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Water-Related News

Environmentalists object to Sarasota comp plan changes

The Sarasota County Comprehensive Plan is being updated and some environmentalists are concerned that at the same time protections of the public interest will be eroded. Commissioners approved changes to the comp plan Wednesday.

Before their vote Sarasota attorney Dan Lobeck used two examples to tell Commissioners that comp plan protections should stay in place. Lobeck is president of Control Growth Now and referenced a proposed grocery development on wetlands as well as a case where the county is considering giving away a beachfront public road to private landowners.

During public comment on the Comprehensive Plan changes, Cathy Antunes with Citizens for Sarasota, accused Commissioners of being in the pocket of a handful of developers, including one that’s running for U.S. Senate, Republican Carlos Beruff.

Environmentalists are concerned that the changes to Sarasota County’s comp plan could make development easier. In a phone interview during a break in the meeting Andy Mele, vice chair of the Manatee-Sarasota Sierra Club group, gives an example of 4.5 acres of wetlands where Whole Foods wants to build a grocery store on the southwest corner of University Parkway and Honore Avenue.