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The Venice Audubon Rookery needs your help

Friday, January 13, 2023 4:04 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: Wednesday, January 18, 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 development (apartments and commercial) is planned on an 8-acre parcel of land near the Venice Audubon Rookery Park. The project site is currently zoned to allow 13 units per acre and the proposed change would allow 25 units per acre. Because apartment development is already clearly allowed on this site in the Sarasota County Land Use Plan and under the current zoning, Venice Audubon is not in a position to recommend opposition to the project per se. Audubon Florida’s Director of Advocacy and the VAAS Chapter President met with the developers and project planners recently to discuss our concerns and suggestions.


A hearing for the requested land use change is scheduled before the Board of County Commissioners on Wednesday, January 18, 2023. The County posted the agenda and materials and the hearing is #50 on the agenda. The “materials” document is very large and there are links to some of the documents below.

You can help amplify our voices with the following messages:

  • Care: We care about Rookery and the ecosystem that supports it. Do you have a personal message about why you care for the Rookery?
  • Concern: We are concerned about the impact of this development on the Venice Audubon 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 Venice Rookery such as requiring: (A) a robust native vegetative buffer on the border of the project facing the Rookery; (B) timing of heavy construction activity to be outside of nesting season; (C) a design to protect water quality and prevent flooding; (D) a design to mitigate light and noise pollution and prevent window strikes; (E) maximum possible preservation of existing trees; and (F) assurance that the wetland area on the project site nearest the Rookery will be preserved. Add what you know about these 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. Monday is a holiday and 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: Wednesday, January 18, 9:00 am (we don’t know what time they will get to this hearing on the agenda)
  •         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 information about the Rules of Procedure is below.

Thank you. Your support will help protect the Venice Audubon Rookery for future generations.

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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