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Help protect the Venice Audubon Rookery during construction

Friday, April 07, 2023 4:03 PM | Cynthia Woodard (Administrator)

We are asking our supporters to help us protect the Venice Audubon Rookery during the construction and after the completion of a nearby development project. We hope that this project will include steps to care for the environment and be part of our bird-friendly community where birds thrive and people prosper. Please act soon to help us speak up for birds.


  • Email comments as soon as possible (see suggested messages below)
  • Attend the hearing to show support
  • Speak at the hearing (see suggested messages below)

Date: Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Time: 9:00 am

Place: Commission Chamber – Sarasota County Anderson Administration Center, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice, FL, next to the Rookery Park


A mixed use five-story building consisting of 208 multi-family units with 5,000 square feel of office and retail space is planned on an 8-acre parcel of land near the Venice Audubon Rookery Park (see map on right). The developers are seeking changes to allow more density on parcels smaller than 10 acres and increasing the allowable acreage for the US 41 and Jacaranda Blvd Regional Commercial Center. 

The proposed changes would not be limited to this parcel only - rather, they represent a change to the Sarasota County Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Policies: "These amendments will allow for small mixed-use developments within Commercial Centers that may emphasize residential uses, while retaining the ability of the Board to approve projects on a case-by-case basis".

You can help to amplify our voice with the following messages:

  • Care: We care about Rookery and the ecosystem that supports it. Please include a personal message about why you care for the Rookery - how has it impacted you and your family, and contributed to your appreciation of Florida's natural resources?
  • Concern: We are concerned about the impact of this development on the Rookery ecosystem and the loss of natural habitat.
  • Hope: We hope that strong measures will be taken in the County’s decision by adding conditions to protect the Rookery such as requiring:

         (1) Timing: Heavy construction activity must take place outside of nesting season (Feb-June)

         (2) Buffer:  Establish a robust native vegetative buffer on the border of the project facing the Rookery

        (3) Traffic: Implement measures to reduce the “shortcut” traffic on Annex Road, which passes within 400 feet of the Rookery

        (4) Water: Design to protect water quality and prevent flooding in the surrounding area

        (5) Hazard mitigation: Design to mitigate light and noise pollution and prevent bird window strikes 

        (6) Tree protection: Maximum possible preservation of existing trees and native vegetation

        (7) Wetland protection: Preservation of the wetland area on the south end of the project site nearest the Rookery.
Add information about these types of actions and others to protect the environment. Your message will be more effective if it is personalized and not copied and pasted.

Public Comment

Email your written comments to and as soon as possible. Last minute messages are less likely to be read. You can address your email to your Commissioner and Commissioner Ron Cutsinger who represents District 5 where the Rookery is located. Information on districts can be found here – scroll down and click on “Find My District”.

Hearing: Tuesday, April 11, 9:00 am. It is item #37 on the agenda and likely will not come up until the afternoon.

  • Attend the hearing to show your support – wear a green shirt if possible
  • Speak during the public comment period (limit of 5 minutes per speaker)
  • More about the meeting Rules of Procedure are on our website.

DOCUMENTS:  Links to documents related to CEM Development Apartments Project (2651 Jacaranda Blvd., Venice FL 34293):

Agenda 4-11-23 Sarasota Board of County Commissioners

BCC Memo - CPA 2022-G Adoption

Ordinance 2022-084 CPA 2022-G

Sar Co Planning Commission Minutes 11-17-22

Sarasota Board of County Commissioners - Agenda 1-18-23: Sarasota Bd Cty Comm Agenda 1-18-23.pdf

CEM Development Petition Summary and Land Use Petition Staff Report: CEM Dev Pet Summary and Staff Report.pdf

Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners Rules of Procedure: BCC Rules of Procedure Ex.pdf



Telephone: 941-496-8984

Sarasota County Call Center: 941-861-5000 (General information and directions)


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