Public hearing on proposed recycling facility near the Celery Fields set for Aug. 23 at 9 a.m.

That will be the only item on the agenda, county administrator confirms

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

A public hearing before the Sarasota County Commission regarding the proposal for a recycling facility near the Celery Fields has been confirmed for Wednesday, Aug. 23.

County Administrator Tom Harmer posed the question about that scheduling at the conclusion of presentations during the commission’s June 20 budget workshop. Reiterating a point he made to the board in a June 9 email, Harmer said that, given the community interest in the proposal by TST Ventures, he recommended that public hearing be the only item of business on the Aug. 23 agenda. The session would begin at 9 a.m. in the Commission Chambers at the County Administration Center located on Ringling Boulevard in downtown Sarasota.

Chair Paul Caragiulo responded that the meeting already tentatively had been put on the commissioners’ calendars.

With no board dissent — or comment — regarding the date, Harmer added, “We’ll confirm it [with the applicant and staff] and get the word out.”

TST Ventures proposes the new facility on county-owned property located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Palmer Boulevard and Apex Road. During the County Commission’s May 26 budget workshop, Real Estate Services Manager Lin Kurant noted that the county has a contract for purchase of the 10.3 acres it owns at that location, which would make up the larger part of the TST Ventures site. The contract is for $1.8 million, she added.

Largely because of concerns about inadequate transportation infrastructure in the vicinity of the property, the county’s Planning Commission voted unanimously on June 1 to recommend the County Commission deny the rezoning petition and an accompanying special exception petition. The hearing lasted about six-and-a-half hours as result of the many comments provided by members of the public, as well as the numerous questions posed by the planning commissioners.

Advocates for the Celery Fields, an internationally known bird-watching park that the county owns, have decried attempts to construct industrial operations nearby.