Among other things, Lyons notes:
County staff also quietly proposed changing county rules that would have barred the plant because the site was much too small, and did so as if the change was just some non-controversial tweak.Staff essentially just passed along a designer-proposal created by land use agent Bo Medred. Medred pretended his proposal -- allowing unenclosed waste processing within 500 feet of homes -- would be useful and noninvasive, and the county - both the Planning Commission and the Board - bought it hook, line, and sinker.
See the Citizens' Timeline narrative here
especially this bit:
In October, 2016, Bo Medred asked the County to change its law and standards to accommodate Mr. Gabbert's desire to put a Waste Processing Plant at Apex Rd. and E. Palmer Blvd., next to the Celery Fields.
Bo Medred's proposed amendment to the County's law and standards begins with Donna Thompson of County Real Estate at about 2:08 hrs. (That single segment can also be viewed here.)
Planning Commission Hearing Oct 20, 2016 on Ord. 2016-084, Amend.119
|Medred displayed this photo of a Waste Processing Facility on 15 acres in Buffalo NY|
to the Planning Commission.
If nothing else, see the exchange around 2:33 between Planning Commissioner Laura Benson and Bo Medred:
Benson: (referencing the Buffalo illustration): Those pictures were big dirty things.
Bo Medred: That's a . . . that's a . . . that's an opinion.
See also the exchange with Commissioner Jack Hawkins concerning the noise levels of concrete and asphalt crushing operations that begins about 2 hrs. and 39 minutes. No staff or Commissioner put into evidence any documents about the potential problems and issues with siting a waste processing facility. No accredited expert was invited to testify as to siting, pollution, noise, or other impacts upon residences.
Planning Board ACTION:
Oct. 20, 2016 - The Planning Commission APPROVED the amendment by a vote of 6-0 (Bispham recused hmself) as a Special Exception use to be analyzed on a case-by-case basis, as Bo Medred recommended. VIDEO
With the blessing of the Planning Commission, Bo Medred moved on, taking the proposed amendment to the Sarasota Board of County Commissions in December.
On Dec. 14, the Board approved a text amendment allowing unenclosed waste processing facilities near residences via Consent Agenda -- i.e., it wasn't even discussed.