Controversy over Venice land development

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Posted: Sunday, August 31, 2014 6:41 pm

VENICE, Fla. – "It may be virtually impossible to recreate that which has been destroyed."

That is how Glenn Compton of ManaSota-88 feels about the now gone bird rookery in Venice. The birds were removed as per a permit the land developer says they received from state wildlife officials.

"My understanding of the process of the removal is there was a permit obtained by the Florida Fish and Wildlife commission to remove the invasive species of birds and plants," stated John Holic.

The removal has upset some environmentalists who have expressed concern over an herbicide that was used to make sure that the Brazilian pepper trees, an invasive species, does not return.

"We’ve asked the Florida game and fresh water fish commission to do an investigation, we’ve requested documentation to see what kind of mitigation was supposed to be done," stated Glenn Compton.

The property causing the controversy is located off Jacaranda Boulevard between laurel and border roads.

Owned by Neal communities--it was recently approved to build 1,800 living units, as part of the villages of Milano project.

Moving forward Compton wants to see tighter laws and regulations on further bird rookery removal but city of Venice’s mayor John Holic says they are.

"I feel very close to the environment I don’t feel that our regulations are relaxed at all, I think we have very strict regulations, I think we adhere to them very closely."

This is just the latest planned development for Neal in south Sarasota County that's causing controversy. Just a few hundred feet down border road, another 263 homes on 150 acres is set.

That project has drawn more criticism because it's even closer to the Myakka River, the Carlton Reserve and the Wildlife Center of Venice -- what many consider environmentally-sensitive lands. Some area residents expressed their concern by putting up signs reading: "Protect Border Road; don’t be dense."

This is all apart of a large growth as more and more people choose to make Venice their home.

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