Thursday, September 5, 2019

9.11: Protect rural heritage or promote urban sprawl

Citizens' Proposal to Cut Density of Northern Hamlet in Half
Wednesday, September 11,  1:30 pm
Sarasota County Commission, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota

Developers' Proposal to Double Density of All Three Hamlets
Thursday, September 19,  5:00 pm
                          Sarasota County Planning Commission, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota

Rural Heritage
The fate of 15,000 acres in far east Sarasota County is on the line this month, as County officials weigh competing proposals from citizens and developers.

On September 11, the County Commission will first consider whether to authorize processing of a citizen petition to amend the Comprehensive Plan, as allowed by the County Code.

The petition -- the first ever brought by citizens, not developers -- would reduce the density of 6,000 acres at the northeast corner of Fruitville Road and Verna Road from Hamlet development (.4 units per acre - clustered to one unit per acre) to Rural Heritage Estate (at one unit per five acres), consistent with surrounding homes in that area. The change is promoted by the Miakkka Community Club, representing homeowners nearby, and supported by Control Growth Now. The petition -- indeed the very idea of a citizen petition -- was opposed by the Board-appointed Planning Commission.

Next, on September 19, the Planning Commission will consider a proposal by the developer of that north Hamlet to double its clustered density to two units per acre, as well as for the two other Hamlets to the south, provided that the developer agrees to hook up the County's already overstressed water and sewer utilities. That change -- which would impact 15,000 acres in toto -- is opposed by the County's Development Review Committee, which concluded that it "does not appear to be warranted," as well as by County planning staff and Control Growth Now. (More here.)

Both one unit-per-acre and two units-per-acre are urban densities under the Comprehensive Plan. Control Growth Now has long advocated that such urban sprawl does not belong in the eastern rural lands.

Rural Heritage:Miakka Schoolhouse

On September 11, 2019, you can help a rural heritage community hold the line on broken county promises and thwart another construction invasion.

At 1:30 pm, the Board of Sarasota County Commissioners will decide either to

protect our rural heritage


promote urban sprawl.

Sprawl east of I-75

The Miakka Community near Verna Road and Fruitville Road represents one of the oldest neighborhoods in our county. It's a strong voice. Even if you don't live in East County, this is your concern – what's happening there is a harbinger of what’s coming.

When density in your neighborhood jumps before you turn around, you’ve been had – by developers who changed the rules through sleight of hand. Before you can say "traffic jam," your peaceful neighborhood is a memory.

Out east, residents are fighting back against developers who want to more than triple the density of land as currently zoned. This is leapfrog development!

With the theme of Sarasota Country, this active community adopted the slogan:
"Keep the Country...Country
Rural Heritage - Not Urban Sprawl."
The Miakka Community aims to protect rural heritage land from egregious development and density. This is a fair fight against the unfair developers-take-all boondoggle.

We can all support this community at the commission meeting on September 11, 2019, at 1660 Ringling Blvd. (support agenda item CPA 2019-C to protect Rural Heritage)

Let's be witness to this opportunity for our commissioners to clearly demonstrate that they do NOT support URBAN SPRAWL

More info

This fight is for all of us!


Do we want leapfrog development? More County Utilities feeding nitrogen to our waterways? Do we want to lose our rural heritage?

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