Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The word is out

On Thursday, June 1, Sarasota's Planning Commission will hold a hearing  on a proposal to build a 15-acre, unenclosed waste processing plant on public lands very near the Celery Fields Preserve and Bird Sanctuary. For the first time, the body will begin its meeting at 5 p.m.

Planning Commission Meeting on Celery Fields
5 pm (information rally at 4 pm)
County Administration Building, 1st Floor 
1616 Ringling Blvd.

Below is a recent letter to the Commission: (See below if you wish to write a letter or email)


The word is out that a developer wants to build a concrete crushing facility on Palmer just a few blocks from our precious Celery Fields bird sanctuary and wildlife preserve.

On June 1, the Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on zoning change which would pave the way for this travesty to be built. 

However, there are a few problems.

Cement crushing produces large amounts of cement dust which we believe will not be controlled. With 35 ft. or higher piles of it, and prevailing winds up to 25 miles per hour or more, this dust (which can cause silicosis, lung cancer, and COPD) could easily be blown into Celery Fields and communities beyond. Cement crushing machines, backhoes and large loaders will be creating horrific noise which will exceed the maximum levels allowed by the Sarasota County Noise Ordinance. In addition, the dust and noise will have major negative impacts on the birds and wildlife of the area.

This proposed heavy industrial use is completely incompatible with the longtime use of Celery Fields as a beautiful and immensely popular Sarasota site for bird watching and outdoor recreation.

We are asking concerned citizens and nature lovers to come to the Planning Commission before 5pm, put in a speakers card and make your voice heard in opposition to the approval of the zoning change and of this terrible proposal.

Jami Caseber, Environmental Information Coordinator - Palmer East Group
  • Former Director - Citizens Opposing a Polluted Environment (COPE) 
  • Former Chair of the Berkeley Community Advisory Commission (CEAC)
  • Recipient of Clean Air Champions Award from the San Francisco Bay Area Air Quality Management District for Work on Air Pollution
  • Co-author, Berkeley Hazardous Waste Importation Regulation Act
  • Organizer of campaign that halted the siting of hazardous waste incinerators in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Recipient, Special Award from the American Lung Association for work on Air Pollution
  • Certificate of Distinguished Contribution to the City and its Citizens, Berkeley, CA


This letter was published in the Herald Tribune on May 17, 2017.

If you wish to write to the Commission, the names and email addresses of the 9 members and school board rep are below. To see former hearings, go to this page and look for the date or agenda of the meeting you are interested in. (The Oct. 20, 2016 meeting is here). 

   (Ebaugh is non-voting School Board rep)

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