ISSUES

RECURRING THEMES

  • Use of public and private comprehensive plan amendments to "water down" and customize rules for the developers.

  • Poor County communications with the public.

  • Back door deals.

  • Developer designation of elected officials.

               
Control Growth Now is a nonpartisan organization, so we encourage both Republicans and Democrats, Independents and others, who stand for principle and sound policies, to take on the special interests and let the interests of all of us prevail.

Just this past year, we have seen the County Commission:

(1) repeal affordable housing as a requirement for increased density in the Sarasota 2050 Plan and elsewhere,

(2) reroute a rural road away from its function as an I-75 reliever, directly east through two nature preserves, to (in the words of a County staff memo) “open up the area for development by the major landowners in that area,” including Cabal Capo Pat Neal;

(3) approve excessive mega-hotel development on Siesta Key, including a complete exemption of hotels from existing density caps, in violation of the Comprehensive Plan; and

(4) approve the Hi-Hat Ranch development for 13,511 houses and 450,000 square feet of other development very far east of !-75.  This is under an Order that requires improvement of only four of 16 identified roads that will be overcrowded from the development.  This excuses the developer entirely for paying for any road improvements in exchange for its “promotion of telecommuting, ride sharing or transit” as “intended” to relieve traffic congestion from the development.

     Now, the County Commission is allowing the Lakewood Ranch developer to write its own plan for even more standard urban sprawl in northeast Sarasota County, replacing areas now planned for lower-density “Hamlet” residences.

     In this time of booming growth, Control Growth Now calls for Commissioners committed to reasonable controls on that growth, to restrain excessive development that overcrowds our roads and other facilities, protect our neighborhoods and environment, provide for affordable housing, and make growth pay its own way rather than putting the costs of growth on the backs of the taxpaying public.

     Control Growth Now has a watch on all these issues!