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Sarasota City Commission
Sarasota Friday, Feb. 2, 2018 1 year ago

City Commission to discuss state tree proposal

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Local officials continue to voice opposition to a state bill that would restrict local regulation of tree removal from private property.
by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

After a group of city neighborhood associations voiced opposition to a state bill that would limit local regulation of tree removal, the City Commission will consider lobbying against the same proposal Monday.

Last October, Florida Sen. Greg Steube introduced a bill that would prohibit municipal restrictions on private property owners removing trees from their land. The bill is currently going through the legislature’s committee process.

As state lawmakers review the bill, Sarasota officials have spoken out against the proposal. Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie appeared at a January Coalition of City Neighborhood Associations meeting to ask the group to oppose the bill. The group obliged, drafting a letter for distribution to legislators urging the preservation of existing local regulations.

Now, the City Commission is set to potentially take its own stance against the bill. On Monday, the board will discuss a proposed resolution opposing the bill. If approved, the commission would share the resolution with the Sarasota delegation to the state legislature.

Although the city’s tree ordinance has been a source of some controversy, Eddie said opposition to the bill is consistent with input the city has received from residents.

“They have said they want to have some say in the makeup of the tree canopy hat makes up our city,” Eddie said.

Also on the agenda for Monday’s meeting:

  • The board will consider an adjustment to a proposed comprehensive plan amendment designed to facilitate implementation of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens master plan.

    If approved, the changes would adjust the proposed future land use category of the Selby Gardens property from Urban Edge to Metropolitan-Regional. The comprehensive plan amendment would still be subject to forthcoming city and state review before adoption.
  • The city will consider extending the North Trail Overlay District, a set of zoning regulations designed to facilitate redevelopment of the North Trail.
  • The commission will hear a presentation regarding a lawsuit of local governments against pharmaceutical companies doing business in Florida related to costs associated with the opioid epidemic. The city will consider joining the lawsuit.
  • The board will discuss the potential acquisition of property near North Tamiami Trail and Panama Drive for the relocation of Lift Station 10.

The full agenda for Monday's meeting can be found on the city website.

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