Local Citizens to Hold a Second Rally this Saturday to Address County’s Failure to Adhere to the Sarasota County Charter and Sales of County Owned Lands Surrounding Our Celery Fields


March 9, 2017

Contact:  Luigi Verace 269-605-3359, Adrien Lucas 941-539-9044, Tom Matrullo 941-321-7663

Local Citizens to Hold a Second Rally this Saturday to Address County’s Failure to Adhere to the Sarasota County Charter and Sales of County Owned Lands Surrounding Our Celery Fields

WHAT: A rally to protest rezones and sales of surplus lands surrounding Our Celery Fields owned by Sarasota County and the people of Sarasota County.

WHEN & WHERE:  Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 11 a.m. / Corner of Palmer Boulevard & Apex Road

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?

For more information or to RSVP to the event, please visit Facebook:

#  #  #

Herald-Tribune: Sarasota County delays vote on controversial development near Celery Fields (3/1/2017)

Herald Tribune: Sarasota County delays vote on controversial development near Celery Fields

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.

Sarasota County delays vote on controversial development near Celery Fields
by Elizabeth Djinis, Staff Writer

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.

East County Observer: Proposed Recycling Facility Draws Criticism (2/22/2017)

East County Observer: Proposed Recycling Facility Draws Criticism

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.

The Local Community Protests the Sale of County Lands

[SRQ Magazine] Guest Column: Celery Fields Sell Out

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.

From Celery Fields Sell Out, a guest column published in the SRQ Daily “Saturday Perspectives” edition on February 25, 2017. The column, penned by Cathy Antunes, originally ran on The Detail.

Protest This Saturday!

Save The Celery Fields: Protest Rally Saturday February 25, 2017

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:

Why Protest?

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.