Sarasota News Leader

01/04/2013

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THE CHALLENGE STIFFENS The Sarasota City Commission will be asked to weigh in on whether a Walmart can be built on the Ringling Shopping Center site. Photo by Norman Schimmel NO LOBBYING OF CITY COMMISSIONERS DOCUMENTED IN ADVANCE OF THEIR JAN. 7 SCHEDULED VOTE ON WHETHER TO HEAR AN APPEAL OF THE WALMART DECISION By Stan Zimmerman City Editor On Monday, Jan. 7, the Sarasota City Commission will be asked to consider hearing an appeal of the City Planning Board���s decision permitting a Walmart to be built in the nearly abandoned Ringling Shopping Center. The Monday agenda item will focus only on whether an appeal will be heard. Neighbors of the site paid a $1,400 fee to ask for the appeal. While the City Commission would not be able to schedule a hearing until February at the earliest, the Alta Vista Neighborhood Association is providing a peek at what it will argue if the appeal is granted. A cover letter on neighborhood association stationary says, ���The requested appeal is based on the outstanding contention and expert finding that the proposed use of the site for a Walmart store is not a permitted use in the CSC-N zone ���.��� The ���expert��� is Mike Taylor, who retired last October as the city���s general manager of neighborhoods, redevelopment and special projects. During his 30 years as a Sarasota city planner, he rose to the level of deputy director, in which capacity he supervised the updating of the city���s comprehensive plan. He also was

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