SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Sarasota County Commission unanimously approved a land use change and gave the green light for a new development called Lakewood Ranch Southeast, which would bring 5,000 homes across 4,100 acres between University Parkway and Fruitville Road.
“The argument of urban sprawl has been made over and over. I’ve read that in just about every letter and every comment, and I just completely disagree that this is urban sprawl,” said Commissioner Ron Cutsinger, who said he didn’t take the vote lightly.
But others who live in rural areas of the county want to maintain their lifestyle and prevent rapid growth. Signs reading “keep the country country” have been displayed along the planned development line.
“There’s fire and safety, there’s water, there’s traffic, where are the schools going to be? Who’s paying for all this?” asked Cindy Martin, who spoke to News Channel 8 after speaking earlier in the day at the commission meeting against the development.
“I think this lifestyle should be available. I don’t think you should say this lifestyle is unacceptable to be in Sarasota county,” said Mike Hutchinson, who says he isn’t opposed to growth but wants it to happen at a slower pace.
Those opposed to the project have 30 days to appeal Tuesday’s decision but are still determining if that is a feasible option.