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Updated: 06/13/2014 08:00:03AM

Sarasota 2050 changes: Free market or free ride?

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Cathy Antunes, NPA candidate for Sarasota County Commission District 2 seat against Republican County Commissioner Joe Barbetta. Former president of Sarasota Citizens for Responsible Government.

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The Sarasota 2050 plan offers generous development options in exchange for taxpayer and community protections. But what began as a compromise is being finagled into a free ride.

Sarasota County established an Urban Service Boundary, roughly along Interstate 75, in 1997. Lands west of the USB are designated for higher density development and urban services. Urban services investments include public infrastructure (roads, civic buildings, sewer, utilities) and public employee salaries, benefits and pensions (police, fire, librarians, teachers, etc.) Land east of the USB are to remain rural, with little need for urban services.

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