Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

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Marion County Commissioners Postpone Land Use Amendments Issue

ocalaboard In: Marion County Commissioners Postpone Land Use Amendments Issue | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River


Because of a last minute letter from a developer, the Marion County Board of County Commissioners decided to postpone facing a land use issue at Tuesday’s  Dec. 18, 2018  meeting.  The county attorney strongly recommended postponement and was able to convince the board to follow his advice, contrary to the desires of a staff member who had worked on the language, and who complained that “…at the eleventh hour we are taking it all apart..” and deemed it unnecessary.

As did several members of the public who expressed disappointment at taking time off from  work and/or driving some distance only to find things were not as advertised.

ocalajanet In: Marion County Commissioners Postpone Land Use Amendments Issue | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River
Janet Barrow, one of the strongest opponents of Sabal Trail and LNG

Nevertheless, Chairwoman Stone gave permission to speak to those who so desired, all the while warning that the facts they were referring to today might not be relevant at the Jan. 15, 2019 meeting, date she chose for the issue to be decided by the board.

Since the amendments deal with development, the rural way of life and urban sprawl, as was expected, several land developers were present and expressed strong views – some would say thinly veiled threats of litigation if their needs were not met.

Marion County is home to Top Of The World, second largest (at ten thousand residents) urban sprawl in Florida.  Although at one time, someone described the Marion commissioners as “never having seen a development they didn’t like,” that may have been true, but about a year and a half ago, this board denied a permit requested by AZ Ocala Ranch, who wanted to rezone about 3,500 acres for development.  That was a battle won, even though the war is not over.  The previous speaker may have had the shameless, inexcusable debaucle of  Silver Springs in mind.

Among the many speaking in support of the amendments were Whitey Markle of Sierra Club,  Janet Barrow who opposed Sabal Trail, Charles Lee of Audubon, and your Historian.

We hope to report on the Jan. 15 meeting of a steadfast board who does not allow further uncontrolled urban sprawl.

ocalawhitey In: Marion County Commissioners Postpone Land Use Amendments Issue | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River
Whitey Markle of Sierra Club, is a tireless worker who travels constantly.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-


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  1. We must come back to Growing the economy and stop the build baby build mentality. Ever state has water woes, even to the point of lawsuits. We must realize that water is life and it is a very limited resource. We must properly manage our natural resources. We are over consuming our resources and all the over building is only adding to the problem. When will our elected officials learn. Thank you Janet Barrow, and Jim Tatum for being our voice and protecting our states natural resources.

  2. I’m so sick of miners and developers not caring any at all about the destruction they cause our wetlands , rivers , springs and oceans . The quick buck is all they care for . I am so thankful for people like you Jim Tatum and Whitey . Thanks Jim for gettin’ the word out . This is why we need coalitions like Florida 67 Environmentalist United Coalition. So we can keep getting the word out . Networking and support from individuals from all over the state . I will be posting this in my group pages and also make it a priority topic for our next meeting . We have to get the info out there . Silver springs is a beautiful place . I used to camp out at six gun territory every month as a kid and we would often go there. It’s sad that people don’t appreciate the beauty of mother nature because they are blinded by the buck .

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