Thursday, January 4, 2018

Help create an exciting area -- and protect the Celery Fields

Do you have thoughful ideas for the citizens' public lands near the Celery Fields?

The Fresh Start Initiative wants to hear from folks with the vision to see that sensible, creative planning can produce a uniquely vibrant urban/rural destination -- connecting the open spaces of the Celery Fields with the commerce and fun of the Packinghouse Area.

Where else can you find a 400-acre natural preserve within walking distance of cafes, shops, and markets, thanks to an I-75 underpass that connects a burgeoning urban core with wildlife, wetlands, and recreational opportunities?

Three publicly owned parcels form the intersection at Apex Rd. and Palmer Boulevard, just east of the highway and just west of the Celery Fields. The County has decided to sell parcel #3. For parcels #1 and #2, it's given Fresh Start six months to invite the community to come forward with ideas, proposals, outside-the-box thinking to achieve a more integrated approach to the possibilities in this area, the anteroom to East Sarasota County.

One idea for lands near the Celery Fields has already been noted in the Herald Tribune -- a visionary center where people could experience the natural and historical past through the potent new possibilities of virtual and augmented reality.

Fresh Start's search for viable ideas is open to all. We contend that community consideration of the relationships among neighboring public lands will yield a greater good than making random land use decisions in piecemeal isolation.

The effort here is to identify options that respect the inherent qualities of our public lands and integrate them with compatible, interesting, and economically stimulating uses in the surrounding area.

We are preparing community workshops in late March. If you have an idea or proposal please get in touch (see below). Fresh Start's role is to simply to facilitate these meetings. The community itself will choose the options it prefers, and we will bring them to the County Commission.

If you have some ideas to share, this is to let you know that Fresh Start is now gathering proposals. Please bear in mind that a basic proposal needs to specify at least a rough idea of land dimensions, the kinds and sizes of structures, the envisioned purpose, and ideas about funding. Considerations of impacts and planning will take into account
  • impacts on traffic on Palmer Boulevard and Apex Road;
  • compatibility with surrounding assets: the Celery Fields, Packinghouse area, homes and schools;
  • economic enhancement: employment, raising land values, etc.
Fresh Start is now gathering proposals. If you have an idea you would like the community to consider, we need to receive your proposal no later than March 1. Please send to

We look forward to hearing from you.

More about Fresh Start:

No comments:

Post a Comment