here’s How You Can Help
We invite you to bring forward your best ideas for how these pieces of land could and should be used. We invite you to bring yourself up to speed on the Fresh Start initiative and begin to contribute your ideas.
First, here are a couple of pieces of reading material:
Supporters of Save Our Celery Fields will gather from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the corner of Palmer Boulevard and Apex Road, the site of the proposed facility for recycling construction and demolition debris.
This morning, hosts Bob Connors and Tom Walker invited Tom Matrullo from Citizens for Sarasota County and David Johnson from CeleryFields.org to join them on the Peace and Justice Report for a segment on the Celery Fields and the upcoming hearing before the Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners.
Local developer James Gabbert plans to combine 3 adjoining properties in order to build a facility to process construction and demolition debris and yard waste with concrete crushers, wood chippers, and dozens of inbound and outbound truckloads per day of waste. The combined properties will be bigger than 16 football fields and will operate 6 days per week, starting at 7AM.
This property threatens the Celery Fields with:
NOISE – Concrete crushers produce substantial amounts of noise, as do wood chippers. If this project is approved, both will be in use on this property—just a few feet away from Sarasota’s beloved bird habitat. Additionally, trucks containing loads of yard waste, construction and demolition debris, will be entering and exiting the property 6 days per week, adding significantly to the noise levels
POLLUTION – Crushing concrete releases silica particulates into the air, which are damaging to the lungs and respiratory system. Imagine what this will do to the birds! The developer plans to control this by spraying it with water, which will produce runoff into the Celery Fields Regional Stormwater Facility which was built at a cost of over $24 Million to protect the Phillippi Creek Stormwater Basin. Water in this system feeds directly into the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, pesticides, insecticides and other harmful chemicals from yard waste, as well as other substances from demolition debris (remember Chinese drywall?) will also end up in this critical water supply
TRAFFIC – Roads like Palmer Boulevard and Apex Road, already suffering from overuse, will be clogged with trucks entering and exiting this property. Remember, 600 new homes are being built at the east end of Palmer Boulevard in the new development. We already experience long wait times trying to leave our neighborhoods or the Celery Fields on Palmer Boulevard. We can’t handle more industrial traffic as well!
PROPERTY VALUES – Already Realtors® are expressing hesitancy on the part of buyers due to the potential for this project to be constructed. This means homes will stay on the market longer and sell for less than they would without this project.
In short: there are better places in Sarasota County to handle the recycling of construction and demolition debris and yard waste. Next door to this beautiful eco-tourism attraction and bird habitat is not a good place for this activity!
Let Your Voice Be Heard
Call or write your County Commissioner and let them know how you feel about this petition!
Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners: (941) 861-5344
The wide-ranging interview covers a lot ground and provides a useful overview of the issues surrounding the petition, including the upcoming meeting before the Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners on August 23rd.
In a coup that surprised even leaders of the opposition against the project, the Sarasota County Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend the denial of the planned construction and demolition debris recycling center at the corner of Palmer Boulevard and Apex Road near the popular wildlife and recreation area.
Published online Thursday, June 1, 2017 during the Planning Commission hearing that day in which Commissioners voted unanimously to recommend denial of Petition 17-01 TST Ventures, LLC, and in print the following day.