For Immediate Release – Critical Hearing on Celery Fields August 23rd

SARASOTA, FLORIDA – The Sarasota County Democratic Party (SCDP) is encouraging local residents to attend a critical hearing being held by the Sarasota County Commission on August 23rd on the future of the endangered Celery Fields.

The county commission has scheduled the hearing to determine whether to permit an industrial waste processing facility to be built on a 16-acre land parcel near the Celery Fields, an internationally known bird sanctuary and wildlife habitat.

“This facility should never have been proposed for that location,” said JoAnne DeVries, Chair of the SCDP. “We should be protecting and nurturing our precious natural habitats, not destroying them.” The SCDP is on record as opposing the proposed rezoning of the nearby property.

DeVries noted that not only would the proposed rezoning be harmful to the Celery Fields, a popular tourist attraction and recreation area where the Audubon Society has created a visitors center, but to residents near the land parcel at Palmer and Apex Roads. Dump trucks would travel through the adjoining neighborhoods daily, carrying toxic waste, and the noise and contaminated dust particles from the waste processing facility itself would endanger neighborhoods and schools in the area.

“We urge the Sarasota County Commission to deny this short-sighted proposal and to designate what have long been public lands adjacent to Celery Fields as parkland and wildlife habitat, not as industrial use,” DeVries said.

The County Planning Commission recently voted unanimously to deny the application for the construction of a toxic waste facility on the property, but the full county commission is not bound by that decision and can approve the proposal.

DeVries urged county residents to attend the August 23rd hearing, which will be held at the County Administration Building, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The SCDP represents more than 94,000 Democrats in Sarasota County. To learn more about the Sarasota County Democratic Party, visit

For additional information, contact
JoAnne DeVries, Chair
Sarasota County Democratic Party