Sarasota News Leader

03/15/2013

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FULL-COURT PRESS ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS STEP UP THEIR OPPOSITION TO PROPOSED SARASOTA 2050 OVERHAUL By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor Opposition to developer-proposed changes to Sarasota County's 2050 plan may have been minimal so far, but environmental groups and their allies are making a big push to educate their members and press the County Commission to keep the land-use program intact. the time or patience to read 73-page land-use planning documents. But those 73 pages are important: They lay out a series of rules intended to encourage village-style neighborhood development instead of urban sprawl. Those regulations have Linda Jones, the chairwoman of the Mana- been under attack by developers, who say they are so restrictive tee-Sarasota Sierra that instead of producClub, says even her highly engaged memThe way they're worded, they're ing smart growth, they bers do not know the getting rid of everything. That's what the have led to no growth. While more than 7,000 ins and outs of 2050, developers are trying to do. new units have been and that it is a chalapproved under 2050 Linda Jones lenge to inform them. Chairwoman guidelines in the deThat makes sense. Manatee-Sarasota Sierra Club cade since the plan Not many people have A partner with the county in the promotion of the Celery Fields as a tourist destination east of Sarasota, the Sarasota Audubon Society also is taking a stand against pro-development changes to the 2050 plan. Photo by Rachel Hackney

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