Bo Medred takes the high ground – literally.
The history of today’s flooding is a long one, and goes back many years. My neighbor lady farmer’s grazing land is flooded today because the Kolter Artistry development currently under construction at Palmer Boulevard and Iona Road depended on engineers who did not listen to residents of the neighborhood.
These 412 acres of open estate rural land (1 home per 10 acres) are now zoned for 2.5 residences per acre. The elaborate site plan features lakes, paths, and palms. It graciously allows water to dump on neighboring farms.
In bringing Palm Beach to Palmer Boulevard, Bo Medred succeeded in drowning out the voices of neighboring farmers.
After a long struggle, Bo won over the hearts and minds of the Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners and Artistry became a reality.
Then Bo Medred teamed with Donald Neu, who would have a future prominent role in rezoning the adjacent Worthington property from OUR to dense residential. The entire Iona/Palmer lands would then be developed by Kolter Homes.
September 2016 - Worthington Development is approved for an additional 156 homes adjacent to Artistry.
When neighbors objected to the change of rural lands to a planned development, Mr. Neu reinforced his view that, “This land is ripe for development.”
In protesting the Worthington rezone, neighbors spoke about stormwater concerns, understanding that Artistry had already upset the apple cart. In August of 2016, Janice Lauterbach was already experiencing unusual flooding in her front yard, eliminating grazing land for her cattle. She chastised the Palmer Place (a.k.a. Artistry) developers and engineers for not understanding how the drainage really works. “If you think your stormwater drainage plan is working, well then, someone forgot to tell gravity,” she said.
The County and developer have obligations not to ruin the lives and livelihoods of neighboring residents.
That my neighbor has to relocate her farm hurts. When developers rule and neighbors’ voices go unheeded, the fate of a neighborhood is sealed in the blink of an eye, or an evening in the chambers.