Now that a de novo hearing will be granted for a group of six Alta Vista residents to Walmart Stores is making its case.
Walmart issued a statement to Patch on Tuesday regarding its store and the planned de novo hearing:
"We appreciate the opportunity to present our plan for the Ringling Shopping Center to the city commission. We believe – as did the city’s planning staff – that our project meets the applicable zoning requirements.
Our plans were approved by Sarasota’s Planning Board, which agreed that no zoning changes or exemptions were needed and that the existing zoning on the site (where the Publix had been located) is consistent with the type of retail activity Walmart would be conducting.
Our new store will revitalize one of the city’s oldest shopping areas, generate approximately 250 jobs in the community and offer new, convenient and affordable shopping opportunities to residents of the area. The store we’re planning is significantly smaller than many of our Supercenters, but will offer a full range groceries, including fresh produce, meat and deli items, as well as a wide assortment of general merchandise and a pharmacy.
The Planning Board made its decision after an open hearing and input from the public. Walmart spent a significant amount of time working with the community as we developed our site plan. We voluntarily held a well-attended community meeting and met on other occasions with individuals and members of neighborhood groups.
Based on input we received, our proposed site plan was modified to move the store closer to Ringling Blvd. and to create parking in the rear of the store. We widened the buffer between the store and the surrounding neighborhood. We also modified the exterior of the store to better reflect Sarasota’s design character and added several pedestrian-friendly features to the plan.
We’ve been very pleased by the support we’ve received in the community for our store.
We are looking forward to moving forward with this project and being able to better serve our customers in Sarasota."
CHIME IN: What do you think of Walmart's reaction and its chances of opening on Ringling Boulevard?
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