North Port: Could The Sarasota County Land Acquisition Program Be Used To Meet The Orange Hammock Ranch Purchase Shortfall?
By Francesco Abbruzzino, Publisher, The Scoop
During the last Sarasota County Commission meeting, they discussed buying property from individuals and turning them into parks or conservation use. Orange Hammock Ranch was brought during the approval process for the counties purchase of property for a park in Nokomis, from Sean Hill.
Al Maio and Charles Hines discussed that individuals should utilize this process to purchase property that they want preserved, versus waiting for the builders to purchase property and then protest the commission over the proposed development. They brought this up because once developers put forth plans, a lot of times the commissions hands are tied, based upon laws like the Bert Harris Private Property Rights Protection Act. If my memory serves me right, the commission has approximately $9 million dollars at their disposal, specifically for this purpose.
For more information on utilizing the Sarasota County Land Acquisition Program, just click — >>> here. Sarasota County: “Sarasota County’s protected lands provide safe habitat for many threatened and native species including gopher tortoises, Florida scrub jays, bobcats, eagles and migrant birds. Acquisition and protection of these lands ensures that environmentally sensitive nature and habitats will be there for future generations.”
I mentioned Sarasota Counties last meeting because they referred to the Orange Hammock Ranch state purchase in North Port, during the approval vote on the Nokomis property. The state purchasing Orange Hammock for $21 million freed up a huge chunk of the $9 million from the county. However, the state is coming up short on the funds and needs another $300k by June 1.
Orange Hammock Ranch is about 6,000 acres and the dead line of June 1 is around the coroner. The Conservation Foundation was about $600k short of meeting the funding deadline, but a group of donors stepped up with $300k. Hence, the $300k shortfall that I mentioned above.
Do I think they will miss their financial objective by the deadline? No, I suspect they will ask the Sarasota County Commission for the $300k out of the $9 million that is allocated specifically for this type of purchase. Or perhaps other donors, such as conservationist will step up with some donations. Only time will tell.
USF covered the Orange Hammock shortfall, which you can read about by clicking — >>> here