Saturday, June 25, 2016

Excerpts on toxic development

From Cathy Antunes' The Detail via SRQ

Landfill Sandwich

"The side-stepping of concerns about contamination from these landfills has been jaw-dropping."
In a recent e-mail to County Commissioner Paul Caragiulo, a resident of the Foxfire neighborhood expressed concern about how the construction of 200 new homes (Waverly—a Medallion Homes/Carlos Beruff project) is impacting his home and family. . ..

Toxic dump

Carlos Beruff
A 2008 Department of Environmental Protection report lists landfill and adjacent tests showing barium, benzo(a)pyrene, benzene, arsenic and cumulative Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) levels beyond acceptable residential levels. The arsenic and PAH concentrations also exceeded acceptable industrial levels.

A request to build 200 new homes alongside the two unlined former Foxfire landfills was denied by the County Commission in 2013 due to contamination concerns. Prolific County Commission campaign and PAC donor Carlos Beruff subsequently purchased the land in May 2014, and six months later—voila!—the request to permit residential development was approved.

The side-stepping of concerns about contamination from these landfills has been jaw-dropping. During the 2013 planning commission hearing, Mike Moran asked the county attorney whether or not he and other planning commissioners have a duty to consider testimony of potential toxic contamination in their vote on the rezone, or if that was a job for other agencies. The attorney replied that planning commissioners have broad license to consider how the health, safety and welfare of neighboring residents would be impacted.

Moran responded: “So in other words, if a Commissioner here felt tonight that the land was contaminated and unsafe for use based on the testimony, not any testing that was done, it would not be grounds for a vote to decline the project?”

Mr. Moran wants to be your new County Commissioner. The big development “Growth Machine” is funding his campaign (yes, including Beruff).

This is the “Growth Machine” business model: buy cheap rural land and rezone it for residential development.

Foxfire landfill sites

How can this be right? It isn’t.

Cathy Antunes serves on the board of Sarasota Citizens for Responsible Government.

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