A developer can build up to 5,000 homes near Lakewood Ranch; residents are suing the county

SARASOTA COUNTY (TodayNews) — Last fall, Sarasota County Commissioners approved changes to the county’s comprehensive plan. Land use changes will pave the way for development in the east, including what many see as an expansion of Lakewood Ranch.

Lakewood Ranch Southeast has the potential to build up to 5,000 new homes on the 4,100-acre site between Fruitville Road and University Parkway. The land parcel surrounds existing rural areas such as the Burn Creek Ranch.

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Opponents of land-use change argue that the proposed development is not compatible with the existing community and will “damage the quality of life and rural lifestyle for existing and future residents” in the east.

Residents decided to sue the county’s decision last year. The appeal hearing began this Monday at the Sarasota County Administration Building in downtown Sarasota.

“The overarching plan and planning as a whole was developed for the benefit of the community as a whole, and this proposed amendment is really only for the benefit of one developer, in any case, as far as I can see, this is not good for the community as a whole. “, one of the resident’s lawyers said on Monday.

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County officials told us they could not comment due to active litigation.

Residents understand that they are against the county, but they hope that the judge will take their side.

“Why do this? Because it’s right. Someone has to do it, someone has to activate, and it affects us. As our lawyer said, we are less than 1,300 feet from him and we will suffer,” said local resident Michael Hutchinson.

The hearing is expected to last four days, with testimony from several people before the end of Thursday.

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