Thursday, February 9, 2017

Cathy Antunes on Restaurant Depot hearing

The Sarasota Planning Commission hearing on Feb. 5 unanimously approved a plan for a large restaurant equipment supply store in a sensitive location - near the Celery Fields and Palmer Rd., which suffers a severe traffic problem. The meeting can be watched online here.

Restaurant Depot 

Cathy Antunes shared her thoughts with the Citizens for Sarasota County FB Group:
Important. Please share. "Alternative facts" are rampant at Sarasota's Planning Commission. Traffic is bad and getting worse, yet commissioners gaslight the public, saying they are powerless. The Planning Commission could have denied an industrial project near our premier birding site - the Celery Fields - based on traffic issues. Instead they weave a false tale that their "hands are tied". 
Specifically: the State Legislature's 2011 Planning Act prohibits traffic problems as a basis for denying a rezone. Traffic problems are a legal basis for denying a CAP (Critical Area Plan) amendment or a Comprehensive Plan amendment. The CAP amendment for the proposed industrial project near the Celery Fields could have been denied due to traffic problems. 
The Planning Commission was told four times, by three different people (the County Attorney, the County Transportation Planning Manager, and a Transportation Planning staff member) that traffic problems are a basis for denying a CAP (Critical Area Plan) amendment. Yet these Planning Commissioners go ahead and make comments that their hand are tied, there is nothing they can do, they aren't allowed to consider traffic, blah, blah blah. False. 
Two other points: the site plan submitted is NON-BINDING. If the land use is changed from Rural to Industrial, a different industrial business can go in. The kicker - this rural land is County land. We own it! So the County thinks selling rural zoned land near our premier birding site is a good idea, and the County is saying they can't prevent this additional traffic. Another gaslighting move. How about not selling it? 
This is a terrible misuse of public land, and terrible misrepresentation of reality by the County Planning Commission.

To write to Commissioners:,,,, 

or:  goes to all five.

 County Administrator Tom Harmer,

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