Planning Commission’s June 1 vote on project near Celery Fields to be focus of June 12 CONA meeting

Discussion also will focus on how the public can influence public policy on the sale of county surplus lands

Editor’s note: This article was updated on the morning of June 9 to correct the formal name of CONA.

The site of the proposed TST Ventures recycling facility is on Palmer Boulevard. Image courtesy Sarasota County

On Monday, June 12, at 7 p.m., the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) will feature an assessment of the June 1 Sarasota Planning Commission decision to recommend the County Commission deny petitions related to a recycling facility next to the Celery Fields, CONA has announced.

No date for the County Commission’s public hearing on the proposed project has been set, county spokesman Jason Bartolone told The Sarasota News Leader on June 2.

The plan for the facility on Palmer Boulevard at the intersection of Porter Road “has drawn the objections of adjacent neighborhoods, environmental groups, conservationists, and many concerned individuals in neighborhoods throughout the region,” a CONA news release says.

The staff report presented to the Planning Commission explains that the facility “would serve as a collection, processing and transfer station for recyclable materials, yard waste and construction debris.”

“Owners of nearby businesses, even in industrial parks, also have expressed concerns about the introduction of heavy industry near them,” the CONA release continues. “Allowing this type of development could disrupt every aspect of the area, provoking a massive downward spiral,” the release adds.

Additionally, participants in the CONA session “will determine the next steps that must be taken by citizens” to prepare for the County Commission public hearing, the release adds.

The June 12 CONA meeting also will include discussion of the County Commission’s efforts to sell the county’s surplus property, as the site of the proposed recycling facility is on the surplus list, the release explains. Participants in the session will focus on “what should drive decisions about public lands” and how county policies may be changed to ensure “protection of our community treasures,” the release says.

A question-and-answer session will follow the discussion.

The June 12 CONA meeting will begin with a social at 6:30 p.m. The session will be held at the Sarasota Garden Club, located at 1131 Boulevard of the Arts in Sarasota. The club building is situated at the intersection of North Tamiami Trail, south of the Municipal Auditorium. The parking area and the entrance are reached from Van Wezel Way.

For more information about CONA, visit