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ONWARD The Sarasota 2050 plan was designed to prevent urban sprawl east of Interstate 75. File photo COUNTY PUSHES FORWARD ON 2050 OVERHAUL By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor Urged on by board member Joe Barbetta, the Sarasota County Commission this week plunged ahead in its efforts to overhaul Sarasota 2050, the detailed land-use plan created to guide development over the next half-century. The debate over 2050 has raged since the commission decided last September to have staff meet with area developers to register their complaints about the 2050 plan. Approved a decade ago, 2050 is a volun- tary plan that requires developers to follow strict design rules in exchange for the right to increase density on undeveloped land. It was created to help the county avoid urban sprawl as its population grows over the decades. I don't want an academic. I don't want a team of people coming in here who don't know anything about 2050. All we need is a good, quality economist who has development project experience. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County "The county wanted to hold this growth to a new, higher standard," Allen Parsons, the county's long-range planning manager, told the commission Tuesday afternoon, July 9. That meant pushing three main priorities: preserving open space,

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