This coming Tuesday, Oct. 25 -- two years after the Sarasota County Commission voted to decimate the 2050 Plan -- that august body is expected to vote to approve a new Comprehensive Plan that will set the rules of the game county-wide for 10 years. It's an enormous document covering planning, future land use, parks, economic development and much more.
It's a troubling behemoth.
For example, certain key principles no longer "govern" -- now they "guide" -- a meaningful difference. The new Comp Plan opens our future to questionable possibilities, including the potential sale of preserve lands, and to development unburdened by rigorous regulation, adding stress to our already failing roads and burdened services. (For an extensive analysis of the plan's impacts, see this detailed critique by Dan Lobeck.)
Developers and builders will profit -- and use those profits to install new County Commissioners to approve future developer-friendly plan amendments.
Here's the suggestion:
-- The final hearing on the Comp Plan is set for this Tuesday at 1:30 pm at the Admin Building on Ringling.
-- Come, fill out a speaker's card, and when called upon, have your say.
-- When you finish, add one more sentence:
"For the above reasons, I wish to go on record with a citizen's vote of no confidence in this Board's action on the 2016 Comprehensive Plan."
If you do not wish to say anything else, you can simply step up and say:
"I wish to go on record with a citizen's vote of no confidence in this Board's action on the 2016 Comprehensive Plan."
Please come on Tuesday, and give your "vote of confidence" to this simple intervention. Your words and solidarity will echo in this commission's memory - especially the next time they ask for your vote.
Citizens for Sarasota County (CSC) is a new coalition to promote ethical, responsive government that preserves and enhances Sarasota's unique natural environment and cultural heritage while building a sound local economy based on effective stewardship and innovation.