Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A letter, a video, a petition to save the Celery Fields

A letter sent to the Sarasota County Commission by Adrien Lucas:

Good morning Commissioners,

I am dismayed that I have to begin my day by writing you about the surplus land you are trying to sell off that surrounds Our Celery Fields. With the lands that Mr. Medred and Mr. Bailey are trying to purchase for their clients, plus the new "surplus" acreage that just went up for sale next to the Celery Field, I can only imagine who the next "player" will be in orchestrating the purchase of this new piece of land.  Upon watching county footage where some of you agreed to sell Mr. Gabbert four acres, it was with complete amusement to see Bob Waechter make an appearance to give his two cents to some of you about how he found the sale agreeable and should happen.  Meanwhile, no one in the area had received notice nor could they see the sale sign that had been posted behind signs. It is a very puzzling process you are all becoming involved in, I can only remain hopeful that you will be listening to the voters of Sarasota who are against the county surplus land sales that are next to Our Celery Fields.

Please take the time to watch the video clip I have provided in this email in its entirety.  There are more meat and potatoes of information in this educational video for everyone to use, a jackpot of Celery Field history. How can the proposed types of development and sale of county "surplus" land that surround this preserve ever enhance the Celery Fields or the local neighborhoods?  They cannot.

Restaurant Depot, is a members only club.  How many people live in Sarasota County? How many people in Sarasota County own restaurants?  A "member's only" club open only to restaurant owners does not benefit this particular area one bit.

TST Ventures/Gabbert Recycling: Mr. Gabbert's right-hand real estate man, Bo Medred has stated a few times, "This recycling center will cut down on illegal dumping," it's a bit of a stretch. Can Bo Medred prove this claim?  Has he provided a study to support this claim?  Mr. Medred speaks as if this is a proven fact for Sarasota County.  I am certain that if we, the voters of Sarasota, have to appeal decisions in relation to these sales, that we will have to support every claim that we make.  These burdens should fall upon Mr. Medred and Attorney Bailey who has not fully disclosed the owners who wish to purchase the acreage for Restaurant Depot. We all have a public hearing on March 1st to attend because our Planning Board members failed to ensure that Attorney Bailey follow the rules of our charter. (Anyone can watch that complete hearing here.) It is even stated in the Herald Tribune published on February 14th that the Sarasota County Charter requires persons or entities applying for rezoning to disclose the true ownership interests. If Attorney Bailey has submitted an amended ownership disclosure form, I want to see it.

Our Celery Fields preserve is more than just an important working filtration unit for our county, the educational component with children/students, 7 acres for people to walk/run/bird/walk dogs, MAJOR ecotourism, 400+ bird species recorded - many who are listed endangered or being watched, butterflies (many who have very low population counts), rats and mice that owls and birds of prey eat, photographers, the fish that live in the waters...I could rattle off the amazing and wonderful things about Our Celery Fields all day. (Here's another site made by people who also care.)

I encourage you to watch this video before the March 1 public hearing meeting for Restaurant Depot.

Florida Field Journal 
Published on Mar 23, 2015 
Producer Darryl Saffer talks to Jeanne Dubi, president of Sarasota Audubon about the exciting developments at the Celery Fields, including the new education center under construction. Barry Rossheim brings his Venice High School Zoology Club to the Celery Fields to participate in the Backyard Bird Count.
Please do not vote in favor of Restaurant Depot being built on the property next to the Celery Fields. We need our elected officials to be champions for the county. How about it?  The benefits to Sarasota are numerous and can only grow if you don't mess this up for everyone.  It would be so nice to have leadership we can trust and admire in protecting and growing Our Celery Fields preserve area to accommodate bigger ideas that benefit all.

And if you have a minute, we'd love for you to join us:

Sign the petition to Save the Celery Fields


Adrien Lucas


bcc'd: to everyone/press/friends/family/bloggers

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