Sarasota News Leader

10/26/2012

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NOT HOW THEY RECALL IT Sarasota County voters have been supportive in the past of initiatives to preserve environmentally sensitive lands. Photo courtesy Sarasota County COUNTY COMMISSIONERS SURPRISED TO LEARN THAT WHAT THEY THOUGHT WAS WRITTEN POLICY REGARDING LAND MANAGEMENT NEVER WAS PUT INTO THE CODE By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor A County Commission vote was unanimous this week regarding use of future revenue to manage environmentally sensitive lands, but it followed about 20 minutes of discussion over lack of codified policy relative to past use of funds for the same purpose. Commissioners were surprised to learn about that lack of written policy. The Oct. 23 vote was to authorize county staff to proceed with processing a proposed com- prehensive plan amendment to allow for a portion of revenue from the sale of transfers of development rights (TDRs) to be used for the management of property in the county's Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program (ESLPP). According to a Sept. 20 memo to the County Commission from County Planner William K. Spaeth, the TDR program would apply to the county's Sarasota 2050 plan for development east of Interstate 75. The memo says, "The basic premise being that for each acre devel- oped within a designated Resource Manage- ment Area (RMA), an acre of environmentally sensitive land should be preserved. The TDR program allows for this to be accomplished by removing existing allowed development

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