In Sarasota, a Walmart is never approved or denied in a day.
The County Commissioners decided Wednesday to push back a public hearing for a rezoning to allow a Walmart Neighborhood Market at the corner of Bee Ridge and Beneva Roads due to the absence of Commission Chairwoman Carolyn Mason. Mason was ill, according to the commission, leaving the possibility of a deadlocked vote.
The hearing is now scheduled for April 24 at the Sarasota County Administration Building.
The rezone request is to change the property from Office, Professional and Institutional to Commercial General, in order to allow a grocery/retail store.
Meetings about the rezoning started in September at a community level, and two other Walmarts proposed in city limits took several months worth of community meetings, Development Review Committee meetings and Planning Board input.
For this project, which includes a rezoning request before a site plan is OK'd, this is the first major look the community at large will get at the proposed Walmart.
Despite the absence of a formal public hearing, 40 people had showed up and some weighed in anyway, The Sarasota Hearld-Tribune reported:
"Sharon Whalen gave commissioners a petition with 318 signatures from residents opposing the 41,180-square-foot Neighborhood Market.
“We don’t want to see our neighborhood slowly dissolve into nothing but commercial properties,” she said."
If approved, this will be the second Walmart Neighorhood Market in the Sarasota area.
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